When you are accused of a sex crime in Cook County or anywhere throughout Illinois, the consequences can have a more lasting impact than other serious charges, including many crimes of violence. Sex offenses carry a stigma that can be experienced even if you are merely subject to a false allegation, while a conviction can trigger a requirement of lifetime registration as a sex offender. Conviction of an Illinois sex offense such as rape, child molestation, child pornography or other sex offenses may cause permanent and irreversible damage to your reputation, lengthy terms in county jail or state prison and other forms of punishment. The lifetime registration requirement may impose restrictions on where you can live, work and travel.The Potential Life Altering Impact of a Chicago Sex Crime Charge
Individuals accused of sex crimes are often portrayed as morally reprehensible individuals who lead double lives and who are not entitled to Constitutional protections and the rights available to other citizens in the U.S. Tragically, even a false allegation can cause lasting damage to one’s reputation and haunt one far in the future so it is important to aggressively challenge such allegations. Many alleged sex offenses are the product of disgruntled former spouses or other intimate partners seeking to gain an advantage in a child custody case or divorce. In other cases, sex crime accusations are initiated by unethical or unstable individuals that accuse a family member, teacher, neighbor or other person they do not like of this type of serious criminal offense.The Burden of Lifetime Registration as a Sex Offender in Illinois
There are few consequences of a sex crime that are more chilling than the potential requirement that you submit to lifetime registration as a sex offender. This list of convicted sex offenders is published online so that it can potentially destroy every aspect of your future including personal relationships, employment opportunities and even your ability to live quietly in a community without harassment. The scope of the information made available about you on this registry includes tattoos, scars, physical description, pictures and outstanding warrants. Many communities are passing laws essentially punishing those who are registered sex offenders from living virtually anywhere so that they are essentially banished. This can make it virtually impossible to effectively rebuild one’s life even after fully serving one’s sentence and successful completion of all the terms and conditions of an individual’s probation.Aggressive Representation to Protect Your Reputation & Future in the Face of Sex Crime Allegations
Experienced Chicago sex crimes attorney David L. Freidberg understands the unique impact that a sex crime can have on one’s future. His more than 20 years of legal experience includes successful defense of many people accused of sex crimes. Mr. Freidberg aggressively challenges the credibility of witnesses, analyzes forensic evidence, conducts independent evaluation of DNA evidence, investigates motivations for witnesses to lie and otherwise aggressively asserts all potential defenses based on law enforcement procedures and the factual evidence. Mr. Freidberg is qualified to handle the full spectrum of sex crimes under Illinois and federal law, including but not limited to the following:
- Prostitution 720 ILCS 5/11-14
- Forcible Rape
- Indecent Solicitation of a Child 720 ILCS 5/11-6
- Possession of Child Pornography 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1
- Indecent Exposure
- Aggravated Sexual Battery
- Statutory Rape or Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40
- Internet Sexual Solicitation
- Criminal Sexual Abuse 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50
- Creating and Distributing Child Pornography
- Criminal Sexual Assault 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20
- Sex Offender Registration
- Solicitation of Prostitution
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
If you are accused of Chicago sex crimes like these or others, you should immediately refuse to discuss your case with law enforcement or the prosecutor and assert you right to have a Cook County sex crimes attorney present during any questioning. Because of the stigma and lingering impact of a sex crime allegation, it is advisable to seek legal representation early so that we can attempt to prevent formal charges from even being filed. We may persuade the prosecutor not to file sex crime charges under Illinois law through a variety of strategies that include:
Seeking Suppression of Evidence : If you are charged with a criminal offense like possession of internet child pornography, we may be able to have the information obtained from your desktop computer, laptop or office computer excluded from the case because the search that resulted in the discovery and seizure of your computer violated the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable search and seizures.
Exposing Entrapment or Other Police Misconduct : When suspects are arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute or enticement of a minor on the Internet, this is often accomplished by an undercover officer posing as an escort or underage child. While the law of entrapment is complex, you may have never even contemplated engaging in this type of activity until you were unjustifiably pushed by the decoy. Mr. Freidberg carefully investigates law enforcement tactics in criminal cases to expose overzealous and illegal tactics.
Revealing Motivations to Lie : Many times sex crime allegations are more likely the product of an alternate agenda like obtaining an advantage in a family law dispute or “buyer’s remorse” than an actual assault. We interview witnesses, talk with our client and investigate surrounding circumstances that may create an incentive to fabricate charges of sex crimes in Chicago.
Re-Examining DNA & Forensic Evidence : Charges of rape and other sexual assaults under Illinois law often are based on DNA evidence and other forms of physical evidence. We routinely challenge the protocols, procedures and results of the government laboratory and conduct independent testing to expose cross-contamination and other potential problems that may distort the reliability of the results.
Challenging Eyewitness Testimony : The key evidence in many sex crimes is eyewitness identification by the complaining witness or other witnesses in the vicinity. However, the environments in which many sex crimes occur are extremely dark. The complaining witness also typically will be agitated and distressed so that his or her perception is distorted. Even under optimum conditions, eyewitness identifications are frequently mistaken, but when the factors of poor lighting and stress are added, the testimony may be highly suspect.
Because we know that a conviction of a sex crime can have a negative impact on every aspect of your life, Mr. Freidberg is diligent about aggressively asserting the rights of the criminally accused and challenging the probative value and reliability of physical evidence and witness testimony. While our goal is to intervene early to try to compromise the prosecutor’s cases and prevent the filing of Chicago sex offense charges, we aggressively pursue dismissal or acquittal of such charges when they are filed. Where this possibility is unrealistic, Mr. Freidberg aggressively pursues the best possible reduction in charges for his client with the goal of keeping his client out of jail/prison and avoiding the requirement of mandatory registration as a sex offender. We offer an absolutely confidential consultation so that we can explain your rights and discuss your options. We invite you to contact us at 312-560-7100 or email us to learn how we can help.