Under Illinois law, you may not knowingly take photos or videos of a child without their parent’s consent if you are a child sex offender.  (See 720 ILCS 5/11-24.) You also may not operate any type of business in which you take photos of children or direct anyone else to do so.

A violation of this law is a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years in prison.  If you photographed children at a playground, school, daycare, park, forest preserve or other facility providing programs for children under age 17, your charges can be upgraded to a Class 1 felony, punishable by four to 15 years in prison. Note that freedom of speech is not a defense. (See People v. Rollins.)

If you have been charged with child photography or a similar offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense.  As with most crimes, the state must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  Do you meet the law’s definition of child sex offender?  Did you take the photos knowingly?  Did you have the parent’s consent?  Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.        

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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