A Chicago Sex Crimes Attorney Can Help You Defend Your Future
If you or someone you love has been accused of a sex crime in Illinois, there is a lot at stake.
These types of charges come with lengthy prison sentences, expensive fines, and personal shame and embarrassment. As bad as those penalties are, there's something worse: the Sex Offender Registry.
Most sex crimes in our state require that you become a registered sex offender, and even after you serve your time, this is something that can severely impact your life. Sex offenders often have trouble securing jobs, finding housing that meets registry restrictions, and have to live with a damaging stigma forever.
Howard J. Wise understands just how damaging these penalties can be, because he has seen it from both sides. He started his career as a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney, prosecuting the accused for the state. Working in this position, he gained a strong understanding of how prosecutors think and what kinds of tactics are used. When he became a Chicago defense attorney more than 18 years ago, he brought this knowledge with him and has used it to get the best possible outcome for all kinds of clients.
Where sex crimes are concerned, this means coming up with a strategy that can poke holes in the prosecution's case and get your charges reduced or even dropped altogether. It is vital to aggressively fight back and defend your innocence with strong evidence, because with sex crimes, even an allegation can cause quite a bit of harm.
You need a lawyer who understands how to refute prosecutors' claims and protect your reputation while making sure that your rights are not being violated. When you decide to work with Howard J. Wise, he will use all of the resources at his disposal to craft a personalized strategy for your defense. And he'll ensure you understand your options and what you are facing at every stage of the process.
Types of Illinois Sex Crimes a Chicago Criminal Lawyer Can Defend
There is no charge for “sex crimes” in Chicago or surrounding areas. Instead, it is a blanket term that covers many different illegal sexual acts. Howard J. Wise has experience helping clients with all kinds of sex crime charges, including:
Sexual battery. It is illegal in Illinois for anyone to fondle another person or commit a sex act against them either by force or when they are unable to give their consent. This type of contact typically does not involve sexual penetration, but may include touching someone else (or forcing them to touch you) in a sexual manner. This is also known in Illinois as criminal sexual abuse.
- Rape. Defined as criminal sexual assault under state law, rape involves sexually penetrating another person without their consent. There are a number of things that may prevent consent, including when threats or physical force are used, when the victim is unable to understand the act, and when the victim is under 18 and either related to the defendant or the defendant is in a supervisory or trusted position.
- Statutory rape. This type of offense occurs when an adult engages in consensual sexual activity with a minor. There are some exceptions made for people who are close in age if one is over the age of 18.
- Prostitution. It is illegal in our state for anyone to perform any kind of sexual act in return for money or anything else of value. For example, sleeping with your landlord as “payment” for your rent is a kind of prostitution even if you don't get actual money for the act.
- Solicitation of prostitution. If you offer another person something of value in exchange for them performing a sexual act for you, this is an illegal act called solicitation. Using the above example, the landlord would be guilty of this crime for taking sex from his or her tenant as “payment.”
- Soliciting a minor. Also known as child enticement, this crime involves attempting to lure a child to participate in sexual activity. It doesn't matter if the defendant is successful or even if the person they are attempting to lure is actually a child. If they believe they are interacting with a minor, it is a crime.
- Molestation. Child molestation covers a number of sexual offenses. Essentially, anyone who commits a sexual offense against a child or allows a sexual offense to be committed can be held guilty of molestation.
- Indecent exposure. Anyone who engages in sexual conduct in a public place or exposes their body in a lewd manner can be charged with indecent exposure. Most people don't realize how broad this definition is, however. There have been cases in the past where people were charged with indecent exposure for urinating in public or even breastfeeding.
As mentioned above, these charges are all serious. Even accidental or incidental public indecency is charged as a Class A misdemeanor that can include a year of jail time. Most sex crimes, though, are charged as felonies, with many defined as Class 1 or even Class X felonies – the most serious class.
Get Your Life Back on Track with a Knowledgeable Chicago Sex Crimes Lawyer
Being accused of a sex crime can leave you feeling shocked, scared, and ashamed. You may worry about how others are going to look at you – even if you know that you are not guilty. Sometimes, these feelings can turn into a kind of paralysis where defendants do not fight back because they just don't understand how to do it or think it will do any good.
You cannot allow yourself to fall into this trap. There are many ways that a skilled, experienced lawyer like Howard J. Wise can defend you and restore your reputation. With his long experience on both sides of the aisle, he knows how to broker favorable deals with prosecutors that can keep you from having to go to trial.
But if he believes you can get a better outcome by having your case argued in front of a jury or judge, he won't hesitate to do it. There's a reason he has a 10/10 rating on Avvo – Chicagoans trust Howard J. Wise.