Prisoner being cuffedThis is the next post in my series of articles on defending against Illinois Class “X” felony charges. My last article discussed the handling of armed robbery charges. It is important for accused individuals to remember that if they are charged with multiple counts then the Court may run the sentences consecutively. This can result in a longer prison sentence. Retaining an experienced attorney is important to ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the process. In this article I will discuss dealing with matters which involve allegations of aggravated criminal sexual assault. If you or a family member have been arrested then contact my office to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Aggravated sexual assault is a Class “X” felony in Illinois

Criminal sexual assault is typically a Class “1” felony in the state of Illinois. The charges will be elevated to aggravated sexual assault, however, if any of several factors are present in the case. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Displaying, using, or threatening to use a weapon during the commission of the crime
  • Causing bodily harm to the victim
  • If the assault occurred during the commission of another felony
  • If the victim was at least sixty years of age or handicapped
  • If the victim was mentally handicapped

There are also additional factors which can lead to an escalation to aggravated charges. Such charges will be considered a Class “X” felony and will carry a minimum of six to thirty years in prison. Depending on other factors, these minimum sentences can be elevated even further.

Consider the following example. Joe is a convicted felon. He threatens Jane with a firearm in a parking lot while she is getting into her car. He forces Jane to drive to a location, with him in the car, and he then commits the crime of sexual assault. Joe would face Class “X” charges as he committed the assault while being a felon in possession of a firearm and while committing kidnapping. As with armed robbery charges, which I discussed in my last article, Joe runs the risk of any sentences being run consecutively.

Potential defenses to aggravated sexual assault charges

There are a number of ways in which it may be possible to defend against allegations of aggravated sexual assault. If the case involves search and seizure or Fifth Amendment issues then it may be possible to have evidence or statements excluded from Court. Also, it may be possible to prevent the victim from identifying the defendant in Court if law enforcement used overly suggestive measures in securing an initial identification. Finally, there are instances in which an accused is, in fact, not guilty of the crime. How to best defend a matter, and whether it is best to reach a resolution with the prosecution, will always depend on the specific facts of the case. Discussing your matter with an experienced attorney is vital.

If you or a family member have been arrested for sexual assault then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria criminal defense lawyer. I am a former prosecutor and am familiar with the workings of our local court system. I understand that you are facing very serious charges and my office is devoted to providing quality representation. We look forward to speaking with you and being of assistance. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.