What’s the Statute of Limitations for Illinois Sex Crimes?


Like many other states, Illinois has different limitations based on the severity and nature of the offense. When facing criminal charges, it is necessary to clearly understand the statute of limitations.

This article will cover the statute of limitations for sex crimes in Illinois, the changes in the law, and its implications. So, you can better manage sex crime accusations and obtain proper legal representation by learning firsthand from the best.

What is the statute of limitation?

The law establishes a deadline for prosecuting specific offenses, known as a criminal statute of limitations. If the violation has not been charged or prosecuted after a particular time, the accused individual cannot get charged with that crime.

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault and Criminal Sexual Assault

For serious sex crimes such as aggravated criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual assault, the statute of limitations in Illinois is generally set at ten years.

However, it is essential to note that DNA evidence can extend this limitation. If DNA evidence becomes discovered within ten years of the offense, the prosecution has an additional ten years from the date of the discovery to file charges.

Other Sex Crimes

For lesser sexual offenses such as sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and indecent solicitation of a child, the statute of limitations is around ten years. Similarly, if DNA evidence emerges within this period, the prosecution has an additional ten years from the date of discovery to pursue charges.

The Impact of the 2017 Law Change 

In the past, sex crimes in Illinois were subject to different statutes of limitations. However, the law underwent significant changes in 2017 and took full effect in 2020.

Today, Illinois has abolished the statute of limitations for all sex crimes. This means that regardless of the time that has elapsed since the offense got committed, you can still face criminal charges and potential consequences.

Challenges for Pre-2017 Offenses

While the new law eliminates the statute of limitations for sex crimes, it does not apply to offenses committed before 2017.

For sex crimes against adults, the applicable statute of limitations depends on whether the act occurred before or after the law’s implementation. Consequently, understanding the offense’s timing is crucial to determining the relevant legal provisions.

Penalties for Illinois Sex Crime Charges

The penalties for sex crimes in Illinois vary based on the severity of the offense and its classification as a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor sex crimes can result in a jail sentence of up to one year. At the same time, felony charges like sexual abuse may lead to imprisonment for four to 15 years.

Previous convictions or offenses involving victims under 18 may result in enhanced sentences. Additionally, certain sex offenses mandate sex offender registration, which can have bad social implications.

Seeking Legal Counsel 

If you face sex crime charges in Illinois, seeking immediate assistance from an experienced legal professional is imperative. Our skilled attorneys will evaluate your case, provide valuable advice, and lead you through the legal process. Remember, being charged does not mean a conviction; a strong defense is essential in protecting your rights and ensuring a favorable ruling.

In conclusion, now that you are informed of these limitations if you feel you are being wrongfully accused or know someone who is a victim, reach out to us so we can ensure that justice gets sought within the legal boundaries.

Contact Franks, Kelly, Matuszewich, and Andrle Attorneys at Law for help with your case today.