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Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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What Makes My Illinois Sex Crime Charges Aggravated?

If you are charged with a sex crime in Illinois, then you’re facing some significant legal consequences.

Most sex crime convictions require the defendant to register as a sex offender which will make your criminal history available to the public. Your registration will come up every time you look for a job or try to secure housing.

This is part of the reason it is so critical to understand the charges you are facing when charged with a sex crime. Here’s what you need to know about sex crimes in Illinois and when these charges become aggravated, which can lead to even more severe penalties.

Sex Crimes in Illinois

There are three general categories of offenses under sex crime statutes in Colorado. They are criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault, and criminal sexual abuse. Learn more below about the differences between these three types of charges.

Criminal Sexual Assault

This occurs when sexual penetration occurs along with one of these factors:

  • The threat of force or force
  • The inability of the victim to understand the act or give consent
  • The age of the victim was under 18 and the defendant is a family member
  • The age of the victim was under 18 but over 13 and the defendant was over age 17 or in a position of trust, supervision, or authority to the victim
  • There was sexual penetration or contact between the defendant and the victim’s genitals, anus, or mouth

This crime is a Class 1 felony. It can be punished by up to 30 years imprisonment and fines to $25,000.

Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault

This crime matches the description and activities of criminal sexual assault with one significant difference. This crime occurs when the defendant is over 17 and the victim is younger than 12 and sexual penetration is involved. It is a Class X felony, punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment.

Criminal Sexual Abuse

Criminal sexual abuse can be a misdemeanor or a felony charge. For a misdemeanor charge, the victim has to be between the age of 9 and 16 with the defendant under age 17 or the victim must be between 13 and 16 while the defendant is over age 17 – but not more than five years older than the victim.

Felony criminal sexual abuse occurs as a Class 4 felony when the act is committed with the threat of force or use of force or the victim cannot understand the act in such a way as to give consent.

When Sex Crimes Become Aggravated

In order for charges of criminal sexual abuse or assault to become aggravated, one or more of these factors must be present in the abuse or assault:

  • A weapon is used, displayed, or threatened to be used
  • Bodily harm is caused to the victim
  • The act threatens or endangers a life
  • The victim is given a controlled substance without their consent
  • The abuse or assault was committed as another felony was being committed
  • The victim was severely mentally disabled, elderly (over age 60), or physically handicapped

Criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony. It can be punished by up to 14 years imprisonment and fines up to $25,000. Aggravated criminal sexual assault is considered a Class X felony. It can result in the punishment of up to 30 years imprisonment.

, What Makes My Illinois Sex Crime Charges Aggravated?

As you can see, the circumstances that make a sex crime aggravated are very precise. Being charged with an aggravated crime can add years onto a sentence and Class X crimes are not eligible for probation. That’s why it’s critical to understand any charges against you and what they can mean if you are found guilty.


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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If you’re ever accused of a sex crime, then it can have a big impact on your life. Even if you’re never convicted, a charge can go on your criminal record and make things difficult for you in the future since it’s public information.

A conviction for a sex crime can also bring about a lot of consequences such as a prison sentence, fines, and registering as a sex offender in Illinois.

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