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How Is A Sex Charge Determined To Be A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?


It depends on what the act is. For instance, for the lowest charge, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, there are two different definitions. One is sexual contact, and the other is sexual penetration. For contact you can have sexual contact with someone, such as grabbing the genitalia of someone else without permission. It’s also very similar to a misdemeanor battery of an offensive nature, such as offensive touching, where you come up and grab someone’s butt. If they think you grabbed underneath the butt, closer to the vagina, then that could be termed criminal sexual abuse. Actually, if you’re trying to grab the anus of the person, not just the ass, that is also a misdemeanor. It could be a misdemeanor of an offensive nature contact, or it could be criminal sexual abuse, and one triggers 10 years of registration, and one doesn’t.

Every different type of charge has different elements to it. So that’s the least amount. You go up on the other end of the spectrum with a predatory criminal sexual assault where someone is following someone and rapes them. Those are class X felonies, with penalties of six to 30 years. There are other cases where again, you have sex with someone, and they did not have the capacity to give consent, so therefore it was against their will and is the same as rape. It used to be called rape; now it’s aggravated criminal sexual assault, or predatory criminal sexual assault, which are both class X felonies.

There are a lot of different variations, but sexual penetration can just be with a finger; it doesn’t have to be with a penis and doesn’t mean you have to have full on sex. You could have someone who, for example, puts a finger into the girl’s vagina. That’s sexual penetration. The same thing goes for your mouth. If your mouth goes on either area, that’s also considered penetration, which puts you into the big leagues where all of a sudden there are prison terms and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Do Problems Arise When Someone Is Dating A Minor At School?

It happens. Sometimes there’s a little more of an age factor involved. For instance, let’s say a 17-year-old is trying to date a 13-year-old. Both parties may be okay with the arrangement, but according to Illinois law, she doesn’t have the ability to give consent. So that’s the problem.

Can You Briefly Describe The Stigma Associated With Sexual Offenses In Illinois?

If the neighborhood finds out or their town finds out, the publicity may become a problem. Everybody nowadays presumes that whatever they see on Facebook or on the news has some validity to it, whether there is the presumption of innocence or not. If it says you’ve been charged with a sex offense or allegedly posted bond as a sex offender, what do you think the public’s going to think? They’re going to label you as a sex offender regardless. They probably won’t even remember the date if you’re found not guilty, six months, nine months or 12 months down the line.

Obviously, you don’t want to get into trouble to begin with, but it’s that initial controversy that can cause all the problems, regardless of the outcome. Hopefully, they’re more concerned with the outcome, and sometimes, if the charges are nullified, you can tell everybody, but still, once that pink elephant’s walked into the room, it’s pretty hard to forget about it. Once you admit you were charged with a sex offense but were not found guilty, people are still going to look at you askance. That’s most likely.

Is It Easy To Defend A Sex Crime Case Involving Alcohol And Drugs?

No, it’s just another factor. Whenever you’re at trial, the things that make decisions for the jury easy are the credibility of the witnesses. You get up there and look clear, concise, intelligent and absolutely truthful, compared to someone who doesn’t remember the situation due to significant alcohol intake. Credibility is always an issue. You have to find witnesses who are credible when presenting their story to a jury; and if drugs or alcohol are involved, then it clouds the picture.

It can cloud it both ways. It can cloud the prosecution’s claim by casting a shadow over the complainant’s recollection of what really took place or if the person who was actually committing the act was under the influence, which is not a defense. There really is no such thing as a voluntary intoxication or drug defense. You can’t say, “I was so out of it that I wasn’t criminally responsible for it.” There used to be a legally insane defense. But to have a voluntary intoxication defense, you would literally have to be out cold, without even the ability to respond to anything. There really is no legal voluntary intoxication defense anymore. There used to be but no more.

If you suffer an epileptic seizure and your foot kicks something that starts a horrific chain of events, of course, you’re not accountable for that. You were having a seizure. You didn’t know what you were doing. In any of these criminal offenses, there has to be a knowing element or an intentional element to make you responsible for it; otherwise, it wouldn’t be very fair.

For more information on Misdemeanor & Felony Sex Crimes, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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