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Defending Against Sexual Assault ChargesSexual assault charges can be fragile for prosecutors because of the nature of the evidence. The prosecution must prove that:

  • The defendant committed the sex act; and
  • The accuser did not consent to the act.

If the accuser cannot provide reliable testimony or physical evidence of the sexual assault, there is little chance that the case will end in a conviction. However, a skilled defense against sexual assault charges will not rely on the prosecution failing to prove its case. If you have been charged with sexual assault, your defense can be proactive in explaining your side of the case and finding holes in the prosecution’s evidence.

Physical Evidence

Part of a sexual assault case is establishing that the assault occurred and that the defendant was present at the time of the incident.

The prosecution will need witnesses or documents in order to confirm your location at the time of the incident. If you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged assault, you can provide your own witnesses or documents as proof.

Absent a witness to the alleged incident, your accuser must provide results from a medical examination to establish physical evidence of sexual assault. The examiner would have looked for signs of forced sexual activity by:

  • Documenting any injuries that the accuser has;
  • Checking for evidence of sexual intercourse; and
  • Collecting DNA samples from the accuser’s body or clothing.

Reliable Testimony

Proving sexual assault charges may depend on the testimony of the accuser and witnesses. Corroborating witness can lend credibility to your accuser’s account of the incident. Your defense can weaken the prosecution’s case by explaining that the accuser and witnesses:

  • Contradict each other in their accounts of the incident;
  • Have been inconsistent when explaining key details;
  • Have incentive to lie about the sexual assault; or
  • Have histories of being untrustworthy.

Presenting Yourself

A defendant’s appearance and actions during a sexual assault trial can influence the judge and jury. In what may come down to a “he said-she said” argument, the impression of your character will help others determine whether to trust your testimony. How not to behave may be as important as how you do behave:

  • Do not act combatively or defiantly. This may support your accuser’s depiction of you;
  • Determine your account of the incident early on and remain consistent when telling it; and
  • Be honest in your testimony, even if it embarrasses you. Being caught in a lie will cast doubt on your credibility.

Sexual Assault Defense

A conviction on sexual assault charges may result in prison time and inclusion on a sex offender list. A DuPage County criminal defense lawyer can protect you against false claims. Schedule an appointment with Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K11-1.20

Posted in Assualt & Battery, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Sex Crimes | Tagged , ,

Illinois criminal defense attorneyCriminal charges for kidnapping your own child might seem strange, but it is a reality that many loving, well-meaning parents have faced. In fact, Health Research Funding (HRF) indicates that nearly 204,000 children have been abducted by a family member; that family member is often a parent or legal guardian. Learn more about parental kidnapping charges in Illinois, including what you can do to protect yourself when facing such accusations.

What is Parental Kidnapping?

Parental kidnapping sounds like a heinous crime – like a parent abducted their child with malicious intent. This is not always the case. In fact, some cases involve parents who have exceeded their parenting time, either accidentally or for reasons beyond their control. Others have attempted to protect their child from an abusive partner. Some may take the child because they fear they are about to lose custody or visitation with their child in a contentious divorce. All these reasons are understandable, but it does not make the action any less illegal.

Understanding the Charges

Charges for parental kidnapping can be severe, especially if the parent was not supposed to be in contact with the child. Most often, this restricted contact is experienced in cases that involve abuse or neglect. However, charges do not always have to be severe. In situations where the parent simply refused to return the child (often seen in situations involving changes to parenting plans after a divorce or custody battle), the charges could be reduced to an interference with visitation. Situations involving abuse or neglect may also receive special considerations. Consequences of a conviction can vary greatly and are dependent upon the charges filed.

Obtaining Assistance with Your Case

Parents who are facing criminal charges for parental kidnapping should note that a reduction of charges depends greatly upon the details of the case, and failure to obtain a reduction of charges could result in serious consequences. Conviction could also affect your parental rights and privileges with the child in question. As such, it is highly recommended that parents seek experienced legal assistance with a parental kidnapping case.

Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, is committed to protecting your future and best interests. Backed by more than 25 years of legal experience, our Wheaton criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights. In every situation, we aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call our offices at 630-260-9647.

Sources:

http://www.winknews.com/2017/06/21/suspect-in-fort-myers-amber-alert-faces-criminal-charge/

http://healthresearchfunding.org/40-uncommon-parental-child-abduction-statistics/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K10-5

 

Posted in Criminal Law | Tagged , , , ,

Federal Drug Convictions Come With Harsher PenaltiesU.S. Attorney General Jess Sessions recently instructed federal prosecutors to use the maximum charges in drug cases. If prosecutors follow through on the mandate, it will further illustrate how federal drug charges can have greater consequences for defendants than state drug charges. While both Illinois and federal drug convictions can result in prison sentences, federal laws require mandatory prison time for many convictions.

Illinois Laws

Punishments for drug convictions in Illinois vary, depending on the substance, the quantity and whether there was an intent to deliver:

  • Marijuana possession is a misdemeanor if it is less than 10 grams or a first-time offense for not more than 30 grams. The penalty can be no greater than a year in jail.
  • A second offense for possessing more than 10 grams or first offense for possessing more than 30 grams is a felony, which can be as high as class 1, depending on the quantity. A class 1 felony for marijuana possession can result in four to 15 years in prison.
  • Manufacturing or distributing marijuana is a greater misdemeanor or felony than merely possessing the same amount. At worst, it is a class X felony, which can require six to 30 years in jail.
  • Possession of illegal drugs other than marijuana is a felony, with longer maximum prison sentences. For instance, possession of more than 900 grams of cocaine, heroin or morphine with an intent to deliver can result in as long as 60 years in prison.

While the punishment for Illinois drug convictions can include prison sentences, the court can sentence the offender to probation instead of prison, as long as the offense is no greater than a class 1 felony.

Federal Laws

Federal drug charges can be more severe than state charges because they generally involve the trafficking of drugs over state lines. While a conviction for any federal drug trafficking offense can result in prison time, the more severe charges have mandatory sentences, including:

  • A minimum five years for trafficking 100 to 999 kilograms of marijuana;
  • A minimum 10 years for trafficking 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana;
  • A minimum five years for trafficking smaller amounts of cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine or PCP; and
  • A minimum 10 years for trafficking larger amounts of those substances.

A second conviction of any of those offenses will double the minimum prison sentence.

Defending Against Charges

When prosecutors seek the maximum charges in all drug cases, non-violent offenders can receive mandatory prison sentences. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, is an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney who can contest your drug charges or negotiate with prosecutors for lesser charges. Schedule an appointment by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

https://federaldrugcharges.net/topics/difference-between-federal-and-state-drug-charges/

Posted in Criminal Law, Drug Crimes, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , , , ,