Assault Charges, Penalties, and Criminal Defenses in Will County
Understanding Assault Charges in Illinois
It is important to first understand the difference between assault and battery charges. While both are considered violent crimes, assault means making an individual feel physically threatened by words, actions, or any other means of intimidation. It is against the law to threaten someone, even without physically touching them. For example, if you display a weapon to an innocent person in an aggressive manner, you can be charged with assault. If you throw a punch and completely miss, the target can press assault charges in the court of law.
The additional charge of battery occurs when the aggressor takes violent action and the victim suffers bodily harm. If the altercation reaches the point of physical contact, the aggressor can be charged with both crimes and suffer two sets of penalties, including fines and prison time. You can find more information on battery charges here. Often altercations resulting in assault and battery charges happen very quickly and can be difficult to remember. If someone has pressed charges against you, it is crucial that you consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a defendant, your rights are still protected by law. Talking to a lawyer while the facts are still fresh in your mind is the best way to ensure your rights and freedom are upheld. Every minute you hesitate, your defense weakens. Do not hesitate – contact an experienced Will County criminal lawyer immediately.
Simple and Aggravated Assault Under Illinois Law
You should also understand the difference between simple and aggravated assault. Typically, aggravated assault involves one of two factors: the aggressor used a deadly weapon or the victim has a special status under the law, for example as a senior citizen, teacher, or handicapped person. Aggravated assault is a more serious charge and can be considered a felony and can have serious consequences in Will County.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of factors that constitute aggravated assault under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/12-1:
- Use of a deadly weapon or any device that significantly resembles a weapon
- Use of clothing or other means to conceal their identity or firearm
- Knowingly assaulting a teacher or school employee
- Knowingly assaulting a park district employee on park grounds
- Knowingly assaulting a person employed by the State Department of Public Aid or County Department of Public Aid while that person is on or adjacent to property used for Public Aid purposes
- Knowingly assaulting a peace officer, correctional officer, fireman, or anyone acting under their direction while completing their duties
- Knowingly assaulting a paramedic or ambulance driver while conducting their duties
- Knowingly assaulting a public transportation passenger or employee while on public transport
- Knowingly assaulting an employee of the State of Illinois while performing authorized duties
- Knowingly assaulting a physically handicapped individual
- Knowingly assaulting a senior citizen, defined as sixty (60) years of age or older
- Discharge of a firearm
- Knowingly assaulting a correctional officer who is actively conducting their duties
As mentioned, there are other factors that can lead to an aggravated assault charge, so it is crucial to consult with an experienced Will County attorney who can comb through the specifics of your case and provide you with the best possible defense.
Consequences for Assault Charges in Will County
The least egregious charge of simple assault can carry penalties of up to thirty (30) days in jail and $500 in fines. Because there are so many factors that can lead to aggravated assault charges, it is highly possible the accused could face felony charges, which carry penalties of up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Aggressive Defense for Assault Charges in Will County
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can use a number of tactics to reduce or eliminate the charges brought against someone accused of assault. If the accused made conditional threats, the charges will not stand in the court of law. In other words, some physical threats are legal.
For example, let’s say you are at a bar and someone continually touches your friend without permission. You respond with a conditional threat, “If you touch her again, I will break your hand.” You have not committed assault because the expectation of harm was hypothetical. Additionally, a lawyer can demonstrate the accused was acting out of self-defense or in defense of another individual. There are many details that can decide the outcome of a case. It is important to take assault charges seriously and rely on the legal expertise of anWill County Criminal attorney who is willing to listen to you carefully and devote their time to your freedom.
Call for a Consultation with a Qualified Criminal Attorney in Will County
Michael Schmiege runs a boutique firm of nationally recognized criminal defense lawyers for Will County, including the cities of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, Romeoville, Lockport, and New Lenox. Give your future the best chance with our highly skilled defense strategies and understanding of prosecutor tactics. Aggressive, skilled legal counsel is always your best chance for a favorable outcome when your future is in jeopardy. Contact us immediately to ensure you have strong legal representation for drug charges in Will County.