Free Consultations | Speak With a Lawyer 24/7 630.261.9098

Sexual Relations Within Families

Sexual relations within families is a Class 3 felony in Illinois. If you have been charged with this offense, understand what you are facing and contact a lawyer to discuss your case.

 Sexual relations within families is a serious charge that can result in severe consequences for your life, including prison time, fines, and registration as a sex offender. If you have been charged with this offense, contact an attorney to discuss your case right away.

Statutory Elements

A person commits sexual relations within families, a violation of 720 ILCS 5/11-11 if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration with a person that he or she knows that they are related as follows:

  1. Brother and sister either by either whole or half-blood;
  2. Mother or father and child, regardless of whether the child is related by blood or adoption and the child was 18 years old or older when the act was committed;
  3. Stepfather or stepmother and the stepchild was 18 years or older when the act was committed;
  4. Aunt or uncle, when the niece or nephew was 18 years old or older when the act was committed;
  5. Great-aunt or great uncle when the great-niece or great-nephew was 18 years old or older when the act was committed;
  6. Grandparent or step-grandparent when the grandchild or step-grandchild was 18 years old or older when the act was committed.

Potential Penalties

A class 3 felony is punishable by five to ten years in prison in a state facility and up to a $25,000 fine. If you are facing a class 3 felony in Illinois, you have a right to take your case to a trial before a jury.

If you elect not to take your case to trial, you may be offered a deal by the prosecution to plead guilty to a lesser charge or sentence in exchange for your plea.

Pleading guilty to a sex crime is not a decision you want to make without thoroughly reviewing the evidence with an attorney because the decision can affect your life going forward. You should understand the consequences of pleading guilty. In some cases, it may be possible to fight your case and receive a dismissal or not guilty verdict. 

Losing Your Gun Rights, Voting Rights, and State Benefits

If you are convicted of a class 3 felony in Illinois, you will lose your gun rights and rights to vote. You will be disqualified from living in government housing and receiving certain types of state benefits.

Registration as a Sex Offender

A person convicted of sexual relations within families will be required to register as a sex offender. This can come with harsh consequences. Sex offenders may not live within a certain distance of a church or school, so if you are required to register as a sex offender, you may lose your home.

The sex offender registry can be accessed by the public which means that you could be facing serious damage to your career and reputation if convicted of this offense. Registration is only required if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

Registering as a sex offender can cause you to be charged with a new felony if you fail to comply with strict state requirements for registration. You will be required to notify your local law enforcement agency every time you change your job, address, or contact information. You may be restricted from using social media. 

Potential Defenses

If you are charged with sexual relations within families in Illinois, you should consult an experienced lawyer right away. Never speak to the police without an attorney present, and remember that the prosecution must prove the case against you. Following are some potential criminal defenses:

Lack of Proof

The state must prove its case against you. If the facts of your case do not meet the statutory elements of the crime charged, you must be found guilty. The prosecution must prove each and every element--you are not required to prove your own innocence.

The crime of sexual relations within families requires evidence of sexual penetration. This may be proven by evidence such as witness testimony, physical evidence, and your own admissions if you told the police or anyone else about the crime. If this element cannot be proven, you may be found not guilty. 

Lack of Knowledge

The state must prove that you knew that you were related to a person in one of the ways listed in the state statute in order for a judge or jury to find you guilty of sexual relations within families.

If you did not know that you were related to a person prior to the time the sexual act occurred, you may be able to base your defense on the fact that you did not know you were related to the individual with whom you had sexual relations. 

Fraud, Coercion, or Duress

You may be found not guilty of the crime of sexual relations within families if the crime was committed based upon fraud, coercion, or duress. Similar to a defense based on lack of knowledge, this defense is based on your intent to commit the crime.

If you committed the crime as charged but did so because you were induced to do so by a participant in the crime by fraud, coercion or duress, you may be able to allege that you did not have the intent to willfully commit the act. 

Mental Disease or Defect

If you lacked the ability to know your actions were wrong because of a mental disease or defect, you may be found not guilty of a crime even if the state can offer proof that you committed the crime alleged.

This is also known as an "insanity" defense. You may be examined by a psychiatrist if your defense is based on your lack of ability to understand the wrongfulness of your conduct or conform your conduct to the requirements of the law at the time the crime occurred.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with sexual relations within families, you need an experienced attorney to fight for your rights and help you avoid the harsh consequences of being convicted of a sex offense. Contact Dolci & Weiland by calling (630) 261-9098 or (312) 238-9007 or fill out our online form