If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime, call Chicago sex crimes attorney Gus Kostopoulos for a free consultation.
As a former prosecutor, Gus understands how the prosecution builds a case against you. He uses this knowledge to aggressively defend you. Gus has over 18 years experience exclusively handling criminal law matters. Hiring a criminal attorney with a proven track record could be the difference between getting the charges dropped and spending years behind bars. We are available 24/7 to take your call at 630-283-8024.
Experienced Child Molestation, Rape, Child Pornography, Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Chicago, IL
There is nothing as terrifying as being accused of sex crime, especially if that allegation is made by a minor. You quickly realize that when it comes to sex crimes, you’re guilty until proven innocent. If you are convicted of a sex crime, the penalties include prison and lifetime sex offender registration. If you’re required to register as a sex offender, your ability to live a normal life is essentially over.
For these reasons, you need an attorney with a proven track record on your side. As a former prosecutor, Gus has the experience you need when dealing with serious criminal allegations. If you have been arrested or are under investigation, call now for assistance.
We Defend Against Any Sex Crimes Allegations
Sex crimes include everything from a misdemeanor such as indecent exposure, or a felony, categorized as serious and violent. Our Chicago sex crimes attorneys represent the following sex offenses in Chicago including:
Illinois Sex Offender Registration
Being convicted of a sex crime not only makes you vulnerable to serious jail time, but may also require you to register as a sex offender in the state of Illinois. When you register as a sex offender or sex predator under the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act your life will be changed forever.
Sex offenders face significant limitations and hardships in their everyday lives. You will find that employers will be hesitant to hire you, landlords no longer want you living in the neighborhood, and that your social reputation is destroyed.
In Illinois, registered sex offenders may also be prohibited from:
- Entering schools, public parks, or public buildings without permission;
- Renting or owning property within 500 feet of a school, public park, or public building unless they owned that property prior to July 7, 2000;
- Using social media; and
- Having unsupervised contact with children other than their own.
If you fail to register as a sex offender or violate any registry requirements, you can face an additional 2-7 years in prison for your actions.
Additional Penalties for Sex Crimes
Sexually-related crimes are among the most serious offenses that a person can commit. The state of Illinois will thoroughly investigate any allegations of sexual misconduct and pursue harsh criminal penalties for those who are convicted.
Sex crimes can be classified as either misdemeanor or felony offenses. The penalties that may be applicable will depend on (1) the crime itself, (2) harm suffered by your victim(s), and (3) prior criminal activity.
Misdemeanor Sex Crimes
Some sex offenses in Chicago are relatively minor and can be charged at the misdemeanor level. However, these sex crimes are generally charged as Class A Misdemeanors, which is the most serious misdemeanor offense. Class A Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a fine of $2,500.
Misdemeanor sex crimes can include:
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Public indecency
Judges will not hesitate to elevate these crimes to the felony level if aggravating factors are present (e.g., victim suffers serious bodily harm, prior convictions for sex offenses).
Felony Sex Crimes
Most sex crimes in Chicago will be charged at the Felony level. Felony charges can range from Class 4, punishable by 1-3 years in prison, to Class X, punishable by no less than 6 years behind bars. The specific charge will depend on the facts and circumstances of your specific case.
Felony sex crimes can include:
- Aggravated criminal sexual abuse (Class 2 Felony, 7-14 years in prison)
- Criminal sexual assault (Class 1 Felony, 4-15 years in prison)
- Aggravated sexual assault (Class X Felony, 6-60 years in prison)
- Any sex crime involving a child
- Possession of child pornography (Class 2 Felony).
Judges have the discretion to order additional penalties when doing so would be in the interest of justice. If you are convicted of a sex crime in Chicago, additional penalties may include:
- Mandatory registration as a sex offender
- Restraining orders
- Required completion of treatment programs and/or counseling, and
- Community service.
The best way to fight back against criminal charges in Chicago is by hiring an experienced attorney to handle your case. Call the Kostopoulos Law Group today to minimize the consequences of any sex crime charges you may face.
False Allegations of Sex Crimes
Have you been falsely accused of a sex crime? False allegations are not uncommon after a divorce, break-up, or family dispute. It is important to fight back against any false allegations of sexual misconduct.
