If 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....