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Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney sexual assault

Being accused of sexual assault, rape, child sexual abuse, or another sex crime can have life-changing consequences. If you were charged with this type of criminal offense, your personal reputation, career, and your very freedom may be on the line. If convicted, you could be looking at months, years, or even decades behind bars. You may also be required to register on the public sex offender registry. Developing a robust defense strategy is the best way to fight sex crime charges.

Avoiding Self-Incrimination by Refusing Police Interrogation

Many people do not realize it, but a strong defense strategy often starts before the criminal defendant even hires an attorney. If you have been accused of a sex crime, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to remain silent. Do not answer police questions. The police may imply that you “must have something to hide” if you do not answer their questions, but this is only a tactic used to get you to talk. You have a Constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. The best way to do this is to decline police questioning and ask for your lawyer.

Identifying Flaws in the Prosecution’s Case

Your lawyer may help you find evidence that contradicts the charges being brought against you and use this evidence to cast doubt on the prosecution’s claim. Remember, criminal charges are held to the highest possible standard of proof. This means that the prosecution must prove the required elements “beyond a reasonable doubt.” By finding inconsistencies or holes in the prosecution’s case against you, you may be able to weaken their case and demonstrate that there is reasonable doubt about your guilt. For example, your lawyer may find evidence that proves that you were not at the alleged crime scene when the alleged crime took place.

Discrediting the Accuser and the Prosecution’s Witnesses

Not everyone who has been accused of a sex crime actually committed a sex crime. Some people use false accusations of sexual assault or other sex crimes to seek revenge on the accused. Others bring false claims to avoid tarnishing their reputation. For example, an accuser may regret a consensual sexual encounter and therefore claim that the encounter was non-consensual. Some parents may even use false accusations of child sexual abuse in an attempt to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute. Your lawyer may be able to present evidence that damages the accuser’s credibility or trustworthiness. For example, if your lawyer can show that the accuser has been deceptive or manipulative in the past, this may cast doubt on the credibility of his or her current claims.  

Contact a Plainfield, IL Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime, the penalties can be severe if convicted, and that is why you need an attorney who understands how to build a robust defense strategy. Contact the highly knowledgeable Will County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. to obtain the legal support you deserve. Call today to schedule a confidential, free case consultation at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350.



Joliet, IL sexual assault defense attorney

Any type of sex crime is taken seriously throughout the United States. The Illinois Criminal Sexual Assault Act addresses multiple types of crimes, including sexual assault and sexual abuse. While the terms may seem similar in nature, assault and abuse are considered separate crimes in Illinois based on the circumstances of the offense. Both crimes can result in felony charges as well as mandatory inclusion on the sex offender registry. However, the details of the alleged crime will determine what further punishments -- such as the length of a prison sentence -- will be given out.

Sexual Assault Versus Sexual Abuse

The crime of sexual abuse results in less severe punishments than sexual assault because the crime is considered less extreme. Sexual abuse can be alleged if there is any unwelcome sexual behavior by a person against a victim. Typically, there does not need to be actual sexual penetration for the crime to be charged.

Illinois law states that sexual abuse occurs when there is a threat of harm or if the victim cannot give proper consent to any sexual conduct. The charges can be elevated to sexual assault if penetration occurs. Sexual abuse is typically charged as a Class 4 felony. Punishments include a prison term of one to three years for first offenders. Second and subsequent offenses may be charged as Class 2 felonies, punishable with a prison term of three to seven years.

Illinois law views sexual assault as the act of sexual penetration:

  • With force or threat

  • Against a victim who is unable to give proper consent

  • Between a victim under 18 years of age and a family member

  • Between a victim between the ages of 13 and 18, and an adult over the age of 17 who is related to the victim or in a position of authority over the victim

First-time sexual assault offenders will be charged with a Class 1 felony, punishable with a prison term of 4 to 15 years. Second and subsequent offenses are elevated to a Class X felony, punishable with a prison term of 30 to 60 years.

Both sexual abuse and sexual assault can be elevated to “aggravated” crimes if:

  • The accused used a deadly weapon during the criminal act.

  • The accused caused great bodily harm or death to the victim.

  • The victim was over 60 years of age.

  • The victim was physically handicapped.

  • The accused possessed or discharged a firearm during the criminal act.

Sexual assault can also be elevated to predatory sexual assault if the accused is over 17 years of age and the victim is 12 years old or younger. All aggravated sexual assault charges will be prosecuted as Class X felonies, which will typically result in a prison sentence of 6 to 30 years. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, an additional 10 to 20 years may be added to the sentence. Predatory sexual assault may result in a sentence of 6 to 60 years in prison.

