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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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justifiable force, DuPage County criminal defense lawyersWhen your actions have caused death or bodily harm to another, you may be faced with criminal charges. What happens, though, when your actions were in self-defense, or done to protect your home or a loved one? Is this still a criminal matter, or can you use justifiable force as a viable defense in your case? The answer to this depends on the situation. However, the following information can help you understand the basics of justifiable force in Illinois. 

When Might Justifiable Force Apply? 

Justifiable force cannot be used for every circumstance or every case. To effectively exercise this defense, you must have been defending yourself or another person from an unlawful act (i.e. sexual assault, battery, murder) or from death or bodily harm. Alternatively, you may be able use justifiable force in a situation where you were protecting your own property or a family member’s property from a break-in, attack, or other unlawful act. Still, this is not a blanket defense. There are other nuances to justifiable force that you must be aware of before trying to use it in your case.

Justifiable Force Versus Stand Your Ground 

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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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