Even if there is no physical evidence to support these false allegations, the state will aggressively pursue criminal charges and fight to protect those who they believe to be victims. Since many sex crimes boil down to a “he said, she said” situation, false allegations can lead to a criminal conviction.
How can you fight these false allegations? The best thing to do is hire an attorney who has experience handling messy sex crime cases in Chicago. At the Kostopoulos Law Group, we will launch a thorough investigation into the allegations against you.
- review letters,
- texts, and e-mails,
- speak with witnesses who can shed light on the situation, and
- find discrepancies in your accuser’s story.
Once we can uncover the motivation for the allegations, we can begin to protect you from unwarranted criminal charges.
Defenses to Sex Crimes
Just because you have been accused of a sex crime in Chicago does not mean that you will be convicted. You have the right to defend yourself against any criminal charges that the state may decide to file. The defenses that you assert can do one of two things. First, you can point out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you in an effort to limit the strength of their arguments. Second, you can present arguments that help to justify and/or explain your alleged criminal behavior. Arguing defenses early in your case can help you avoid criminal charges.
Defenses that may be helpful in a Chicago sex crime case include:
Consent: Most sex crimes require that you engage in sexual behavior with another person without their consent. If the alleged victim was a willing participant in the sexual behavior, it may be a defense to criminal charges. Note, however, that consent is not a defense to statutory rape.
False Accusations: Does your accuser have a motivation to lie and make up a story of sexual misconduct? Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate all allegations against you and search for discrepancies in your victim’s story. If we believe that allegations have been fabricated we will fight to uncover the truth and protect you from unwarranted criminal charges.
Biased Witness Testimony: Many sex crime cases rely on the testimony of the alleged victim, the defendant, and any witnesses who may be able to shed some light on the situation. There may be times when witnesses have a bias that prevents them from being honest and entirely forthcoming. Other times, witnesses (especially children) may be led by the prosecution to come to certain conclusions. Our attorneys have experience recognizing testimony that is unfairly biased or the result of outside influence. We will make sure that all witnesses are fully vetted and that they are properly questioned on cross-examination to uncover the whole truth.
Tainted Evidence: Has evidence in your case been gathered in violation of your Constitutional rights? Whether you have been the victim of an unlawful arrest or subject to an illegal search and seizure, the state should not be allowed to benefit from police misconduct. We will review all of your encounters with police and determine if your rights have been infringed in any way. If we determine that evidence is tainted, we will fight to have it suppressed. When the state lacks evidence to support its case against you, the chances of securing a favorable plea or getting the charges dropped are much greater.
Challenging Forensic Evidence: DNA and forensic evidence can make or break a sex crime case. Contrary to popular belief, forensic testing is not always accurate. In fact, there are few standards for handling, testing, and analyzing forensic evidence. Our attorneys will review all forensic evidence in your case and challenge any issues we discover. When there is doubt as to the validity of the evidence and/or results, your chances of beating the charges increase significantly.
Other defenses to sex crimes may include: acting under force or duress, lack of knowledge, lack of criminal intent, and lack of actual or constructive possession.
Sex Crime Laws in Illinois
Sexual abuse is a broader crime that punishes various forms of sexual conduct. Sexual assault, more commonly referred to as rape, punishes criminal sexual penetration. Penalties for violation of a sex crime law in this state can be extremely severe, especially for repeat offenders. Sex crime laws include:
Criminal Sexual Abuse [720 ILCS 5/11-1.5]
Criminal sexual abuse is defined as committing an act of:
- Sexual conduct using force or the threat of force;
- Sexual conduct with knowledge that victim is unable to understand or give consent;
- Sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 9 and 17, with knowledge of his or her age; or
- Sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 13 and 17 and is less than 5 years older than the victim.
Criminal sexual abuse is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse [720 ILCS 5/11-1.6]
Criminal sexual abuse may be elevated to a charge of aggravated sexual abuse if the victims are
- Between the ages of 13-16,
- Older than 60, or
- Disabled or handicapped.
