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How Public Is An Arrest On Sex Charges In Illinois?


Sex crimes will always make headlines. If a newspaper or a reporter knows about it, they will run the story. Even if a story reporting a sex offense is not run in the actual paper edition, it almost always runs as an online story. Regretfully, that’s just part of the job of reporting the news and there’s really nothing that that any lawyer can do about preventing the story from running.

Are The Majority Of People Generally Aware That They Are Being Investigated For A Sex Crime?

Many people are aware that they’re under investigation for a sex crime. Some people who are accused of sex crimes are tipped off by people who have become aware that the alleged victim went to the police. Often, the police will contact the accused directly and invite them to the police department to discuss the situation. Talking to the police without an attorney is never a good idea. If you’re contacted by the police to come in and give your side of the story, you need to hire a lawyer before you do anything else. A polite request to come in and talk may seem innocent or harmless, but generally, that means that you are the focus or target of the sex crime investigation. Sometimes, the police won’t give any advance warning and they’ll just come and take the accused into custody.

If Someone Is Aware Of An Investigation Should They Get An Attorney Involved At That Point?

Regardless of how or at what point you become aware of the investigation, the sooner you retain counsel, the better chance we have at keeping the situation under control and protecting your rights.

Hiring an attorney at the earliest stage of the investigation gives you the greatest chance of successfully defending yourself against the sex crime. Most of my clients who have hired me to represent them during the early stages of the investigation do not make an incriminating statement. Most of my clients who did not have representation during the investigation make a confession admitting wrongdoing. A case is much more likely to have a successful outcome without any admission of wrongdoing. Cases where the accused has made an admission are much more difficult to defend.

Do not worry that hiring a lawyer will make you look guilty to the police, judge, prosecutor, etc. The police are not the ones making the decision whether or not to charge you with a felony sex crime. That decision is made by the state’s attorney. The fact that you hired a lawyer and asserted your right to remain silent is generally inadmissible at trial. Concerning yourself with how you may appear because you hired a lawyer is a very dangerous mindset.

What Mistakes Do People Make That Could Potentially Hurt Their Sex Crime Case?

The biggest mistake is to think that you don’t need a lawyer during the investigation when you’ve been invited into the police department to give your side of the story. This usually leads to the biggest mistake of all, which is making any type of statement to the police. Most sex crime cases have very closely balanced evidence and a statement by the defendant frequently tips the scales in favor of the prosecution, making it much easier for the prosecutors to obtain a guilty verdict. Another mistake is to try to communicate with the victim or the victim’s family. Whether it is to try to talk them out of pressing charges, or trying to make some monetary settlement, this is a bad idea. The state’s attorney can use this against you in court, and it could be a separate charge of intimidating a witness.

Are Most Sex Crime Offenses Bondable Offenses?

Generally, sex crimes are eligible for bail, but because of their sensational nature, bonds are frequently set higher than a similar felony class non-sex offenses. Also, upon written motion by the state’s attorney, the judge can deny bail.

What Steps Should A Client Take If They Have Been Arrested For A Sex Crime?

Ideally, a client will have retained me during the investigation, before the arrest. If they did that, most likely they would not have made any statements to the police. I usually would have been able to coordinate a time to surrender to the police so that they’re not inconvenienced or arrested without any sort of fair warning. After the arrest, I do everything in my power to obtain the lowest bond amount. Following that, we have to examine the discovery, which is all the evidence in the case, and that is how we formulate our defense strategy.

How Often Do Sex Crime Cases End Up Going All The Way To Trial?

Sex cases tend to go to trial more often than other types of criminal cases. This has to do with a few characteristics that are unique to sex crimes. Many sex cases are non-probation-able, which means that the judge, if you are found guilty, must give a prison sentence, even if he or she thinks you deserve probation. Even if my client has instructed me to try to negotiate a plea agreement for a reduced offense with a sentence of probation, most sex offenses require mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender. Because these types of penalties are so onerous and mostly non-negotiable, many clients elect to go to trial.

For more information on Public Knowledge Of A Sex Crime Case In IL, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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