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Understanding Internet Sex Crime ChargesA sex crime conviction can result in devastating punishments that follow you for the rest of your life. Besides prison time and fines, you may be required to publicly register as a sex offender. Even the accusation of a sex crime may be enough to ruin your reputation. The growth of the internet has increased the ways people can be accused of sex crimes, and the digital trail left on a computer makes it easier to gather evidence. There are several types of internet-related sex crimes you can be charged with.

Child Pornography

The possession of child pornographic materials is a serious offense. Illinois law defines child pornography as:

  • Any visual medium, including videos and pictures;
  • Involving someone younger than 18 or with a severe mental disability; and
  • Depicting nudity or a sexual act, either actual or simulated.

Because of the ability to communicate and share media using the internet, child pornography possession charges originating from a computer can lead to additional charges of distribution of child pornography and exploiting children. Minors can also be charged with child pornography possession and distribution if they are sexting, the process of sending sexually explicit images of themselves using a messaging application.

The most common defenses against child pornography charges include:

  • The defendant reasonably believed that the subject was at least 18 years old or did not have a severe mental disability; or
  • The defendant did not voluntarily receive the materials and did not have enough time to dispose of them.

Child Exploitation

A person can be charged with sexual exploitation of child if he or she:

  • Engages in or solicits a sexual act with a child;
  • Exposes him or herself to a child; or
  • Coerces a child into exposing him or herself.

Exploitation can occur in person or virtually if there is a visual element, such as a web cam. Again, one of the most common defenses is that the defendant could not have reasonably know that the other party was a child.

Prostitution

Police are aware of many of the websites prostitutes use to solicit customers and will set up sting operations on those sites. A police officer may pose as a prostitute or customer in order to catch offenders. Police often wait until they meet the offender in person before they make an arrest, but soliciting prostitution and making arrangements online is enough to charge someone. If charged, a defendant can sometimes argue that police used illegal tactics such as entrapment during the sting.

Fighting Sex Crime Charges

If you have been accused of committing a sexual offense, you need a DuPage County sex crime defense attorney to represent you. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has the experience as a criminal defense lawyer to help you with your case. Schedule an consultation by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K11-20.1.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K11-9.1

Posted in Child Pornography, Computer Crimes, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Sex Crimes | Tagged , , , ,

Cook County expungement attorneyHaving an arrest on your record is more than just embarrassing; it can impact your ability to find employment and housing. Expunging your record can help you work around these issues and may even give you an opportunity to pursue an overall better quality of life. Learn more about record expungement, including how to determine if you qualify, how to take the first step, and where to find help.

Do You Qualify?

Not everyone qualifies for expungement. To be eligible for expungement, you may not have any pending charges against you. Additionally, the disposition of your case must read:

  • Acquittal (Finding of Not Guilty);
  • NP (Nolle Prosequi);
  • Dismissal;
  • Supervision (successfully completed);
  • FNPC (Finding of No Probable Cause); or
  • SOL (Stricken with Leave.

Further, your case may not include a disposition with any of the following:

  • A ruling for probation (unless 710, 1410, Section 10, 40-10, Section 410, 40-10, or TASC);
  • Conditional Discharge;
  • Jail or DOC Time;
  • Conditional Discharge;
  • Fine (absent of the term Supervision;
  • Time Served; or
  • Found guilty by a judge or jury (absent of the term Supervision).

In other words, you may not have been convicted of your charges. (Note that honorably charged veterans may still be eligible if convicted of a non-violent, non-sexual, non-gun related Class 3 or Class 4 felony.)

Individuals who do not qualify for expungement may still qualify for record sealing. Though it does not remove the conviction from your record entirely, it does limit who can see it. For example, most employers would not know you have a criminal record by doing a background check, but some agencies might still have access. Examples include employers in the healthcare industry, government organizations (postal workers), and employers in the service industry (firefighters).

Pursuing an Expungement of Your Record

While an attorney is not necessary for an expungement of your record, the process is highly complex. It is also littered with hidden minefields that could result in a denial of your request. An attorney can help you navigate around them and may increase your chances of a positive outcome. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has more than 25 years of experience in the criminal defense arena. Committed to your future and best interests, our Wheaton expungement lawyer always pursues the most favorable outcome possible. Learn more by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call us at 630-260-9647 today.

Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has more than 25 years of experience in the criminal defense arena. Committed to your future and best interests, our Wheaton expungement lawyer will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Learn more about how we can help with your expungement. Call 630-260-9647 and schedule your personalized consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Documents/Crinminal%20Exp%20Guide/DoIQualifytoExpungeorSeal.pdf

Posted in Expungement | Tagged , , , ,

Illinois Enacts New Law to Assist in Reducing Prison Population, criminal defense, DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, Illinois law, prison populationX rehabilitationThe Governor of Illinois recently signed into law Senate Bill 2872 which should assist in reducing the state’s prison population, as well as implement programs to help make communities safer. Referred to as the Neighborhood Safety Act, the new law also includes recommendations offered by the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.

The state has recently enacted several criminal justice reform laws which all aim to reduce Illinois prison population by 25 percent by the year 2025. The Neighborhood Safety Act will help reach this goal by giving the courts more discretion when it comes to sentencing. Judges will now be able to sentence convicted defendants to probation instead of jail or prison when they feel the circumstances warrant that sentence.

There will also be more rehabilitative programs made available to inmates, such as life skills training, substance abuse programs, and career training. Supporters of the new law noted that many offenders are released from prison in worse shape than when they entered, often leading to a cycle of recidivism. Giving inmates the tools to successfully reenter society so they do not return to criminal activity will help decrease the prison population.

The new law also addresses help for victims of violent crime, especially children who have either been victims themselves or have witnessed violent acts. There will be trauma recovery centers established in the state, particularly in those communities which have high rates of violent crime. Studies have shown that victims who suffer from untreated trauma often turn to violence themselves.

The new law received high praises from criminal justice advocates for the way it addresses the need to break the cycle of criminal acts, as well as addressing the needs of both the victims and offenders. Last year, in a survey conducted by the Alliance for Safety and Justice, seven out of every 10 victims of crime said they preferred a more balanced approach to criminal justice reform. The majority said there should be more focus on prevention and rehabilitation, as well helping victims recover from the trauma they have suffered. The president of the organization said this new bill accomplishes all of that.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, it is critical for your future to contact a skilled DuPage County criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Stephen A. Brundage has been practicing law in Illinois for more than 25 years and can evaluate the case against you and assist you in determining how to proceed. Attorney Brundage is committed to aggressively advocating for each of his clients to effectively resolve the legal issues they may be facing. Call 630-260-9647 today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Source:

http://www.ourquadcities.com/news/rauner-signs-neighborhood-safety-act-into-law/669981019

Posted in Criminal Law | Tagged , , , ,