Being accused of assault, battery, or both is enough to make anyone worry. Just the accusation can make people treat you differently. And if you are convicted, you could face heavy fines, jail time, and other punishments. That’s why it’s so important to get the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you find yourself in this situation.
Accused of assault and/or battery? Get the help of an Assault Defense Attorney as soon as possible!
If you want to know how to win an assault and battery case in Woodridge, IL, read on. Learn what it takes to win, and understand what is at stake if you don’t win.
What Does it Take to Win an Assault and Battery Case in Illinois?
A good lawyer. That’s the first and most important thing you need to win a criminal defense case in Illinois. There are multiple reasons for this, which we will explain in further detail. But if you are looking for a quick answer, that’s it. Illinois criminal law is complex, the courts are not sympathetic to defendants, and it’s never worth taking a chance by representing yourself in this kind of case.
Let’s break down the things you need to win a criminal defense case. Once you understand what it takes, you will appreciate how important an Illinois criminal defense attorney is.
Key things you need to win a criminal defense case include:
Evidence. One of the most important things that will convince a court you are innocent is strong evidence. Photos, videos, medical reports, accident reports – these types of hard proof are invaluable in demonstrating that you did not do what they say you did.
Witnesses. Individuals who were there when it happened or saw the aftermath are important if you can find them. The more people that can say your version of events is the truth, the better.
A compelling argument. Even with evidence and witnesses, it’s possible to lose a case. If you can’t explain in detail why you didn’t commit the crime or why what happened should be interpreted in your favor (such as if your actions were in self-defense), the court can still go against you.
Legal expertise. The laws on assault and battery are specific about what constitutes a crime. But you need to be able to understand them, how they are interpreted today, and how to apply them to your unique circumstances.
Strong negotiation skills. It may not be possible to avoid all charges, but it could be possible to have the charges reduced. To accomplish this, you need strong negotiation skills to deal with prosecutors and find a compromise.
Time and energy. Finding evidence, investigating, crafting an argument, and negotiating – all of these take time and energy. If you don’t have legal training, assistance from other professionals, and relationships with those in the court system, pursuing a criminal defense case can be exhausting and often impossible.
Understanding Assault and Batter in Illinois
Plenty of people have heard someone say, “I was assaulted.” Not a lot of people say, “I was battered.” But in Illinois law, the definition of these terms matters. Each can occur alone or with the other, and each carries its own legal consequences.
Remember that the legal consequences can become significantly more severe if you have prior convictions.
What is assault in Illinois?
Assault is defined in Illinois law as verbal threats, such as threats to hit someone, kill someone, or hurt them in some way. Specifically, the law says assault is “conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.”
All of this means that you can be charged with assault without ever touching someone. It’s enough to threaten them.
There are two primary classifications of assault in our state, each carrying different potential punishments:
Class C misdemeanor
Up to 30 days in jail
Up to $1,500 fine
Can also be assigned between 30 hours to 120 hours of community service
More severe charges than assault can result from knowingly committing assault in certain locations (public property, sports venue, etc.) or assaulting certain types of victims (physical disability, over 60 years of age, teacher, etc.)
Can be charged as Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony.
Class A misdemeanor can result in up to a year in prison, up to $2,500 fine, or both
Class 4 felony can result in up to three years in prison, up to $25,000 fine, or both
What is Battery in Illinois?
Battery is what many people think of when they hear the term “assault.” It’s the physical contact intended to hurt someone, such as punching or kicking someone. It can also include insulting, provocative, or unwanted physical contact with someone else.
Battery charges can become aggravated battery if they lead to serious injuries, disfigurement, or permanent disability. Aggravated battery can also result from using a firearm or another deadly weapon, explosive, or harming a child or law enforcement officer.
Punishments for battery can include:
Class A misdemeanor
Class 3 offense can be elevated to Class 2, Class 1, or Class X felony
Class 3 felony can result in two to five years in prison
Class 2, Class 1, or Class X felonies can result in up to 30 years in prison
You’ve Been Accused of Assault and Battery – Now What?
The first thing you should do if you have been accused of assault, battery, or both, is to contact a criminal defense attorney. Time is of the essence. And if you have officially been charged, it’s even more important to get a lawyer right away. Every day you let the prosecution build its case without building your defense is a disadvantage. When losing the fight could cost you everything, you don’t want to take any chances.
If you know that you are innocent or the situation is more complicated than it appears, your lawyer can help. There are strong defenses for accusations of assault and battery in Illinois. These include self-defense, defense of another person, or defense of property. It’s also possible to build a strong defense if you know the victim consented to the contact.
The potential consequences of losing your assault and battery case could be severe – especially if you have prior convictions. If you are facing such accusations, we encourage you to call a lawyer as soon as you can. That way, you can get specific advice for your situation and get someone in your corner to help you now and with the fight ahead.
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