A Waukegan woman was sentenced to 24 months of probation and six months intermittent imprisonment, to be served via electronic monitoring and home confinement, for her role in the kidnapping, beating and sexual assault of another woman. The defendant helped her cousin, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison, kidnap his ex-girlfriend, but was not involved in the sexual assault or beating. The defendant was initially charged with aggravated kidnaping, but the charge was reduced to kidnaping due to her testimony against her cousin.
Chicago Plea Agreement
This is a case where the prosecution and judge made the right call, and highlights the importance of having an effective and experienced criminal defense attorney.
The defendant admitted to participating in the kidnapping, although she had no idea when she and her cousin stopped at the victim’s home that the kidnapping would happen. In the case of kidnapping, the fact that she was unaware of her cousin’s intentions is irrelevant. Under Illinois law, a kidnapping occurs when a person “knowingly…carries another from one place to another with intent secretly to confine that other person against his or her will.” Once the victim was placed in the defendant’s car and she drove off, she committed the act of kidnapping, because she knew she was transporting the victim to another location against her will.
The judge in the case admonished the defendant for failing to contact police once she realized what was going on. In this situation, it is probably safe to assume that since the defendant had no idea her cousin intended to kidnap the victim, she was shocked that he was capable of not only kidnapping, but the subsequent beating and repeated sexual assaults. She likely feared for her safety, which caused her to assist in kidnapping the victim and prevented her from reporting the sexual assault to police during the 21 hours the assault occurred.
While that fear was insufficient to get the charges against her completely dropped, it was a sufficient mitigating factor that, when combined with her willingness to cooperate with the prosecution and testify against her cousin, was enough to get the charges against her reduced.
An experienced criminal defense attorney knows that a jury trial is not always the wisest option. Sometimes the circumstances of the case, coupled with the willingness of the prosecution to negotiate, necessitate accepting a plea agreement. Accepting a plea agreement should not be considered defeat. Plea agreements, when properly structured through skillful negotiation by an experienced criminal defense attorney, not only save the defendant the stress and uncertainty of trial, but usually result in minimal prison time.
In this case, the defendant only served five months in prison following her arrest. Although home confinement and electronic monitoring is no fun, it is a better outcome than a conviction for aggravated kidnapping, which can add up to 25 years to the regular 18 – 30 months imprisonment handed down for kidnapping.
Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with any Chicago crime, contact Chicago criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg. The ultimate goal of any criminal defense is to get an outright acquittal of all charges, and the Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C., is relentless in its pursuit of that goal. However, in cases where acquittal seems unlikely – or where the guaranteed outcome of a plea agreement is more desirable than the unknown outcome of a jury trial – you need an attorney who can work cooperatively with the prosecution to gain a favorable plea agreement. With more than 17 years of experience in criminal law, David L. Freidberg can help you decide whether it is better to accept a plea agreement or fight in court. Call our Chicago, Skokie or DuPage County offices today at 312-560-7100. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.