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Sex cases are very different from other types of criminal charges.  Because of this, we feel that it is important that prospective clients know about these differences from the beginning -- prior to choosing a lawyer.  This information is intended to be a brief summary, and in order to fully understand the ramifications of your being investigated or charged with a sex offense we strongly urge you to make an appointment for a free initial consultation with our attorneys as early as possible in the process.
The Lake County State's Attorney's office and all other northern Illinois prosecuting agencies treat these cases with special care and devote extraordinary resources to the investigation and prosecution of these cases.  In Lake, DuPage, Cook and Will Counties, that includes a special investigating agency run by the State's Attorney's office.  Steve McCollum was the supervisor in charge of charging cases and handling Grand Jury investigations in the Lake County State's Attorney's office when the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center was started and later as Chief Deputy State's Attorney he oversaw the Advocacy Center's activities in investigations and the subsequent prosecution of these cases.  
There are many types of sex charges with can result from allegations against adults or juveniles investigated for sexual assault, sexual conduct with a child, or possession of pictures of minors.  They include the various forms of Criminal Sexual Abuse and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, Criminal Sexual Assault and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, Child Pornography, and many other offenses.  There is an extensive number of statutes devoted to these types of charges, and statutes designed to make it easier to prosecute these charges in the Code of Criminal Procedure.  Conviction for any of these offenses can result in extensive incarceration and public registration for life as a sexual offender.
If you are charged with one of these offenses, you should have an attorney immediately before speaking with anyone about the allegations.  Your choice of attorney is the most critical decision you can make in determining the rest of your life.  In addition to possible extended period of incarceration in prison and registration and exposure on the internet for life as a sex offender, these charges will also result in exposure to repeated harassment by the police and other persons, loss of the right to drive, and loss of the ability to maintain employment.  
An attorney with experience with the court system, and especially experience with defending this particular type of charge, is essential to protect you from these consequences. To be successful your attorney must have the knowledge and expertise that only comes from years of prosecuting and defending these charges.
Steve McCollum, as the former Chief Deputy State's Attorney for Lake County, Illinois, and Daniel Hodgkinson as a former trial prosecutor in the Lake County State's Attorney's office have had experience in prosecuting these cases.  That experience includes the knowledge of how and by whom these cases are investigated, reviewed and prosecuted.  Steve McCollum handled the highest level of these cases while a prosecutor.  Steve McCollum and Dan Hodgkinson have defended many, many more of these cases as defense attorneys.  As this is being written McCollum Hodgkinson, PC has many pending sex cases in adult and juvenile courts in various counties in Northern Illinois.  We are NOT new to this kind of case and our past experience will be crucial in helping you to defend yourself.  
That kind of experience is what is necessary for you when sex allegations are made against you.  Many attorneys know how to defend a run-of-the-mill case.  Few know how to defend a sexual assault or child pornography case. 
Questions you might ask your prospective attorney include -- are they fully familiar with the sex offender registration consequences of various sex charges and how a proposed disposition can affect those registration consequences?  Are they familiar with the related statutes that criminalize normally legal conduct of convicted child sex offenders?  Do they know what SORNA is and how that can affect your future? 
Please remember -- coming in as early as possible to meet with us when you learn your are being investigated or after being charged will make it more likely your case will have a successful outcome. Please call us at 847-662-2474 for a free initial consultation.