DuPage County Sex Crimes Attorney
If you’re under investigation or charged with a sex crime in DuPage County, contact former prosecutor Gus Kostopoulos today for a free consultation. A sex crimes conviction has serious consequences. Not only does a sex crimes conviction carry serious criminal penalties, but can also require you to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Regardless of the charge, it is crucial to launch an aggressive defense to minimize the penalties you may face. When you call former prosecutor Gus Kostopoulos, we will review your case, explain your legal rights, and determine the best legal strategies to pursue. Contact our office today for a free consultation with our reputable sex crime attorneys.
Consequences of Sex Crimes Conviction
Sex crimes have a stigma attached, which will follow you for life. Offenders are often required to register with the state as a sex offender. Registration as a sex offender will limit almost every aspect of your life including:
- Buying a home,
- Custody of your children,
- Visiting public places, and
- Even use social media.
In 2014, more than 4,000 sexual assaults were reported to Illinois law enforcement. That same year more than 17,000 Illinois sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment victims received some form of support from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Sex crimes are a serious problem in Illinois, and the state has allocated a lot of time, effort, and money into prosecuting these offenses.
Sex Crime Laws
“Sex crime” is a rather broad category that includes a variety of criminal behaviors. Sex crimes can range from seemingly minor infractions such as public indecency to serious crimes such as rape. This section includes a general overview of the sex crimes that are most aggressively pursued and most commonly charged in Illinois. To learn more about a particular crime and its consequences you should contact an experienced DuPage County sex crime attorney.
Criminal Sexual Abuse
Criminal sexual abuse is defined as the act of sexual conduct (1) through the use of force or threat; or (2) with knowledge that a victim is unable to consent or understand the consequences.
Sexual abuse may be aggravated if certain facts or circumstances are present. When a charge is aggravated the penalties associated with a conviction are more severe. Criminal sexual abuse may be aggravated:
- If the victim is under the age of 18, elderly, or disabled;
- If you display, use, or threaten to use a weapon;
- If you cause bodily harm or injury;
- If you endanger the life of the victim or other person;
- If you commit the sexual abuse while committing (or attempting to commit) another felony; or
- If you deliver a controlled substance to the victim by force or without consent.
Penalties: Criminal sexual abuse is a Class A Misdemeanor. If convicted, you may face up to 1 year in jail. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 Felony. If convicted, you may face between 7-14 years in prison and fines of $25,000.
Criminal Sexual Assault
If you are accused of rape you will be charged with criminal sexual assault. Under Illinois law, criminal sexual assault is defined as engaging in a penetrative sexual act with another person without his or her consent. A criminal sexual assault may occur if you use force or the threat of force, if your victim is a family member, or if the victim is a between the ages of 9 and 17.
The crime of criminal sexual assault may be aggravated if certain facts or circumstances are present. Aggravated criminal sexual assault is one of the most serious crimes that you can be charged with in Illinois. You may be charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault if you:
- Use a weapon;
- Make death threats; or
- Have a prior conviction for criminal sexual assault.
You may also be charged with criminal sexual assault if the victim is under the age of 8 or mentally disabled.
Penalties: Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 Felony for a first offense, punishable by between 4-15 years in prison. Subsequence criminal sexual assaults are charged as Class X Felonies, which are punishable by 30-60 years in prison. Aggravated criminal sexual assault is also a Class X Felony, for which the sentence can be extended to life in prison.
Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child
Crimes against children, especially those of a sexual nature, often become the focus of a criminal case. Illinois takes allegations of the abuse of children very seriously and will likely put everything they have into proving their case. In Illinois, it is a crime for a person over the age of 17 to engage in any sexual act with a child under the age of 13.
Penalty: Predatory sexual assault of a child is a Class X Felony, punishable by 6-60 years in prison. If certain aggravating factors are found, the penalty may be increased to life in prison.
In Illinois, it is illegal to engage in sexual acts for payment. Prostitution is viewed as a precursor to or symptom of sex trafficking. As a result, it is aggressively prosecuted. Prostitution is a Class A Misdemeanor, carrying up to 1 year in jail.
In Illinois, it is illegal to seek compensation in return for performing sexual favors. Solicitation is generally a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, However, it may be charged as Class 4 Felony if the victim is under the age of 18 or disabled.
Public indecency laws cover a broad range of behaviors, which helps to explain why it may be said that you committed “an act” of public indecency. In Illinois, it is a crime for a person age 17 or older to (1) commit an act of sexual conduct or penetration in public or (2) lewdly expose his or her body with the intent to arouse or satisfy a sexual desire. Public indecency is a Class A Misdemeanor.
Having sex in public, streaking, and flashing are all examples of behavior that may be considered an act of public indecency.
Determining Penalties for Sex Crimes in Illinois
Penalties for sex crimes can vary significantly, and often depend on aggravating and mitigating circumstances. An aggravating factor is one that causes the penalty to be more severe, while a mitigating factor is one that causes the penalty to be less severe.
Aggravating factors may include:
- Your existing criminal record;
- Prior convictions for the same offense;
- The fact that your victim was a minor, elderly, or disabled;
- Causing bodily harm, disfigurement, or death;
- Using a weapon; and
- Administering mind-altering substances to a victim.
Mitigating factors may include:
- Lack of bodily harm;
- No prior complaints, arrests, or convictions; and
Convicted Sex Offender Registration
If you are convicted of a sex crime in Illinois you may face serious short-term and long-term consequences. In addition to the penalties outlined above, you may also be required to register as a sex offender with the State of Illinois. Jail time and monetary fines can be a painful, short-term consequence. Registration as a sex offender, on the other hand, can stay with you forever.
If you are required to register as a sex offender in Illinois your ability to carry on your daily activities may be severely limited. Registered sex offenders are often prohibited from:
- Living within 500 feet of a school, public park, or government building;
- Using social media;
- Entering schools or public buildings without express consent; and
- Unsupervised contact with children (other than their own).
If you are convicted of a sex crime and (1) do not register as a sex offender, or (2) fail to adhere to the requirements of a registered sex offender, you may be sentenced to time in prison.
Defenses to Sex Crimes
At Kostopolous Law Group, our DuPage County criminal lawyers know that not all accusations of sexual abuse or sexual assault are true. Accusations can be inaccurate, without evidence, or just downright false. When our attorneys review your case, we search for indications of weakness in prosecution’s case and determine if any defenses may be applicable. Defenses that we have used to help defend clients against sex crime charges in DuPage County include:
- Consent of the alleged victim;
- Mistaken identity; and
- Violation of Constitutional rights during an arrest or search of your home or person.
Experienced DuPage County Sex Crime Attorneys
A conviction of a sex crime in Illinois can have serious consequences. If you or someone you know has been accused of, arrested for, or charged with a sex crime in Illinois you should contact an experienced DuPage County sex crime attorney as soon as possible. The earlier you contact an attorney, the sooner they can begin to devise your defense.
Hiring an experienced and reputable DuPage County sex crime attorney could mean the difference between getting the charges dropped or spending serious time in prison. Call us today for a free, no-commitment consultation to learn about your legal rights and how we may be able to help.