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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_633967292.jpgExcept in cases of murder, treason, arson and forgery, among others, the prosecution of crimes is restricted by a statute of limitations. This law sets a time limit under which law enforcement and prosecutors have to charge a suspect with a crime. Illinois made a change earlier this year when legislation was passed and signed that eliminated the statute of limitations for sexual assault and abuse committed against children. 

Reaction to Decades-Old Case Prompted Change

A once-prominent elected official  from the state of Illinois had sexually abused high school students during his time as a teacher and coach in the 1960s and 1970s. When it was learned that he would only face sentencing for financial-related crimes, citizens urged their legislators to make changes to state law. 

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Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerSex crimes, in general, are severely punished in the state of Illinois. However, those that pertain to children often receive the heaviest of consequences. This includes (but is not limited to) the possession, distribution, and production of child pornography. Of course, not all cases are as clear-cut as they seem. So, if you or someone you love is up against child pornography charges, learn the consequences, along with what you may be able to do to protect yourself from them.

What Constitutes Child Pornography?

The term child pornography is a broad one, covering all types of media that depict a child (anyone under the age of 18) or disabled person engaging in a sexual act or a simulated sexual activity, including any acts involving penetration, oral sex, masturbation, sexual touching or fondling, and/or urination or excretion of a sexual nature. Owning, distributing, purchasing, possessing, creating, sharing, or selling any such content is illegal in the state of Illinois. So is the act of coercing, soliciting, persuading, enticing, or forcing a child or severely intellectually disabled person to create any such content.  

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Arlington Heights IL sex crimes defense lawyerWhile almost any criminal charge can have a serious and negative impact on your life and future, those that arise from sexual assault allegations can be especially devastating. Now, instead of just having your job, freedom, and finances on the line, your reputation – and where you fit into your community – could be jeopardized. Moving will not fix anything either since a conviction for one of these crimes tend to follow you everywhere you go. If you are facing a sexual assault charge, understand what is at stake, and what you can do to avoid the negative consequences of conviction.

Majority of Sexual Assault Crimes Are Charged as Felonies

While not all sexual assault crimes are considered felonies, a large percentage of them are. This means that consequences of conviction could be greater. You may be sentenced to a year or longer in prison and you may be forced to undergo onerous supervision once you are released. The felony conviction on your record could also limit your employment and housing opportunities, making it difficult for you to support yourself or your family once you are released.

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Illinois revenge porn law, Arlington Heights sex crimes lawyerThe state of Illinois recently passed what many legal analysts say is the toughest revenge porn law in the country. The governor has signed the law, which makes it a felony to post sexual videos or photos of another person online without his or her permission. The new law goes into effect June 1, 2015.

Although there are currently revenge porn laws currently in effect in 16 other states, the Illinois law is considered the strongest because of the following reasons:

  • It does not matter what the defendant’s motive was in posting the photos. Some of the other state’s laws require that the offender had intent to cause emotional distress to the victim, but the Illinois law concerns itself only with the harm that is done to the victim, not what the intent of the offender was.
  • The Illinois law includes "selfies." In other words, if the photo the offender posts is actually one the victim took of themselves, they can still be prosecuted.
  • The Illinois law has the strongest punishment compared to other state’s penalties. Non-consensual nudity is a Class 4 felony in Illinois and is punishable by one to three years in prison, fines of up to $2,500, and restitution to the victim. There is also a provision that requires forfeiture of any profits the offender may have received from posting the photos.
  • Unlike some of the other states’ laws which require exposure of a victim’s sexual parts, the Illinois law does not require the victim to be nude in order for the photo to be considered non-consensual pornography.
  • The Illinois law not only punishes the originating offender, but also allows for charges to be filed against any secondary parties from forwarding or reposting the photos.
  • The Illinois law very clearly recognizes the First Amendment and does not apply to photos which are published for "lawful public purpose."
  • The Illinois revenge porn law can be applied to images where not only the victim’s face is identified, but also when any other identifying information is published.

An accusation of any kind of sex crime can destroy a person’s reputation and cause irreparable damage. If you have been arrested for a sex crime, contact an aggressive Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney to help defend you against these charges.

Posted on in Sex Crimes

police powers in Illinois, Arlington Heights criminal lawyerAccording to a recent United State Supreme Court case, the old adage that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" does not apply to criminal prosecutions.

The Facts

Heien v. North Carolina began on an early spring morning in 2009 near the North Carolina-Virginia border. Surry County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Matt Darisse observed a "stiff and nervous" driver in a Ford Escort. He followed the car for several miles. Eventually, the driver slowed down and only the left brake light came on. Sergeant Darisse pulled the car over and gave the driver a warning. But the entire time, Mr. Heien was lying prone in the back seat. Sergeant Darisse became even more suspicious, obtained consent to search the car, and discovered a sandwich baggie full of cocaine.

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