This is the next post in a series of articles discussing defending against solicitation charges in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post addressed how violations of search and seizure rules may impact a solicitation case. Arrests made without the requisite probable cause may lead to the exclusion of evidence obtained against a defendant and could result in the dismissal of criminal charges. In this article, I will examine the criminal penalties and other consequences of solicitation convictions. Given the lasting impact of a solicitation conviction, it is imperative to retain an experienced attorney to defend your rights. If you or a loved one has been charged, then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Under Illinois law, a first time conviction for solicitation is treated as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Convictions for additional solicitation offenses will result in increased penalties. Furthermore, if the activity involves a minor or occurs within close proximity to a school, the activity will be considered a Class 4 felony. A felony conviction could result in significantly longer jail time and higher fines. If you have been arrested on suspicion of solicitation, it is important to retain a defense attorney as soon as possible. Your counsel will help you understand the potential criminal consequences of a conviction and identify any defenses that may be available to you.
The ramifications of a solicitation conviction may extend beyond the criminal penalties outlined above. If found guilty of the charge, the defendant will have a permanent criminal record. This could impact the person’s ability to seek employment in the future. Many employers require background checks and disclosures of felony convictions, which could preclude you from being offered employment. Additionally, a solicitation conviction may result in the suspension or permanent revocation of a professional license, therefore preventing you from returning to your industry or trade. Again, engaging a defense attorney immediately after being arrested may help avoid these lasting effects of a conviction.
In addition to professional impacts, a guilty verdict may have significant personal consequences. For example, if the alleged activity involves a minor, the convicted party may fact sex offender registration requirements. This type of information is often publicly available and may be a life-long obligation. This may impact where you can live in certain communities and creates an obvious social stigma that may be difficult to deal with. Personal relationships, particularly with a spouse or other family members may also be permanently damaged by a solicitation conviction.
In light of the long-term impact of a guilty verdict, hiring a Peoria criminal defense attorney immediately following an arrest is imperative. Your legal counsel can help you navigate the system and identify defenses that may be available to you. Contact my office today to speak to a lawyer. We also service the cities of Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.