The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against cruel and unusual punishment. This means that criminal convictions that result in the defendant spending the rest of his or her life in prison are the exception to the rule, and in many cases, defendants become eligible for parole before the sentence ends. Murder is the only crime for which the death penalty is an option. Likewise, the court only hands down life sentences for the most serious crimes, such as murder and drug trafficking. The court can, however, impose prison sentences so long that the defendant has no reasonable hope of surviving them; 99 years in prison is effectively a life sentence, but so is 30 years in prison if the defendant is 80 years old. Many factors influence the length of the prison sentence, including whether you plead guilty, how much you help the prosecution in the investigation of your case and others, and whether you have any prior convictions. A sex crime attorney can help you avoid a long prison sentence if you are being accused of a nonviolent sex offense.
San Antonio Man Gets 260 Years in Prison for Sex Offenses
This month, John Gilliland of San Antonio received a 26-year prison sentence. Gilliland had previously been convicted in 2006 of sexual assault of a minor. He was released from prison in 2016 after serving a 10-year sentence. He received new criminal charges in 2019 and pleaded not guilty.
At Gilliland’s trial, prosecutors summoned witnesses to indicate a pattern of abusive behavior toward young girls. Two women testified that Gilliland had abused them decades ago.
Regarding the current case, prosecutors alleged that Gilliland set up a hidden camera in a bathroom around July 2018 and used it to film a teenage girl. The victim discovered the camera in October 2019 and notified law enforcement. Gilliland was charged with possession of child pornography, invasive recording, and sexual performance by a minor.
Gilliland’s prior conviction did not affect his trial. All defendants have the right to a fair trial with unbiased jurors who do not know about the defendant’s previous convictions. Even if you have a prior criminal record, your criminal defense lawyer will spare no effort in getting you a plea deal or an acquittal in your current case.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC About Sex Crime Cases
Not every accusation automatically means that you are guilty. Representation by a criminal defense attorney is your best option if you are being accused of a crime, even crimes such as sex offenses, which carry a social stigma. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC to discuss your case.