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Category Archives: Violent Crimes

DuPage County violent crimes defense attorney

Some of the most common violent crimes in Illinois and throughout the United States are assault and battery charges. Statistics show that in 2017, there were an estimated 810,825 aggravated assaults in the United States. Although people often use these terms interchangeably in everyday conversation, they cannot be misused in the criminal justice realm. If you have suffered from a violent crime, it is important to understand how you have been victimized.

Assault and Aggravated Assault

In Illinois, a person can be guilty of assault if he or she knowingly engages in conduct that would lead another person to believe that physical harm could result. This means that contact does not have to be made for assault to be charged. For example, a verbal threat or a simple fist-raising can be enough to initiate an assault claim.

Although assault is classified as a misdemeanor crime, aggravated assault can be charged as a felony if certain factors are present. For example, the victim’s age and occupation could lead to penalties being more severe. In addition, the location of the assault can also increase the charges to aggravated assault. Locations such as a sports venue, public way, or public place of amusement or accommodation can all lead to aggravated assault charges.

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Wheaton IL assault charges defense attorneyIn the state of Illinois, all citizens have the right to protect themselves when they feel that they are in danger. This act is called self-defense and can sometimes be a person’s only option if put in situations where there is the threat of harm to oneself, his or her property, or other people. 

Every state has its own laws pertaining to self-defense, Illinois included. Self-defense is commonly used to defend against assault or aggravated assault charges in Illinois, but there are certain things that must be proven in order to successfully claim self-defense. 

Many people are surprised at how difficult asserting this defense can be. If you have been charged with assault or aggravated assault and you believe you acted in self-defense, you should understand Illinois’ laws on the matter and seek qualified legal counsel.

Defending Yourself

According to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, using force against another person can be justified if you reasonably believe that your actions were necessary to defend yourself or another person against the use of unlawful force. To prove you acted in self-defense, you must prove that:

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IL defense lawyerEstimates suggest there are anywhere from 2 million to 4 million domestic assaults on women each year in the United States. That wide estimate range is due to the fact many cases go unreported. Violence involving current or former partners occurs in every age, racial, religious, and socioeconomic group. Unfortunately, many individuals are wrongly accused of domestic violence because they are in the midst of contentious divorce or family law proceedings. While domestic violence orders of protection are meant to help victims or potential sufferers, a vindictive former partner can also weaponize them in an attempt to sway the tone and eventual decisions in litigation.

If you are falsely accused of domestic violence, immediately contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can serve as your advocate and ensure the truth is not drowned out by false allegations.

Domestic Violence in Illinois

In Illinois, police strive to protect victims of domestic violence, which according to legal statute may be perpetrated by:

  • Family members related by blood;
  • Current and former spouses;
  • Parents, children, and stepchildren;
  • Individuals who formerly shared the same residence;
  • Persons currently in a relationship with or who previously dated or were engaged to the victim; and
  • Disabled individuals and their personal assistants.

Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic battery is that which causes bodily harm or involves physical contact to provoke or insult any family or household member. It is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable up to a year in jail and fine of $2,500. It escalates to a Class 4 felony if there is a previous conviction for domestic violence, violation of a protective order, or various other violent offenses. It can be charged as a Class 3 felony if a person has three prior convictions, or a Class 2 felony for four or more.

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IL defense lawyerAssault and battery charges are undoubtedly harsh accusations with potentially hefty consequences. However, dependant on the circumstances surrounding the case, there are a large number of potential defenses. Time and again, clients approach us with the genuine belief that they were the victim in the situation, rather than what the charges claim. Self-defense is one of the best defenses in violent crime cases, as long as there is supporting evidence. The following evidence must be present to build a winning argument.

A Threat of Harmful Force Existed

Even if you believe you were in danger and acted out of self-preservation, the threat must exist. If the opposition is no reasonable match, either by size, age, or other factors, an affirmative defense argument is more difficult to prove. However, even if your accuser is smaller in stature and weight, if they back you into a corner and raise a hand, you may be right to push them back to gain room to exit the situation.

You Feared Harm for Yourself or Someone Else

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domestic violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault, physical abuse, DuPage County criminal defense lawyersDomestic violence is a serious crime that can severely damage relationships with family, friends, significant others, and spouses. If you are convicted of domestic violence, you will face consequences that could destroy your quality of life—you may have a more difficult time obtaining employment, and may not be able to have contact with those whom you love.

Definition of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence occurs when a person knowingly causes bodily harm to any family or household member or makes physical contact of an insulting nature with any family or household member.

When a person is charged with domestic violence, he or she will face a Class A misdemeanor. If the offender has been previously convicted of domestic violence, then he or she will be charged with a Class 4 felony.

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