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How Are Sex Crimes Defined In The State Of Illinois?


In Illinois, “sex crime” is a generic term used to describe a certain category or genre of criminal offenses. Most common sex offenses are those that involve touching of a sexual nature or touching that involves the sex organ of one of the parties. This includes forced penetration, which would generally be called a criminal sexual assault. Penetration of a child under the age of 13 is called a predatory criminal sexual assault. Forced touching or sexual contact that was illegal because of age or mental status is usually called criminal sexual abuse or aggravated criminal sexual abuse. There are other crimes which do not involve touching but would generally be called sex crimes due to the nature of the offenses.

For instance, crimes involving various types of illegal pornography are often categorized as sex offenses. Possession or distribution of child pornography would be considered a sex crime. In addition, obscenity or possession and distribution of obscene material, or possession and distribution of harmful material would be considered a sex crime. Crimes involving prostitution, such as solicitation of a prostitute, pimping, and human trafficking are also generally considered to be sex offenses. Finally, crimes, where someone is accused of manipulating another person in preparation to commit an illegal touching of a sexual nature, would also fall under the sex crimes category. This is includes grooming, traveling to meet a minor, and solicitation to meet a minor.

What Are The Common Types Of Sex Crime Cases That Your Firm Typically Handles?

Our firm has represented individuals charged with almost every type of sex crime. Among others, we have successfully defended in Illinois and Indiana both state and federal cases of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and criminal sexual abuse. Our firm has achieved excellent results in cases involving possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and harmful and obscene material cases. We’ve produced outstanding dispositions in prostitution and solicitation cases as well as cases involving solicitation of a minor and grooming cases. With well over 20 years of courtroom experience, there is very little that we haven’t seen.

How Is A Sex Crime Determined To Be At Either The Felony Or Misdemeanor Level?

A particular sex offense is determined to be a felony or a misdemeanor based on the statute. Many sex offenses are felony charges; it’s fairly rare to see misdemeanor sex offenses, although we do see them from time to time. All offenses that involve forced touching, such as criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse are felonies. All child pornography cases including the possession and distribution of child pornography are felonies as well. There are misdemeanor charges available for criminal sexual abuse, solicitation of a sexual act, possession of harmful material, and solicitation to meet a child.

What Are The Differences Between State And Federal-Level Sex Crime Charges?

For the most part, state and federal-level sex crimes involve the same types of offenses, so it depends on whether or not the investigating agency would charge a sex crime at the state or federal level. Cases involving interstate travel or multiple defendants in several states are usually charged as federal cases. Federal agencies are more likely to conduct sting operations whereby they pose as minors or pimps for juvenile prostitutes on the internet. I’ve also seen many undercover sting operations with child pornography cases at the federal level. While we have seen state sting operations handled by local law enforcement, these operations are predominantly carried out by federal agencies, such as the FBI.

What Are My Rights Once I Have Been Arrested For A Sex Crime?

Once a person has been arrested for a sex crime, they are entitled to Miranda rights, which are named after a United States Supreme Court case. These rights are read as follows: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”

Even if a person has only been brought in for questioning, the most important thing they need to do is remain silent. In almost every sex case, the outcome is determined by whether or not the accused admitted to the offense. Frequently, there is no physical evidence and no witnesses to the offenses, which makes an incriminating statement that much more powerful. Additionally, making an incriminating statement makes a sex case much more difficult to defend. It’s not impossible to achieve a great result when a confession has been made, but it is significantly more difficult. In the event that our client has made an incriminating statement, we will frequently file a Motion to Suppress Statements. This is a motion argued in court which requests that the judge exclude the confession based on constitutional or other legal grounds. The MacNeil Firm has had good success using this approach.

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Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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