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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney sexting

Many laws throughout the country, both on the state and federal levels, were written hundreds of years ago when much of today’s technology did not exist. The United States in 2020 is a completely different world from the United States hundreds of years ago when things like the Internet and smartphones did not exist. Although these technologies have made our lives easier, they have also posed some interesting problems from a legal standpoint. One such problem is called “sexting” and is rather popular among the nation’s teenagers. According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, one in seven teens admitted to sending a sexually explicit photo, video or message, while one in four teens admitted to being the recipient of one. Sexting may seem innocent, but explicit photos and videos can easily turn into a tool for others to use to bully or harass. Sexting is also considered a crime in Illinois when it is conducted between minors, which can lead to criminal charges.

What Is Sexting?

The word “sexting” is a mashup of the two words “sex” and “texting,” and refers to the electronic sending or sharing of sexually explicit images, videos, or texts. The subject of the images does not have to be fully exposed and can be partially exposed to be considered explicit. These images or videos can be shared through text messages or even through apps such as Snapchat or WhatsApp.

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Rolling Meadows, IL sexual assault defense attorney

In 2017, The New York Times published a story detailing accounts of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The case has been closely followed for the past three years as numerous charges were brought against Weinstein for various instances of alleged rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. In January of 2020, the trial against Weinstein began in New York, and it came to a close in late February, with the jury delivering a guilty verdict. Those who are familiar with this case may wonder how Illinois’ laws address accusations of sex crimes.

Weinstein Convicted of Criminal Sexual Assault and Rape

After the initial accusations brought against Weinstein by actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, more women came forth to make claims that they had also suffered sexual assaults by Weinstein. While dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, he faced two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape, and one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree. After five days of deliberation, Weinstein was convicted of third-degree rape and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. He was subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison.

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Rolling Meadows, IL sex crimes lawyer

Being convicted of any criminal offense is taken seriously in the state of Illinois. Felonies are the most serious types of crimes, and they come with many stipulations that can impact your life after your conviction. Even if you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime, you will have a criminal record, and you will face a certain stigma from those around you. If you are convicted of an offense that is sexual in nature, the penalties are often even more harsh and unforgiving. If you are found guilty of a sex crime, you can expect your life to be forever changed. Here are a few consequences of a sex crime conviction in Illinois:

  • You will be subject to registration requirements for at least 10 years. The state of Illinois requires those who are convicted of certain sex crimes to register as a sex offender every year for a period of 10 years. If you are deemed to be a “sexually dangerous” or “sexually violent” person, you will have to register every 90 days for the duration of your life. If you are deemed to be a “sexual predator,” you must register once a year for the duration of your life. Registration requires you to disclose your name, address, a current photo, place of employment, and all of your online identities, including usernames and email addresses.

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Rolling Meadows, IL sex crimes defense attorney

Due to the #MeToo movement and revelations about the criminal actions of some public figures, some types of crimes are receiving increased scrutiny. Accusations of sex crimes, such as sexual assault, are becoming more common, and offenders can face significant penalties, including imprisonment and fines. However, in some cases involving sex crimes, the accusations may come years after the crimes allegedly occurred, and the statute of limitations may have passed. The “statute of limitations” is a designated period of time in which an individual can bring legal action against another party. Recently, Illinois became the eighth state to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes, and those who are facing these types of charges should be sure to understand how this change in the law may affect them.

No Time Limit to Report Sex Offenses

The new law, which will take effect beginning January 1, 2020, will allow alleged victims to come forward at any time to press charges against alleged abusers, and prosecutors will be able to pursue these charges. The law will remove the statute of limitations on felony sex crimes, including criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

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Arlington Heights, IL sex crimes defense attorney

Being accused of a sex crime can greatly impact your life, regardless of the charge. Even if you are not convicted of the alleged charge, your criminal record is public information, and arrests or accusations can appear on a background check. A sex crime conviction can bring about many undesired consequences. Not only can you be sentenced to prison or probation or be ordered to pay steep fines, you will also face the judgment of the public and experience negative effects on your personal life and relationships, and you may even be required to register as a sex offender.

In the state of Illinois, the two major sex crimes are criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. Though they are similar crimes, they have different consequences.

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