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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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insane or incompetent, DuPage criminal defense lawyerThere are a variety of ways that any court situation can come to a close. Ultimately, a typical verdict of "guilty" or "not guilty" will be issued at the end of a criminal court proceeding. However, other various defense mechanisms may be used in court if a client is unfit for trial. In some violent crime cases, a defense of "not guilty by reason of insanity" or finding someone "incompetent to stand trial" may be applicable to use in court. Although either may be useful given the right circumstances, they are not to be used interchangeably.

Incompetent to Stand Trial

To be considered competent, an individual must have the certain skills and abilities necessary to complete a task. With regards to a trial situation, competency is determined by the court. It is a matter of legal fact that is decided before a trial begins. A few of the prerequisites to be considered competent to stand trial include:

  • The individual must be able to demonstrate cognitive ability to understand what is happening in a courtroom.
  • The defendant must be capable of thinking rationally about court proceedings.
  • The person in question must be able to work closely with an attorney to assist in developing a defense for their case.

The information does not mean that if someone is incompetent to stand trial that they are given a free pass on their crimes. However, if they are found incompetent and the trial still proceeds, there are multiple options for appeal should he or she be found guilty.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, violent crime, violent crime chargesViolent crimes carry some of the harshest penalties in the criminal justice system, and when when you are accused or charged with a violent crime, it can be overwhelming. However, there are several steps that occur between an investigation and a conviction. Therefore, if you have been charged with a violent crime, you need a lawyer who is willing to give you a vigorous defense.

Investigation and Indictment 

Because violent crimes often grab the most media attention, and because many prosecutors are dedicated to bringing violent criminals to justice as swiftly as possible, law enforcement often dedicates significant resources to investigating violent crimes. Still, this does not mean that mistakes are not made in the process.

If you are a suspect in a violent crime, the best opportunities for making a strong defense occur during the early stages of the investigation. Hence, you should never speak to law enforcement without your lawyer being present. Once you agree to talk, nothing can take those words back.

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