Friday, July 23, 2021

CAN YOU BE CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE CRIMES BASED ON ONE ACT?

The answer is yes, provided each offense contains at least one element that differs from your other offense(s).

Under the one-act, one-crime rule, you may not be convicted of multiple offenses based on precisely the same single physical act. To determine if a one-act, one-crime violation has occurred, the court looks at 1) whether your conduct consisted of a single physical act or separate acts, and 2) whether any single act formed the basis for separate but lesser-included offenses.

In People v. McCloud, the defendant abducted and sexually assaulted a woman off the street. The court found that within that one event, defendant had performed multiple acts. First, defendant forced the victim into an abandoned house, which supported a conviction for unlawful restraint. Then, Defendant grabbed the victim’s breast, which supported a conviction for criminal sexual abuse. Finally, the victim nearly escaped several times only to be recaptured and touched or penetrated by defendant. This touching in an insulting nature supported a separate conviction for battery.

However, in People v. Reveles-Cordova, the court reversed the defendant’s conviction for criminal sexual assault because all the elements of that offense were contained within the offense of home invasion. Therefore, the defendant could not be convicted of both.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Can your act be broken into multiple crimes or did the state “overcharge” you? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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