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Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault Lawyer

Criminal sexual assault in Illinois involves sexual penetration under threat, force, where the victim is unable to consent, or if the person holds a position of trust over the victim. Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony. However, when criminal sexual assault involves certain aggravating factors, criminal sexual assault becomes a Class X felony in Illinois, with increased penalties and mandatory prison time.

Aggravating Factors for Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

Certain factors can make increase the charge from criminal sexual assault to aggravated criminal sexual assault. These aggravating factors include:

  • Simultaneous commission of another felony;
  • Use of a dangerous weapon;
  • Infliction of physical bodily harm;
  • Threats to the victim's or another individual's life;
  • The victim has a physical handicap;
  • The victim is over the age of 60;
  • The offender is 16 years old or younger, and the victim is 8 years old or younger;
  • The offender is 16 years old or younger and uses force or threat of force, and the victim is age 9-12;
  • The victim is severely or profoundly intellectually disabled;
  • Drugging of the victim with a controlled substance;
  • Armed with a firearm;
  • Discharge of a firearm during the assault; or
  • Discharge of a firearm that causes bodily harm or death to the victim or another individual

Penalties for Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

Under Illinois Compiled Statutes 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30, an individual convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault is considered guilty of a Class X felony. Class X felonies are non-probationable, which means imprisonment is mandatory. It is not possible for an individual convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault to receive a probationary sentence instead of prison time.

Class X felonies also carry potential fines of up to $100,000. In addition, all felony convictions will result in a criminal record that can make it more difficult for an individual to get certain benefits or find a job, even after their sentence is served. These “collateral consequences” of a felony conviction include:

  • Restrictions on certain professions;
  • Difficulty finding housing or living in certain locations;
  • Cannot own or possess a firearm;
  • Inability to participate in certain government benefit programs; and
  • Loss of voting rights while on probation or parole.

Generally, a Class X felony conviction cannot be expunged from the individual's criminal record. A governor's pardon may be the only way for someone convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault in Illinois to have their record cleared.

Sentencing for Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

Sentencing for the first conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault ranges from 6-30 years in prison, with mandatory prison time. If a firearm was used or displayed during the sexual assault, the sentence could be extended an additional 15 years to life.

A second or subsequent offense for aggravated criminal sexual assault carries a sentence of natural life in prison without probation. This includes a prior sentence for criminal sexual assault even if the prior offense was not aggravated.

In addition to prison, individuals convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault are required to register as a sex offender in the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.

Any of these consequences can have a profound impact in every area of a person's life. This is why anyone accused of aggravated criminal sexual assault needs, more than anything, a good sex crimes defense lawyer to prevent a conviction or any of these consequences from happening.

Illinois Sexual Offender Registration

Anyone convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault in Illinois is required to comply with the state sex offender registration requirements. The offender will be considered a “sexual predator.” Sexual predators are required to register annually for life.

The Illinois Sex Offender Registry is a searchable website that includes identifying information about the sexual predator. The public, including neighbors and co-workers, can search the website by name or location. The listing for sexual predators generally includes the offender's name, address, photo, and specific crime, including the age of the victim and offender at the time of the offense.

Other categories of sex offenders include “sexually dangerous persons” and “sexually violent persons,” which depend on the specific offense. A sexually dangerous person or sexually violent person is required to register every 90 days for life.

Sex offender registration begins when the offender is released from incarceration, discharge, or final parole. Offenders must re-register every year (or 90 days, depending on status). Sex offenders have to register with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction where they reside. Sex offenders also have to pay an initial registration fee of $100, and an annual $100 registration fee each year.

Any changes in an offender's registration must be made within three days. This includes a change of address. If the offender moves to another state, he or she may be required to register as a sex offender in the new state. Failure to register may result in additional penalties, including jail time.

Certain sex offenders may be prohibited from being allowed on school grounds or in parks. Sex offenders must also refrain from accessing or using social networking websites while on parole, probation, or mandatory supervised release.

Defenses to Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

Certain defenses to charges of criminal sexual assault can be used so the accused will not be convicted of aggravated sexual assault. Consent is generally a defense to sexual assault charges where the victim alleges the use of force or threat of force. However, consent can generally be taken away at any time during sex and if the individual does not stop, it may be considered sexual assault.

Consent is not a defense if the individual is under the age of consent. In Illinois, anyone under the age of 17 is unable to give legal consent, even if the person says they want to have sex. Individuals who are are mentally disabled may also be unable to give legal consent to sex in Illinois.

It may also be a defense if you had a reasonable and honest belief that the individual was over the age of consent. For example, if a 16-year-old used a fake ID to get into the bar and had sex with another patron, it may be reasonable to assume that everyone in the bar was over the age of consent.

Contact Our Top Aggravated Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been accused of aggravated criminal sexual assault in Illinois, you need a strong, aggressive defense for your best chance at avoiding a conviction.

The sex crime defense attorneys at Dolci & Weiland have experience as sex crimes prosecutors in Illinois and understand how sex crimes are handled in Illinois courts. We know how to best defend you in any aggravated criminal sexual assault case. Contact Dolci & Weiland today to discuss your case with our Top 100 National Trial Lawyers.

DuPage Office – (630) 261-9098

Chicago Office – (312) 238-9007

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