Accused of an IL Sex Crime? Here’s What To Do
In the state of Illinois, there are certain crimes that are considered especially heinous – chief among those are sex crimes.
That’s why if you’re accused of a sex crime in our state, it’s not something to brush off because you know you’re innocent or you think you did nothing wrong – you need to take it very seriously. However, not many people know what they should or should not do in the wake of an accusation of a sex crime.
Here is what you need to know about sex crimes in Illinois and the steps you should take if you find yourself accused of perpetrating one, as even unsubstantiated accusations can have a serious impact on the rest of your life.
What Is a Sex Crime in Illinois?
When most people think of sex crimes, they think of rape or sexual assault, but in Illinois, the term “sex crimes” covers a variety of acts.
Basically, an unlawful sexual act is a sex crime. Some examples of crimes that fall under the umbrella of sex crimes in Illinois include:
- Sexual battery
- Criminal sexual assault
- Predatory criminal sexual assault on a minor
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Soliciting a minor
- Soliciting a prostitute
- Public indecency
- Possession of child pornography
- Distribution of child pornography
- Indecent exposure
- Statutory rape
These are just a few examples, but one thing all these charges have in common is that they can impact your life forever if you are found guilty.
What Happens If You Are Convicted in IL?
If you are convicted of a sex crime in Illinois, you face prison time and fines, but that’s not the end of it. Certain crimes will result in the requirement to register as a sex offender.
That means you have to provide identifying information to local law enforcement including your address and where you work. This can have an impact on where you can live, how you are regarded in the community since it’s a public record, and even if you can find a decent job.
That is one of the reasons why sex offenses should be fought against with the help of a skilled attorney.
Steps to Take If Accused
If you are accused of a sex crime, then it’s vital to take these steps in order to position yourself as best you can before you go to court. You should:
Make sure to avoid any contact with those who have accused you of a sex crime. It’s understandable that you may be in a bit of shock when first accused, but the number one thing you should not do is call up your accuser or go to their home to get your questions answered.
The best thing you can do is stay away as you work to formulate a defense.
Don’t Talk to Police
Those accused of sexual assault should utilize their right to remain silent. The police will attempt to ask you questions, but all you have to supply to them is identifying information – you don’t have to answer questions regarding the accusations against you.
You are constitutionally protected from incriminating yourself, so take advantage of it. Don’t answer any questions until you’ve had a chance to talk to an attorney.
Get an Experienced Attorney
Sex crime convictions have major consequences, so make sure to seek out an attorney that is experienced in handling sex crimes cases in your jurisdiction.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.