Category Archives: Assault and Battery

Naperville Assault Lawyer

Self-defense is often a legitimate argument when defending against assault or battery charges, but it can only be a defense in certain situations. If you acted in self-defense, it is possible you acted with force that would otherwise be illegal. 

Like many states, Illinois understands there are some situations in which you have no other choice but to use force to protect yourself, your loved ones, or your property. The Illinois Criminal Code contains all of the stipulations and requirements that you must meet in order to claim self-defense. Depending on the circumstances, defending against charges of assault or battery can be difficult, but it can be made easier with the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.

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“Blue Lives Matter” Bill Could Add Police to Protected Class in Illinois, Undermine Black Lives Matter MovementAccording to the Southern Illinoisan, lawmakers have pushed forward a bill that could make an act of violence toward a police officer, correctional officer, or emergency responder a hate crime, if it can be established that the crime was committed in order to terrorize or intimidate that person because of their protected status (of being a law enforcer or first responder). The bill is being co-sponsored by Southern Illinois Sens. Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler as part of their campaign promises. If the bill becomes law, it could mean extra punishment for those who are charged with police battery, which is already a serious felony in Illinois.

Opponents of the Bill Point to The Fact That Adequate Laws Are Already in Place

The Black Lives Matter movement was initiated to bring awareness to the brutal and deadly treatment that African-Americans often face when they have encounters with the police. You are more likely to be stopped and frisked, beaten, taken to jail, or killed by a law enforcement agent if you are black than if you are white. The statistics have been gathered for decades, yet little to nothing has been done to combat police abuse of minorities, especially African-Americans. Opponents of the bill point to the blatant disregard for what the Black Lives Matter movement is attempting to accomplish: putting an end to police abuse. And, Ed Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, makes that claim that he thinks “the problem with this proposal, really, you can sort of read it in the title of Blue Lives Matter, because it’s clearly an attempt to shift focus away from the work of the Black Lives Matter movement.” Furthermore, Mr. Yohnka said that laws that appropriately penalize violence against law enforcement already exist and that, “Those laws have been in place for a number of years.”

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What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery Under Illinois Law?

Assault and battery are similar crimes in some respects under Illinois law but do contain different elements. Both assault and battery generally are misdemeanor crimes, but certain characteristics of these crimes can elevate them to aggravated status, which can result in more serious penalties if you are convicted. Fortunately, there are some defenses to assault and battery charges that may apply in your criminal case, but only an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney can help you identify and present these defenses to the court.

Defining Assault

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In Illinois, the crime of aggravated battery is considered a serious offense and is punishable as a third-degree felony. An Illinois Appeals Court reaffirmed this in a recent case where a minor was injured after participating in a choking game. Despite the age of the defendant and the victim’s consent to being “choked out” in order to induce unconsciousness, the court refused to accept the defendant’s defense of consent.

People v. Ford

In December 2012, 15-year-old T.B. and several other teenagers were at a friend’s house smoking cigarettes and marijuana. At some point during the day, T.B. allegedly gave the defendant, Michael Ford, who was also a minor, permission to place him in a choke hold in order to cause him to pass out. The two agreed that if T.B. tapped on the Ford’s arm, then he would release the hold. Ford proceeded to place T.B. in the hold, but he soon after tapped on the defendant’s arm. However, Ford did not release him, and, as a result, T.B. passed out, had a seizure, and eventually regained consciousness with a nosebleed. Ford was subsequently found guilty of aggravated battery.

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 b2ap3_thumbnail_Crimes-against-Police-Officers.jpgLaw enforcement officers are essential to preserving law and order in the state, so Illinois has many laws designed to keep its police officers safe. Some of these laws make a victim’s status as a police officer an aggravating factor. This means that a person charged with, for example, battery will face a harsher sentence if the victim of the crime was a police officer performing his or her official duties.

Battery

Under Illinois law, a person commits a battery when he or she either:

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