Our client was charged with the offenses of Possession of Child Pornography and Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography. Our client was charged with a total of 34 counts between the two offenses. Specifically, he was accused of downloading multiple images and videos depicting pornographic images of children under the age of 18 years old and under the age of 13 years old. To also make the accusations more serious in nature, our client who was a First responder was accused of downloading the images and videos while on duty.
Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography is a Class X Felony. Possession of Child Pornography can either be a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 Felony depending on the nature of the alleged image and whether the image is a video or a picture. Both types of possession charges are also subject to mandatory consecutive sentencing. Mandatory consecutive sentencing is a form of sentencing that requires an individual who either pleads guilty or is found guilty on two or more counts of this type of charge to serve a sentence on each count consecutive to each other. This basically means the sentences on each count follow one another. The client must serve 50% of his sentence before being placed on MSR (Mandatory Supervised Release) formerly known as parole.
The counts are broken down as follows:
- 14 Counts of Aggravated Child Pornography-Class X: 6-30 Years
- 1 Count of Possession of Child Pornography-Class 1: 4-15 Years
- 16 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography-Class 2: 3-7 Years
- 3 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography-Class 3: 2-5 Years
Our client, fearful of the potential life sentence these charges carried, hired Wigell Criminal Defense to represent him in his case. The prosecutor in this matter came to the attorneys of Wigell Criminal Defense and made an offer which would require the client to spend a significant amount of time in prison. The prosecutor also wanted the client to plead guilty to a charge that would not allow the client to received credit for time served on EHM (Electronic Home Monitoring).
When an individual is placed on EHM, also known as house arrest, there are some instances where an individual can receive credit for time served as they would be considered “in custody” for those purposes. However, there are instances where an individual would not receive credit for time served on house arrest. In this instance, the client was not eligible for credit for time served under the State’s current offer due to the State seeking the client to plead guilty to one of the Class X counts.
The prosecutor was maintaining the position that the client needed to do significant time in IDOC due to the nature of the offenses and that they were committed while client was working as a First responder.
The attorneys at Wigell Criminal Defense then engaged in aggressive negotiations of the State. The aggressive negotiations included pointing out the weaknesses of the State’s case and potential ramifications of proceeding to trial.
After taking into consideration the position of the attorneys of Wigell Criminal Defense, the State acquiesced and agreed to an offer that allowed the client to receive time served on a class 2 charge of possession of child pornography which resulted in the client having to spend less than 6 months in prison.
The client was happy that an excellent result was achieved under the circumstances. The client was relieved that he would finally be able to leave house arrest and serve a short prison sentence. He was relieved that he could finally put this situation behind him and move on with his life.