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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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Illinois criminal defense lawyersAssault of any kind is a serious offense in the state of Illinois, but the consequences will often depend on the severity of the charge. For example, is the charge related to assault charges or aggravated assault charges? Learn what the differences are between the two, including how they vary in terms of potential consequence, with help from the following information.

Assault in Illinois

The law states that assault is an act in which one causes another person to believe they may be at risk for battery (physical harm). There does not need to be any evidence of harm, nor is one required to make physical contact with a person to be accused of assault. Instead, one can be charged with this act by shaking their fist in someone’s face, threatening them with words or body movement, or otherwise causing them to fear they may be in danger of bodily harm.

Straight and basic assault charges are typically considered a Class C misdemeanor. Consequences may include imprisonment for up to 30 days, fines, and possibly even a no-contact orders with the victim. However, individuals who have previous convictions or are charged with aggravated assault may face more serious consequences if they are eventually found guilty.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyersAssault charges are considered a Class C misdemeanor in the state of Illinois. They can result in fines, fees, and imprisonment. In addition, your reputation, employment, and housing may be at risk. Learn more about the potential consequences of an assault charge in Illinois, and discover how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight against them.  

Defining Assault Charges

Often, defendants assume they can win their case because they did not physically attack another person. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, assault charges do not have to include physical contact with another person. Instead, you can be charged with assault, simply for causing someone to believe they are at risk of physical harm. Examples might include shaking your fist in someone’s face or throwing an object in the direction of another person with the intent to threaten. Aggravated assault is a heightened offense, and it involves threatening another person with a deadly weapon (i.e. knife, gun, vehicle, etc.).

Criminal Consequences of Conviction

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Wheaton criminal defense attorney, assault and battery chargesBeing arrested and charged with a violent crime can turn an individual's entire life upside down. Two of the most common violent crimes in Illinois are assault and battery. Assault and battery are often charged together. Even though the terms assault and battery are used in everyday language to mean the same thing, legally they are two very different concepts.

The Difference Between Assault and Battery

Under Illinois law, you commit the crime of assault when you place someone else in reasonable apprehension or fear of physical harm. You do not have to have actually harmed, or even touched, an individual to be charged with assault. Making a threatening gesture or raising a fist can be enough to result in assault charges.

Illinois law defines battery as knowingly causing bodily harm to another person or making contact with another person in an insulting or provoking way. Punching someone would be battery. Spitting in someone else’s face could also be considered battery.

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