Recently I wrote a blog post about Simple Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child. One thing I did not talk about was the possibility of being sentenced to life imprisonment if you were previously convicted of certain sex crimes.
Under the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, if you have previously been convicted of certain crimes and are then convicted of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child, then you will face life imprisonment as your sentence. To face life imprisonment, you must be eighteen years old or older at the time the crime was committed; if you are under the age of eighteen, your sentence will be determined by the judge's consideration of a long list of factors under another statute. In addition, the subsequent crime must have been committed after your conviction of the first crime; in other words, you won't be automatically sentenced to life imprisonment if you have two counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child relating to one incident. If you have previously been convicted of one of the following crimes and are subsequently convicted of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault, then you must be sentenced to life imprisonment: Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child, Criminal Sexual Assault, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, or any crime under the law of any state that is substantially equivalent to any of the crimes listed above.
The best way to prevent life imprisonment is to avoid having convictions in the first place. For example, let's say that you were previously convicted of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child. If you successfully defend against a subsequent charge of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child, then you will not have the subsequent conviction needed in order to limit your sentence to life imprisonment. There are a number of ways to defend against a charge of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child. If the victim is above the age of thirteen, then you cannot be convicted of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child (though you may be convicted of another crime). In addition, if we can show that there was no sexual contact of sex organs or anus or any act of sexual penetration between you and the victim, then you cannot be convicted of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault. We can also argue that whatever sexual contact short of sexual penetration occurred, the purpose for such contact was not for sexual gratification or arousal of you or the victim and therefore the act does not fit within the definition of the crime. Finally, child witnesses can often be unreliable as they can misremember an event and a good defense attorney will explore this possibility.
If you are accused of a sex crime, you will want an attorney with years of experience handling cases just like yours. Contact the skilled attorneys at John W. Callahan, Ltd. if you want an attorney who will fight to bring you the result you want.
–Posted by John W. Callahan, criminal attorney
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