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Arlington Heights Sexual Assault Defense LawyerAny criminal conviction has the potential to radically change the offender’s life. However, sexually-based offenses are often punished especially harshly. If convicted of a sex crime, you may face significant jail time as well as mandatory registration on the public sex offender list. Conviction for a sex crime such as sexual assault can virtually destroy your personal and professional reputation. If you or a loved one have been accused of sexual assault, rape, sex abuse, or another sex-based offense, securing skilled legal counsel should be your first priority.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Criminal accusations must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is the highest burden of proof that exists in American law. As a criminal defendant accused of sexual assault, you need to cast doubt on your guilt. Your lawyer may do so on your behalf using many different defense strategies. Unfounded accusations of sexual assault may be easily disproven if there is not enough evidence against the defendant. The defendant may also be able to use an alibi to avoid conviction. For example, if a man is accused of raping a woman but employment records show that he was out of town for work that night, he may avoid conviction.

The defendant may also be able to deny culpability by asserting that the sexual encounter was consensual. However, this often becomes a he-said, she-said situation.  A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help a defendant accused of sexual assault gather evidence and build a strong defense strategy.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1370766311.jpgIn the age of the internet, dating apps and social media dominate the social scene. Most social media platforms and dating apps have age limits that regulate children and underage activity. But what happens if a minor lies about his or her age, especially when engaging in a sexual relationship with an adult? Many factors go into determining the fault of each party. However, if you have engaged in sexual relations with a minor, you may be charged with statutory rape in the state of Illinois.  

Age of Consent and Statutory Rape 

Even if a minor lies about their age, an adult is still liable for committing statutory rape. Age of consent laws tend to fluctuate between states. In the state of Illinois, the age of consent is 17 years. This means that if you are over the age of consent and engage in sexual activity with someone under 17, you may be charged with a sex crime. 

There are two classifications of sex crimes in Illinois. If you allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a minor, you could be charged with:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1433466809.jpgSex crime convictions are among the most serious and long-lasting convictions in Illinois criminal law. Convictions for some sex crimes carry the life-long labels of “felon” or “sex offender.”Registered sex offenders have strict limitations on where they can live and work and other behavioral restrictions based on their conviction. If you have been accused of a sex crime, it is crucial to get legal representation immediately and understand what happens if you are convicted. 

Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender? 

Illinois requires persons convicted of many sex-related crimes to register as sex offenders. Some examples of crimes that require sex offender registration include, but are not limited to: 

  • Possession and/or distribution of child pornography

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IL defense lawyerIf you have been charged with sexual assault, you are likely dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety. These charges and the effect they can have on your freedom and future can be frightening. Sexual assault carries severe penalties in Illinois. A first-time offender faces a Class 1 felony offense, which is punishable with a prison term of four to 15 years. Those with a prior sexual assault conviction will face a Class X felony, which carries between six and 30 years in prison. Getting convicted of this crime can also have a detrimental effect on your professional and personal relationships.

Steps to Take If Charged with Sexual Assault

If you are facing a sexual assault charge in Illinois, it is important to take quick action. The steps you take immediately afterward can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case:

  • Do not speak to the police. Once you have been charged with sexual assault, the police may want to ask you questions about your case. However, you are under no obligation to talk to any law enforcement official. In fact, speaking to the police could make things worse for you. They may try to use what you said against you in court. Instead, tell the police that you do not want to speak to them without a lawyer.
  • Gather evidence. Having the proper evidence may help your attorney build a defense against these charges. Begin collecting as much information as you can that relates to the case, such as text messages, emails, receipts, and other records that can show where you were at the time of the incident. If you have any witnesses who can verify you were at a different location when the alleged crime took place, obtain their names and contact information.
  • Hire a lawyer. A sexual assault charge is not something you want to go through on your own. It carries severe consequences that can negatively affect your life for many years. It is important to hire a criminal lawyer who specializes in defending those accused of sexual assault. The attorney can help you build a strong defense, protect your rights, and improve your chance of a favorable outcome.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing a sexual assault charge, a dedicated Rolling Meadows, IL criminal attorney can help. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has more than 20 years of experience defending people in legal trouble and is here to assist you. Call 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney aggravated sexual assault

Out of all of the crimes that you could be accused of committing, sex crimes are some of the most unforgiving and harsh offenses to face. Sex crimes, such as sexual assault, are some of the most underreported crimes ever, yet they still appear in alarming numbers across the country. According to FBI crime statistics, there were nearly 140,000 police-reported cases of rape and sexual assault across the country in 2019. Sexual assault is a serious crime and is punished accordingly in Illinois; however, charges can be elevated even more to felony charges in certain circumstances. 

Sexual Assault

According to Illinois law, sexual assault occurs when a person commits sexual penetration and the person uses force or the threat of force or knows that the victim is unable to give knowing consent to the act. Criminal sexual assault is typically charged as a Class 1 felony in Illinois, which carries a prison sentence of 4-15 years and up to $25,000 in fines.

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