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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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Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney

Not all crimes are created equally. Some crimes, like assault or murder, are much more serious than lesser crimes, such as theft or traffic violations. Illinois, like all states, has a system for classifying crimes. Crimes are placed into categories of felonies and misdemeanors, of which there are varying “classes” of severity. What many people do not know is that there are also certain factors that can increase or mitigate the severity of the punishment that is imposed on someone who is convicted of a criminal offense. It is important to understand the factors that are commonly used by the prosecution to enhance the charges to “aggravated” in Illinois.

Aggravating Factors in Illinois

Even if someone is convicted of a crime, that does not automatically determine the sentence that he or she will receive. Under Illinois law, a sentencing hearing will occur after the conviction in which a judge will review the case and make a decision as to what the appropriate sentence would be for the specific situation. In some cases, this is when the prosecution has the chance to present any aggravating factors that may be present, which could influence the judge to impose a more serious sentence. Illinois lists 32 unique aggravating factors that could affect a defendant's sentence. Some of the most common factors include:

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