Defenses for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault

After being charged, an alleged sexual offender should seek the help of an attorney who will carefully review the circumstances of the crime. The most common defense for sexual abuse is to prove that the accused believed the victim was over 17 years of age and that no force was used. Sexual assault defenses may include proving that consent was given by the victim. An alleged offender can also deny that the event took place, and the prosecution will have the burden of proof to show that the incident occurred, and the alleged victim did not give consent.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal charges for any type of sexual offense can be life-altering for both the victim and the accused. In some cases, an alleged victim may make false allegations. If you or someone you know is facing sexual assault or sexual abuse charges, you need skilled legal counsel on your side. The knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. will defend you against false accusations and help you understand the best defense strategy for avoiding a conviction and minimizing the consequences you may face. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County sexual offenses lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.



Joliet criminal defense attorneyConviction of a sex offense can lead to serious consequences. It may also require you to register as a sex offender. Learn what it means to be registered as a sex offender in the state of Illinois, including how it may impact your career and personal life, with help from the following information. You shall also learn how an experienced criminal defense lawyer can mitigate against the potential consequences of a criminal sex offense charge.

Who Must Register as a Sex Offender?

Individuals who are convicted of a sex offense are referred to by the justice system as criminal sex offenders. Anyone who falls under this classification is required to register as an offender. Duration of registration typically lasts for 10 years, but there are situations that could warrant a longer registration period. Adjudicated juvenile offenders may not be required to register on the public website, but their information may still be distributed to local schools and daycares.

What Does It Mean to Register as a Sex Offender?

When required to register as a sex offender, an individual's personal details are displayed on a website for all to see. Their neighbors, community, potential employers, and landlord all know of their conviction – yet the information they know is limited. The crime, not the actual circumstances, are listed. Sadly, this means that most offenders are negatively viewed by their community; they are all lumped together, seen as dangerous and violent predators, and there is nothing that one can say or do to change that. Instead, they must live in social isolation, knowing that their community fears them and thinks the worst of them.

More Collateral Consequences of Sex Offender Registration

Social consequences are not the only ones that registered sex offenders face. They may also be barred from certain professions because of their conviction, or they may be denied professional licensing for their career. Blue collar workers and day laborers may also experience trouble finding employment, due to their record. Housing options may also be restricted.

Contact Our Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love is facing charges for a sex offense, do not delay! Contact the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. and obtain aggressive representation for your case. Dedicated and experienced, our Joliet criminal defense attorney can take swift and immediate steps to mitigate against any potential consequences you may be facing. Start by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 815-666-1285 today.


Illinois criminal defense attorneysWhile most people are aware that sex offenders must register, few really know what this means. They do not realize that it goes beyond simply having your name on a website that anyone can view. Several other restrictions are imposed. A sex offender cannot go within 500 feet of a school/daycare building or property, or near public parks. They must also report their internet activity and are banned from social media during parole, probation, and mandatory supervised releases.

Unconstitutional or a Necessary Evil?

Some might say such impositions are necessary to protect the public. Others believe the restrictions go too far and, in some cases, may be unconstitutional. For now, the law upholds all aspects of the sex offender laws as constitutional, including the mandatory reporting of all internet activity. Yet, as outlined in the following points, there are reasons to believe that both offenders and the public might benefit greatly from a more personalized criminal justice system.

The Truth About the Sex Offender Registry

Despite popular belief, you do not have to actually commit a sex offense to be forced to register as a sex offender. For example, one may be forced to register if they receive three counts of indecent exposure. One who is found guilty of luring a child to their car with sexual intent can also be forced to register. Yet, how do you truly prove intent? It is a slippery slope, to say the least.

It should also be noted that minors, who typically have a much lower recidivism rate than adults, can also be forced to register as sex offenders for things like date rape. At first thought, this might sound like an act worthy of criminal charges. Yet, when you consider two highly intoxicated teens who engaged in sexual acts, the lines begin to blur. Neither could legally give consent. Yet, if one presses charges on the other, the path of the “offending” party may be irrevocably altered.

Should All Offenders Be Treated Equally?

Sex offenders are viewed by society as deplorable human beings who prey on children and other vulnerable individuals. Yet, as previously evidenced, this is not always the case. So the implications for one who may not have committed a sexual act, or for one that has done so but not with intent, will receive the same treatment by the law as someone who has, in fact, committed the acts that most consider to be worthy of a sex offender status. They will also receive the same treatment from society, which is a response of fear and trepidation. Yet, in reality, this person may not be a threat at all. Could this be seen as an injustice, not just on the part of the offender, but also the community? Could it not be seen as fearmongering for little to no reason?

An individualized legal approach could protect those that have committed acts without intent as well as the community. Though, as clearly evidenced by the recent ruling from the Supreme Court, this approach is unlikely to ever be taken. As such, it is critical that anyone being charged with a sex crime contact experienced legal representation for their case.

Contact Our Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyers

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we recognize the fear and worry that defendants often experience when they are facing criminal charges for a sex crime. We give your case the respect and reverence it deserves. Our Joliet criminal defense lawyers will fight for your rights and pursue the most favorable outcome possible for your situation. Schedule your consultation with us by calling 815-666-1285 today.


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