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Category Archives: Violent Crimes

Wheaton Criminal Defense AttorneyAccording to the World Health Organization, alcohol is more closely associated with aggressive behavior than any other drug. Unfortunately, this makes bar fights a common occurrence in DuPage County and throughout the state. Police are often called to the scene when a bar fight results in serious injury. In the chaotic aftermath of a fight, police may not immediately know which parties are the aggressors and which are the victims. If you were arrested after a bar fight, you may be facing charges for assault or aggravated assault. These offenses are punishable by significant criminal consequences, including imprisonment so it is important to take action right away.

Do Not Let Police Interrogate You Without a Lawyer

In Illinois, assault is a Class C misdemeanor offense. It is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $1,500 fine. If the defendant allegedly threatened to use or used a firearm, or if the offense was directed at certain protected persons, the charge may be elevated to aggravated assault.  Aggravated assault charges vary, but someone convicted of aggravated assault in Illinois may face up to several years in prison. Therefore, it is important to do whatever you can to avoid conviction.

The first step is contacting a lawyer. Do not let police interrogate you with your attorney present. You could do or say something in the heat of the moment that damages your chances of avoiding conviction. If the police question you about the circumstances of the fight, your relationship to the other parties involved in the fight, or anything else, do not answer. State that you are asserting your right to remain silent and then say nothing.

Work With Your Attorney to Build a Strong Defense

An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you build a compelling defense against assault charges. Often, people involved in a fight only fight back because they are defending themselves. To successfully claim self-defense, you will need to demonstrate that there was a threat of unlawful force against you, you feared for your safety, and you could not otherwise escape the situation.

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DuPage County Violent Crimes Defense AttorneyRobbery involves theft with the use or threat of physical force. Illinois takes violent crimes very seriously, and robbery is considered a felony offense. Punishable by years or even decades in prison, it is one of the most harshly penalized crimes in Illinois law. If you or a loved one were accused of robbery or armed robbery, seek guidance from an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you build a strong legal strategy and represent you throughout the criminal proceedings.

Robbery Charges Threaten Your Future

Being convicted of a felony offense will have a dramatic impact on the rest of your life. In addition to significant jail time, you may struggle to find adequate employment and housing for years after your prison sentence has ended. Building a strong defense is crucial to protecting your future.

Exploring Defense Strategies After a Robbery Charge

As with any criminal charge, the best initial defense strategy is to say nothing. Do not answer police questions or submit to any interrogations. Asserting your right to remain silent is one of the best things you can do to aid in your defense. Anything you say can be used as ammunition against you during future legal proceedings.

To secure a conviction for robbery, the prosecution must prove that the defendant stole another party’s property and did so using force or threats to use force. The prosecution may use witness statements, forensic evidence from the alleged crime scene, surveillance camera footage, and other types of evidence when building their case.

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Wheaton IL assault and battery defense lawyerIn common use, and in the laws of some states, the terms “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably. However, in Illinois, while they are often heard in conjunction with one another, they each have specific legal definitions and are considered separate crimes. So, what is the difference between assault and battery in Illinois?

Assault Charges in Illinois

According to Illinois law, you assault someone when you act in a way that leads them to fear that you will physically harm them or make unwanted physical contact. As a simple example, if you say to a person, “I’m going to hit you” and raise your hand to slap them, then that could be considered assault. Actual physical contact or injury is not necessary for a person to press assault charges.

Illinois Battery Charges

As you may have guessed, Illinois defines battery as causing someone actual physical injury. Specifically, a person commits battery when he or she “causes bodily harm” or makes “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature” with another person. If we alter the above assault example so that you actually hit the person instead of just threatening it, then it could be considered battery.

However, if you threaten to hit the person, make them think that you are going to hit them, and then make physical contact, then that could be considered both assault and battery.

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wheaton criminal defense lawyerAs is common throughout the United States, Illinois outlaws many forms of violent crime. If you are accused of a crime involving harm or attempted harm toward another person, the severity of the charges you face depends in large part on the circumstances surrounding the alleged criminal act. One factor that can significantly increase the severity of a criminal sentence is the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime.

Deadly Weapons and Aggravated Offenses in Illinois

A number of crimes in Illinois become much more serious when a weapon is involved. Depending on the circumstances, a lesser misdemeanor can be increased to a greater misdemeanor or felony, or a felony can increase to one of the most serious charges under Illinois law. Here are just a few examples of crimes that are exacerbated when the perpetrator is armed:

  • Assault - The offense of assault involves knowingly putting someone in fear of being physically harmed. A basic assault charge in Illinois is a Class C misdemeanor, with up to 30 days of jail time and a $1,500 fine. However, using a firearm or deadly weapon in an assault is a Class A misdemeanor, and it can become a Class 4 felony or higher if the weapon is discharged. This could mean three years or more in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

  • Battery - Battery involves knowingly causing someone physical harm or making unwanted physical contact. It starts as a Class A misdemeanor, with up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. When a deadly weapon other than a gun is involved, it is a Class 3 felony. When the battery involves the discharge of a firearm, it is a Class X felony, one of the most serious offenses in Illinois, with a prison sentence of up to 30 years or more, depending on the circumstances.

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Wheaton, IL Domestic Battery Defense AttorneyBeing accused of committing a violent crime in Illinois is a very serious matter to deal with. Specific crimes of this nature can be considered to be domestic if they are committed against certain individuals. Domestic violence can often be difficult to detect, because many victims may be too scared to come forward. When accusations are made, however, they are taken very seriously, and they can lead to harsh punishments. This is why it is important to take immediate action if you are accused of committing a domestic crime.

Battery vs. Domestic Battery

Technically, battery and domestic battery are two different crimes in Illinois. For a battery crime to be considered domestic battery, the crime must have been perpetrated against a family or household member. The state of Illinois defines family or household members as people who have a certain relationship, including:

  • Parents and children
  • Individuals that have had a child together
  • Current or former spouses
  • Romantic partners
  • Family members by blood or marriage
  • People who currently live together or previously shared a home

What Is Domestic Battery?

Criminal charges of domestic battery can be filed if harm or physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature is inflicted upon a family or household member. Typically, domestic battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which means that a conviction could lead to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. If the person that is convicted has a history of violence, there is a possibility that the charges could be increased.

Aggravated Domestic Battery Charges

In some situations, domestic battery can be upgraded to aggravated domestic battery. The use of strangulation or the result of great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement could lead to charges being increased. Aggravated domestic battery is classified as a Class 2 felony, which means that a conviction could result in three to seven years of prison time alongside fines of up to $25,000.

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