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Convicted of a crime? There may be a registry for that

The penalties that accompany a criminal conviction vary widely depending on what the crime underlying the conviction. In addition to time in prison and fines, in some cases people must provide personal information to a registry, such as their name, where they live and their physical description. The failure to comply with the registration requirements could lead to further issues. While readers probably know about the Illinois sex offender registry, there are other convictions that could lead to a similar registration.

Recently, the state of Utah ventured into new registry territory. Last month it opened the White Collar Crime Offender Registry. Individuals who are convicted of financial felonies or second-degree frauds beginning in January 2006, could find they need to register. Though not yet officially launched, approximately 100 individuals are already on it.

The length of time someone will have to remain on the registry will be based upon the number of offenses someone has. Those with one conviction will remain there for 10 years. The period is 20 years for two offenses. Those who are convicted of more than that can expect to remain on the list for the rest of their life. Among other things they will need to provide their phone number, address and a photo.

As is the case with other registries, the penalty goes into place when the convicted individual is finished serving time. Whether Illinois, or other states, will follow Utah's lead regarding white collar crime remains to be seen. Some experts point out that depending on what the registry is for, the so-called name-and-shame approach can actually be harmful. For example, providing the addressed of those known to have been involved in drugs might make it easy for a user to get the drugs he or she is seeking.

While the use of registries varies throughout the nation Illinois residents may be surprised to learn Illinois has them for more than just sex offenders. In addition, it also maintains a list of methamphetamine producers.

When someone is accused of a crime may believe that if convicted their punishment will be complete when they are released from prison. As the preponderance of registries throughout the nation illustrates this is not always the case. They are just one of multiple other consequences someone who has been found guilty of a crime could find they face.

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