What Are The Defense Strategies Utilized In Sex Crime Cases?
You have situations like that where you have hard graphic evidence, and then along with a confession and a multitude of eyewitnesses, sometimes it is a hopeless case, and the vast majority of prosecutors you ask out there have very little compassion for sex offenders. If we have a situation where with today everybody having a smartphone, and able to record information online with social media, sometimes the biggest detriment to my client is not only the fact that my client was engaged in this type of activity, but then he decided to post it online, or save it on his phone.
They have a lot more compassion for other types of criminalities, but when it comes to sex offenders in particular, people who abuse young children, there is little to no compassion at all. To answer your question, in situations like that, what type of defense strategies do we have? Sometimes you do not have a defense strategy. Sometimes the evidence is so overwhelming on your client, that you are essentially in a siege mentality at that point in time. You have to find some sort of mitigation, and try to minimize the overall damage against our client. Now, that is an extreme. I have handled many cases where my clients say this did not happen.
There are situations I have dealt with in the past relating to child custody. A husband and wife go for custody, and all of a sudden, and an allegation is made. Usually, it is from the wife, although it can come from the husband, or a stepfather is sexually abusing the kids, and my client comes to me and says this is nonsense. This is all a ploy, because we are in a custody dispute now, and because she wants money from me. In situations like that, understand that the main strategy that you are going to use is what does the state have? Can the state prove your client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Is there an alibi? Was your client not there? Is there any motive for the other person to lie?
In situations like that, it is going to be her word versus yours. There is not going to be any independent information, or evidence. There is not going to be a video, and there is not going to be any type of witnesses who can corroborate, or backup the allegations that you sexually molested, or assaulted a child, or for that matter anyone else. It is your word versus theirs. Is there a motive behind that? If there is a custody dispute, it is a motive for one party to lie about the other. If it is a monetary dispute, there is a motive for the other person to make up this type of information. Everything depends on the facts in the case, and the circumstances around the allegations itself. There is not one size fits all type of defenses.
What Are The Long Term Collateral Consequences Of A Sex Crime Conviction?
There are a bunch of poor possibilities, and bad endings to being convicted of a sex offense. Right off the bat, you are now labelled as a sex offender. In addition, depending on the severity of the case, you are going to county jail for up to a year or the penitentiary for several years. Sometimes they will not call it a life sentence, because there is no life sentence for a sex offense, but you can possibly do hundreds of years, I mean, anyway you look at it that is a life sentence. That is all dependent on how many individual sex acts have occurred.
If you have one sex act, which is punishable by up to thirty years in prison, and if you perform the same act a hundred times, you could conceivably get thousands of years in the penitentiary. Each offense is a second offense, or a second penalty, and they run consecutively. They do not merge them all together. So, if you are sentenced to eight years for four offenses that is thirty-two years. They do not merge it all into one concurrent consecutive year. The biggest issue is, am I going to prison, or am I going to jail? The second issue is whether it will be a misdemeanor, or will it be a felony charge? If it is a felony charge, than you must register as a sex offender, in your local jurisdiction. For some offenses, you have to register for ten years.
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For other offenses, those of course being the more serious ones, it is a lifetime registration. Once again, you do something when you are younger, you might go to jail for six months or two years, you might not even go to jail at all, but if you are required to register as a sex offender for years, or lifetime, everybody knows about it. Your employers are going to know about that, because it is going to show up on a background check. They will see that you have that sex offense conviction. This is what we are dealing with. We are dealing with incarceration, and with registering as a sex offender. With incarceration, there are some offenses where you have to serve the vast majority of the crime that you are sent to prison for.
Under Illinois law, the general rule is that if you go on a general felony type of case, you receive day-to-day credit, which means you get two years in prison, you are out in a year, but there are certain sex offenses where you must serve eighty-five percent of the sentence. If you are sentenced to one year, or better, yet you are sentenced to ten years, you have to serve eight and a half years, you do not serve five years, or fifty percent, or day for day. There are many bad possibilities when you are dealing with a sex offense crime.
The Benefits Of Hiring An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney To Handle A Criminal Case
The benefit is you want to hire a highly qualified criminal defense attorney, who has experience in the local jurisdictions where the case is tried. You could have the best attorney in the world, but if he is from another jurisdiction, and does not know the judges, or the prosecutors, and procedures, that is not nearly as effective. When you come into my office, it does not matter if you are coming in for a DUI charge, a sex offense, or a drug offense, I have three options for your case.
The first option is to see whether I can work it out with the prosecutor. If I do not like the position the prosecutor is taking, the second option is to go directly to the judge, and see what a judge will give us that the prosecutor will not. The third option is that if I feel that the state cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, then I can say forget you prosecutor, forget you judge. The third option is I want a trial. If I want a trial, I can elect to have it by either a judge, or a jury. The judge makes his decision beyond a reasonable doubt, or the jury makes their decision beyond a reasonable doubt.
As you can see, those are the three general options I have available. You want an attorney who knows the prosecutor. That is option, because he knows which prosecutor to go to, he knows what the prosecutor will offer, and they have a rapport with each other. Another option is going to the judge. He knows the judge. He has been in front of the judge for many years, and he knows what the judge will give on certain cases, and what the judge will not give. He has built up a rapport with the judge. The third option, once again, if you want to do a trial in front of a judge, once again you have that relationship with the judge. It is only when you are doing a trial in front of a jury where those relationships mean nothing, because the trier of fact, that being twelve people, do not know whether you are from Waukegan, IL., which is my location, or whether you are from Nashville, TN., short of possibly the accent.
Those relationships you have built up are irrelevant at a jury trial. It is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of cases do not go to trial. For example, I would say that for every ten cases that a person is arrested, and prosecuted, well less than one percent of them ever go to trial, which means that ninety percent of them do not end up in trial. That is where the relationships come into play. The first thing I tell people is that yes, I would love to have their business, and I would love to take care of you, but if you are not going to hire me, make sure that you know somebody, or hire somebody who is very familiar with this location, and this type of criminal defense. Once again, it does you no good to have the best person in the world. It is not nearly as effective to have the most talented attorney in the world who knows nothing about this local jurisdiction.
For more information on Defense Strategies For Sex Offenses, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (847) 623-2424 today.
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