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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 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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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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