Sex offense charges—especially those involving children—are serious and result in more community outrage and condemnation than almost any other type of crime. Because of the severity of possible penalties involved in a conviction and the lasting stigma attached to even those wrongfully accused or investigated, the most important action you can take is to call an experienced, authoritative criminal defense attorney, such as Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus.
A skilled defense lawyer will know the details of the possible charges facing someone accused of rape, sexual assault or other sex crimes. Depending on the charge, a conviction may range from probation and fines to mandatory therapy, incarceration up to life in prison, and a permanent stigma associated with the conviction. Most individuals convicted of rape or molestation also are required to register as a sex offender, possibly for the rest of his or her life. Sex offender registration restricts residential options and employment opportunities. Retaining a skilled sex crime lawyer can guide and protect you through the legal defense process and is vital to protecting your future and reputation from a sexual assault conviction.
People who are convicted of sex crimes often face lifetime registration as a sex offender and will carry the sex offender label with them forever, no matter the severity of their crime or the length of time since their conviction.
Confronted with the possibility of prison and a lifetime of monitoring and registration, you cannot afford to plead guilty. You need a sex crimes defense lawyer who is willing to fight for you.
At the criminal defense Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus, we have obtained dismissals and not guilty verdicts in a wide range of sex offense cases, from misdemeanor statutory rape charges to Class X felony child sexual abuse.
Criminal Sexual Abuse (also known as statutory rape) in Illinois is usually a Class A misdemeanor charge and is one of the less serious sex crime charges. Criminal sexual abuse occurs when an individual 17 years or older has consenting sexual relations with an individual less than 17 years of age—but their age difference is less than 5 years. It is important for teenagers to understand this law, as a conviction can carry up to 364 days in jail. Those convicted also have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Indecent Exposure & Lewd Acts may be charged as a misdemeanor. These crimes may involve pornography, public urination, engaging in sexual acts in a public place or exposing the genitals in a public place. However, depending on your record, an Indecent Exposure may be escalated to a felony, requiring life-long registration as a sex offender. If a felony indecent exposure offense cannot be defended, we will try to negotiate for psychological treatment instead of jail time.
Prostitution & Solicitation in Illinois can be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances and on your record.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse is similar to, but much more serious than, Criminal Sexual Abuse. It involves sexual relations between someone 17 years and older and someone less than 17 years but more than five years apart in age. A 16-year-old girl having sex with a 22-year-old man could be a Class 2 felony, with the 22-year-old punished by 3-7 years in prison and lifetime of registering as a sex offender.
Rape, or Criminal Sexual Assault, is forced and unwanted sexual acts. Rape is considered one of the most serious personal crimes, and a conviction can destroy your future and freedom. A conviction in Illinois is a Class 1 Felony offense and is punishable by between 4-15 years in prison, per count. Convicted rapists face a lifetime of registering as a sex offender. If you have been charged with rape, contact us to ensure that you are protected by a criminal defense lawyer who can build the best defense strategy for your situation. When a person commits rape and either causes injury to the victim or a weapon is involved, the charges may involve Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, which is a Class X Felony. Illinois treats all sexual offenses very seriously, but particularly Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, which may carry a prison term of 6-30 years per count and a maximum sentence of 120 years.
Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault is also a Class X felony and involves an adult molesting, or forcing sexual relations with, a child under the age of 13. Again, the State looks very harshly upon such a molestation conviction, with a punishment 6-30 years of prison time per count.
Solicitation of a Minor may be prosecuted at either the state or federal level, depending the circumstances of the crime. Whether committed through social media, chat rooms, instant messaging or e-mail, Internet solicitation is one of the most investigated and targeted activities by federal and state law enforcement agencies. Contact with a minor becomes a violation of Illinois and federal law when it appears that the adult is communicating in a sexually explicit manner with the child. The accused may be prosecuted even if he or she does not follow through with meeting the minor in person, but rather merely communicates in a sexually explicit manner.
Distribution or Possession of Child Pornography is a very serious criminal offense, at both the state and federal levels. Child pornography is defined as a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, photograph, film, video, or computer-generated image or picture, where a minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct and/or is obscene. These illegal images can include print, videotape, CD, photos and be disseminated on the internet and with cell phones. Because most child pornography involves Internet distribution, these cases are usually prosecuted in federal court. Even for first-time offenders, sentencing guidelines demand a mandatory minimum sentence of 6 years in a federal prison.
Even after time is served, a person convicted of child pornography crimes is required to register as a sex offender for life. However, in order for you or a loved one to be convicted of possession or distribution of child pornography, the prosecutor usually must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pornography was viewed, downloaded or disseminated from the your computer with some form of knowledge of the file’s content. The Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus will work tirelessly to get charges dismissed or to prove reasonable doubt if your case goes to trial.
Juveniles can be charged with distribution or possession of child pornography. It is important for all parents to be sure their children understand that “sexting” naked photos of themselves or peers, posting them online or otherwise possessing or distributing provocative photos of themselves or other minors can end in felony criminal charges. One click of a Send button can lead to severe, life-altering consequences.
An experienced criminal lawyer, Mr. Minkus will work tirelessly to defend your freedom and future against sex crime charges. Mr. Minkus’ strategy will take into account the criminal charges and circumstances involved, as well as a detailed investigation into the facts of your case. From discovery requests to challenging the evidence and witness statements, Mr. Minkus will fight vigorously to make sure the prosecution does not take liberties with evidence, testimony, or witnesses. He will work with you to find alibis, work records, and phone records to help prove that your innocence. Depending on the charge, common defense strategies may also include consent, tainted or insufficient evidence, entrapment or mistaken identity.
Never be pressured into pleading guilty. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus at (847) 966-0300 immediately if you or a loved one is under investigation for, or has been charged with, any type of sex crime. Mr. Minkus offers the knowledge and experience you need to have charges dismissed or to win a not-guilty verdict at trial. Unlike large defense firms, you will not be defended in court by an unseasoned lawyer. Mr. Minkus personally handles client cases from start to finish. He will look at the specific facts of your case and determine the most effective defense strategy for your situation.
Call (847) 966-0300 or contact our Chicago or Skokie office today and start building your best defense. Free initial consultation available.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.