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(773) 908-9811



Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Some IL Sex Crimes Can Send You To Jail for Life

In Illinois, certain crimes are considered more serious than others. Of course, there are felony and misdemeanors with which a person can be charged. But there also exists a certain level of a felony that is considered the most serious: Class X felonies.

Sex crimes are felonies that can easily bleed over into Class X felony territory, especially if aggravating factors are present. In fact, a man in Fulton County was found guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and criminal sexual assault by a jury of his peers. He will now face up to 60 years – the rest of his natural life – in prison.

Here’s what you need to know about sex crimes. They can send you to prison for decades – and even keep you in a cell until your last days.

Class X Felonies in Illinois

Felonies are the most serious offenses and therefore carry the most serious sentences. However, the specific sentencing handed down by the court for every felony is based on the classification of the felony, plus the facts surrounding the case.

Class X felonies constitute the most severe felony. Under the law in Illinois, sentencing for Class X felonies can be up to 30 years. However, if aggravating factors are present, it can extend by up to 60 years in prison. A defendant can also be ordered to pay fines up to $100,000.

Crimes Considered Class X Felonies in Illinois

There are certain offenses in Illinois that will always be prosecuted as Class X felonies, including some sex crimes. The most common Class X felony sex crimes in the state include:

Offenses Related to Child Pornography

If a child pornography case includes moving depictions of a child engaged in a sexual act, such as a movie or video, then it’s a Class X felony. On top of a lengthy prison sentence and fines, those convicted of this type of felony will also have to register as sex offenders.

Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault

Predatory criminal sexual assault takes place when someone over the age of 17 has sexual contact with a child under age 13. The law defines sexual contact as the contact of a person’s anus or sex organs with any part of another’s body for the purpose of sexual gratification. It is considered aggravated if there is a firearm used in the commission of the crime or if there was great bodily harm done to the victim that threatens their life or results in a permanent disability.

Criminal Sexual Assault

Illinois deems acts of rape as criminal sexual assaults. It takes place when someone performs sexual penetration on another person with the threat of force or actual force. It also occurs if the person committing the act knows that the other cannot properly consent to the act. If you are convicted of criminal sexual assault a second time in Illinois, then it will be prosecuted as a Class X felony.

Chicago Criminal Sexual Assault Defense

Sex crimes, especially when children are involved, are treated very harshly under the law. Many people think that, to be sent to prison for the rest of your life, you have to commit murder – after all, that’s what happens on television.

It’s crucial to understand that there are actually many serious crimes that can put you behind bars for life, including sex crimes. That’s why, if you’re accused of a crime at this level, you must understand the penalties you can face.

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 in 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.

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