The charges may also be elevated to aggravated criminal sexual abuse if the person:
- Displays, uses, or threatens to use a dangerous weapon;
- Causes bodily harm;
- Endangers or threatens the life of the victim or another person;
- Commits the abuse while committing or attempting to commit another felony; or
- Delivers a controlled substance to the victim without consent or by threat or deception.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 Felony, punishable by 7-14 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Criminal Sexual Assault [720 ILCS 5/11-1.2]
Criminal sexual assault, also commonly referred to as rape, is a serious crime that carries serious consequences upon conviction. Criminal sexual assault is defined as engaging in a penetrative sexual act with another person without consent. Criminal sexual assault may occur if the person:
- Uses force or the threat of force;
- Is a family member of the victim;
- Is 17 or older and holds a position of trust or authority over the victim who is between the ages of 13-18; or
- Knows the victim is incapable of understanding or consenting to the act.
A first-time offense is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A second or subsequent offense is a Class X Felony, punishable by 30-60 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Given the potential consequences, you need an experienced Chicago sex crimes attorney on your side.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault [720 ILCS 5/11-1.3]
The crime of sexual assault may be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the person uses a weapon, utters death threats, has previously been convicted of criminal sexual assault, or whose victim is under the age of 8 or mentally disabled.
Aggravated sexual assault is a Class X Felony, punishable by 30-60 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child [720 ILCS 5/11-1.4]
Sex crimes involving children are incredibly serious and carry heightened penalties for those who are convicted. A person commits predatory criminal sexual assault of a child if:
- They are 17 or older,
- Engage in any sexual contact or penetration,
- With a child under 13.
If convicted of this Class X Felony, you may be sentenced to between 6-60 years in prison.
Child Pornography [720 ILCS 5/11-20.1]
Possession, distribution, and creation of child pornography is aggressively investigated and prosecuted in Chicago. Find out more by clicking here.
Certain behaviors or circumstances are so egregious that the term of imprisonment is increased:
- If a person is armed with a firearm during the sexual assault of a child the term of imprisonment is extended by 15 years;
- If a person discharges a firearm during the sexual assault of a child the term of imprisonment is extended by 20 years;
- If a person causes great bodily harm that results in permanent disability or is life threatening the sentence imposed may be no less than 50 years and can be for life; and
- If a person, without the consent or knowledge of the victim, causes them to ingest or take a controlled substance the term of imprisonment imposed may be no less than 50 years and no more than 60 years.
If the person engaging in the criminal sexual assault of a child is 18 and has prior convictions for sex crimes the term of imprisonment may be extended to life. Get help immediately if you’re facing charges for child porn. Do not speak to the police. Instead, call Chicago sex crimes attorney Gus Kostopoulos today for a consultation.
Prostitution [720 ILCS 5/11-14]
In Illinois, it is illegal to engage in sexual acts in exchange for payment. Compensation does not have to be monetary. Prostitution is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
Solicitation [720 ILCS 5/11-14.1]
Seeking compensation in exchange for sexual favors is prohibited in Illinois. The offense is a Class A Misdemeanor, but may be elevated to Class 4 Felony if solicitation is of a person under 18 or intellectually disabled.
Public Indecency [720 ILCS 5/11-30]
Illinois prohibits public displays of sexual acts. A person commits the crime of public indecency if he or she is 17 or older and:
- Commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in public; or
- Lewdly exposes his or her body with the intent to arouse or satisfy a sexual desire.
Public indecency charges are common but the elements of the statute provide many points of attack in a defense. The number one issue in most public indecency cases is whether the prohibited behavior took place in public. Public indecency is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
Contact an Experienced Chicago Sex Crimes Attorney Today
A sex crime conviction on your record can be life-changing and impose serious restrictions on your ability to enjoy basic freedoms and privileges. To minimize the affect charges of a sexual offense may have, contact an experienced Chicago sex crimes attorney today.
At Kostopoulos Law Group, our sex crime attorneys are ready to help you fight to protect your rights and reduce any potential punishments that may be imposed. When you call, we will listen to the details of your case, investigate any potential discrepancies in stories, and devise a custom legal strategy to fight against the charges against you. Sex crimes are serious – enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney today.