Sex-related criminal charges are a grave matter in Illinois. If you have been charged with criminal sexual abuse, you face severe consequences if convicted. Not only could you be in prison for years and fined, but you would also have a permanent criminal record.
If you face such a charge, it is essential to understand the details of the law outlined below. Anyone who has been charged with this crime should retain a Mount Prospect criminal sexual abuse lawyer immediately. Villadonga & Villadonga Law has a strong record defending Illinoisans against sex-related criminal charges.
Illinois Criminal Sexual Abuse Overview
720 ILCS 5/11-1.50 states that you have committed predatory criminal sexual abuse in Illinois in these cases:
- Committed a sexual conduct act by using force or threatening force;
- Committed an act of sexual conduct and knew the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act or could not give knowing consent;
- The offender is under the age of 17 and engaged in sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 9 and 17;
- Committed a sexual penetration act or sexual conduct act with a victim between 13 and under 17, and the offender was less than five years older;
Criminal sexual abuse can be either a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony, depending on the circumstances. If it is a second or subsequent criminal sexual abuse violation, it can be a Class 2 felony. Punishments for these crimes are as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor: Up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
- Class 4 felony: Up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
- Class 2 felony: Up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
Criminal sexual abuse upgrades to a felony charge when any of the aggravating circumstances below exist:
- The offender displayed, threatened to use, or used a dangerous weapon or any object that the victim believed was a dangerous weapon;
- The offender caused physical harm to the victim;
- The victim was 60 years of age or older when the offense occurred;
- The victim was physically disabled;
- The offender acted in a way that threatened or endangered the life of the victim or any other person;
- The criminal sexual abuse happened at the time another felony occurred;
- The person delivers (by injection, inhalation, ingestion, transfer of possession, or any other means) any controlled substance to the victim for other than medical purposes without the victim’s consent or by threat or deception.
Potential Defenses From Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault
These are serious charges, but defenses are possible. First, a strong defense strategy often starts before you even retain a lawyer. If you are charged with a sex crime, you can help your defense by staying silent during and after the arrest. Do not answer any questions the police ask you, and ask for your attorney.
If you do not give the police anything to work with by speaking, various legal defenses may be more effective. For example, they may find various flaws in the case and create reasonable doubt, discredit the accuser and witnesses, or raise questions about the legality of the arrest process.
Speak To Our Mount Prospect Criminal Sexual Assault Lawyers
If you have been charged with criminal sexual assault in Illinois, your freedom and future life are on the line. Do not delay in seeking legal representation. Our Mount Prospect criminal sexual assault lawyers at Villadonga & Villadonga have more than 50 years of criminal defense experience. Contact us today at (847) 298-5740 for a complimentary criminal defense consultation.