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Wheaton assault defense attorneyWith regards to criminal law and criminal defense in particular, all crimes are serious, carrying with them significant penalties, but all crimes also have varying degrees of this substantiality. Concerning battery and assault specifically, and aggravated battery and aggravated assault especially, the differences are slight but certainly could result in much more serious and severe consequences depending on classification. Here is a summary of the major differences between assault, battery, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery to illustrate this point.

Assault: Defined

According to Illinois law, assault happens when someone without any legal authority knowingly engages in an action that places someone else in a circumstance more likely to lead to battery.

A simple assault would result in a Class C misdemeanor, which carries with it up to 30 days in jail and up to $1,500 worth of fines, in addition to potential other penalties.

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self-defense, Wheaton violent crimes defense attorneyThe use or threat of force can be a criminal offense in Illinois. Threatening someone with violence is assault while committing an act of violence against someone is battery. However, Illinois allows actions that would normally be assault or battery if you were acting in defense of yourself, another person, or your property. The difference between battery and self-defense can be murky and heavily depends on the context. Your belief that you were acting in self-defense may not be enough to prevent an assault or battery charge if your response was unreasonable or excessive.

Establishing Self-Defense

There are four key components to proving that your actions were in self-defense:

  • You must have reasonably believed that you were in imminent danger of harm.
  • The threat must be unlawful, such as someone assaulting or committing battery against you.
  • You must show that force was necessary in order to protect yourself.
  • The force you used must not exceed the threat against you.

These considerations allow you to protect yourself, others, or property against criminal actions without punishment but set strict parameters that may make your actions fall outside of self-defense.

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Illinois restraining order, Wheaton Criminal Defense LawyerRestraining orders are a protective measure intended to help prevent domestic violence and protect victims of it. However, false allegations of domestic violence or criminal activity can result in restraining orders as well as actual allegations of criminal activity, resulting in unfair punishment and long-lasting effects for those accused.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Only by working with a qualified professional at the onset of the case is it certain that you will be able to present the best possible defense, especially in cases that involve allegations of domestic violence—some of the most notoriously difficult to absolve.

Perhaps one of the most surprising statistics about restraining orders is in that roughly half of all cases involving a court-ordered restraining order, there is no allegation whatsoever of physical violence. Restraining orders can be filed against a person who is accused of harassment that allegedly causes any time of emotional distress. This can include repeatedly calling someone on the telephone or creating a disturbance or a scene in a public place. It can also include the mere threat of violence—if a person is accused of threatening to commit physical abuse or harassment, he or she may be slapped with a restraining order.

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Posted by on in Domestic Violence

Every few months, it seems another high-profile case of domestic violence makes headlines involving some celebrity or other public figure. In the majority of these cases, circumstances seem to indicate or allege that a female has been victimized by the actions of her male partner. Male on female intimate partner violence is certainly far too common in the United States. However, it is far from the whole story. Domestic violence victimizes a surprisingly large number of men each year as well.

The National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored an extensive study entitled the National Violence Against Women (NVAW) Survey to examine the extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence in the United States. The findings were based a sample size of 16,000 men and women and presented some remarkable figures. The NVAW survey estimates that more than 2.3 million Americans are physically assaulted and/or raped by an intimate partner each year. Of that number, 1.5 million are women, which means more than 800,000 men are victimized every year by intimate partner violence. The survey also recognized that many victims suffer multiple assaults by their partner. Based on the study’s findings, nearly 5 million rapes and physical assaults are committed per year against women and nearly 3 million against men.

While violence against men certainly seems to occur in lower numbers than against women, men experience many of the same emotional reactions to domestic violence. The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that reactions tend to include guilt, shame, anger, anxiety, and depression and may result in the victim withdrawing from or avoiding almost all relationships. Women are two times more likely than men to be physically injured by an intimate partner but psychological trauma affects both sexes and is harder to measure.

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My client was accused of having inappropriate contact with a fellow gymnastics instructor and former student.    At trial, I successfully argued that the mental state required in the proving the offense of Battery was not present and that the credibility of the witnesses weighed in favor of my client.   After a trial, a judge acquitted my client of the criminal Battery Charges placed against him.    This protected my client from a punishment that ranged up to one year in jail and would have had a devastating effect on his future coaching career.

Criminal defense trial attorneys should always examine the elements of criminal charges carefully to expose weaknesses in the prosecution's case.    Criminal cases involving sexual assault, battery, and other allegations of personal harm will always involve a complaining victim.   Careful consideration must be given to credibility of these alleged victims in evaluating a criminal case.