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Category Archives: Violent Crimes

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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DuPage County criminal defense attorneyIn the state of Illinois, a battery is never taken lightly. When the victim is a woman, in some circumstances, punishments can be harsher. If the victim is a pregnant woman, the repercussions double. Not only are there charges for the attack on the woman, but also the child she is carrying. The crime then becomes twofold as aggravated battery and battery of an unborn child.

Aggravated Battery

Assault is a situation in which one person reasonably believes that they are in immediate danger of physical harm. The charge escalates to battery once physical contact occurs. Dependent on who the victim is and where the accident took place, the allegations may increase to aggravated battery. A woman who is pregnant is considered to be a part of the protected group. If the victim and the accused do not know each other but if the defendant knows that a person is pregnant, the charge elevates from battery to aggravated battery. Aggravated battery is a Class 3 Felony. Sentencing for such a crime would be:

  • At least two years up to five years of incarceration;
  • Extended sentences of up to 10 years; and
  • Fines of up to $25,000.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

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DuPage County criminal defense attorneyA sense of humor is often a well sought-after quality. Most people enjoy the physical release of laughter and like to surround themselves with others who make them laugh. In general, two individuals who share a similar sense of humor connect better than two persons who have opposing views of what is humorous. What one person finds hilarious, another may find threatening or offensive. If this happens, can a joke be grounds for assault charges?

Trouble Is Brewing

Knock-knock jokes may not be the most humorous. However, they are sometimes the safest. When you start to touch on taboo subjects or subjects including violence, trouble may begin. For instance, joking about how you would murder your spouse or even the phrases “I will kill you” or “I am going to beat you up” can be dangerous depending on the circumstances. Assault charges are possible if they meet the following criteria:

  • Making a verbal threat without touching anyone;
  • Displays of menacing or intimidating demeanor;
  • Perceived threatening conduct; and
  • Perceived immediate danger, not future.

But It Was Just a Joke

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
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