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.
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.
Aggravated sexual assault is similar to other aggravated criminal charges, as it is simply a more severe form of the charge that is typically used when extenuating circumstances exist. To be charged with aggravated sexual assault, a person has to have committed an act of sexual assault while at least one of the following is true:
The perpetrator displayed or threatened to use a dangerous weapon other than a firearm.
The perpetrator caused bodily harm to the victim.
The perpetrator acted in a manner that threatened the life of the victim or another person.
The sexual assault was committed or attempted during the commission or attempted commission of another felony.
The victim is 60 or older.
The victim has a physical disability.
The perpetrator delivers a controlled substance to the victim without the victim’s consent.
The perpetrator is armed with a firearm.
The perpetrator discharges a firearm during the commission of the offense.
Any aggravated sexual assault charge is classified as a Class X felony and starts out with a possibility of 6-30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Depending on the circumstances of the case, however, the prison sentence can have mandatory years added to it. For example, if you are convicted of aggravated sexual assault because you were found guilty of criminal sexual assault while threatening to use a dangerous weapon, 10 years would automatically be added to any prison sentence that the court imposed.
Any type of sexual assault charge is a serious situation, but a felony sexual assault charge could mean serious consequences. In addition to a lengthy prison sentence and expensive fines, a conviction for a sexual assault charge could mean a criminal record for the rest of your life and the stigma that comes with being labeled a sexual offender. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law is dedicated to helping you avoid a conviction at all costs. To schedule a free consultation with our skilled Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense lawyer, call our office today at 847-253-3400.
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