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McHenry County criminal defense attorneyA violent crime against another person is one of the most serious offenses you can be accused of committing. Crimes such as assault and battery may seem less severe compared to offenses like sexual assault or murder, but they can still result in rather substantial penalties. In Illinois, assault and battery charges often go hand in hand, and they can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances. Understanding what type of crime you are accused of and the potential penalties can help you with a defense strategy for your case.

What is Assault?

Often, assault and battery are used interchangeably. However, these two terms do not mean the same thing in the eyes of the law. According to Illinois law, assault occurs when a person is placed in reasonable fear of being hurt, while battery occurs when a person is actually injured. This means that you can be charged with assault if you created a situation that caused another person to fear that they were going to be physically harmed, even if no physical harm occurred. In many cases, assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor, with a conviction often resulting in only probation or court supervision, depending on the situation. Felony assault, however, comes with more serious consequences.

Understanding Felony Assault Charges

Assault is punished as a felony crime under certain circumstances that increase the seriousness of the act. An assault can be classified as a felony based on the location where the crime took place, the status of the victim, the use of a deadly weapon during the crime, or the use of a motor vehicle. For example, the assault with a dangerous weapon of a police officer or other public official is charged as a Class 4 felony, which carries a prison sentence of one to three years and up to $25,000 in fines. An assault that involves a person shooting a firearm from inside of a motor vehicle is a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison sentence of between two and five years and up to $25,000 in fines.

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Crystal Lake IL juvenile defense attorneyIt is very scary for a parent when their child is charged with a crime, such as underage drinking or retail theft. One of the most frightening aspects is the fact that so many parents are unsure about what to expect, or the penalties their child will face. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, answers to these common questions about Illinois juvenile law may help you better understand what can happen.

When are Minors Tried in Adult Court?

This is perhaps the most common question when a minor is charged with a crime, because a child being tried as an adult is typically the biggest fear for parents. The answer to this question largely depends on the type of criminal offense a minor is accused of committing. Minors age 17 or younger who are charged with a misdemeanor will likely remain in the juvenile system. When a minor is accused of committing a serious felony offense, they may be tried in adult court unless they are 16 years old or younger.

At What Age is a Child Considered a Juvenile?

Prior to January 10, 2010, the maximum age of a juvenile in Illinois was 16 years old. Now, however, that age has increased so that anyone 17 years old or younger is deemed a juvenile in the state. The age of juveniles is still a topic that is regularly debated within the Illinois legislature.

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Crystal Lake IL criminal defense attorneyEstimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that about one in every four American women and one in every seven American men will suffer severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner during their lifetime. To address this concern, many states have increased the severity of criminal penalties for violent acts committed against family members or intimate partners. In the state of Illinois, the crime of domestic battery is taken extremely seriously. If you are facing charges for domestic battery or any type of battery, it is important to understand what the charges mean and the potential penalties you could be facing.

Battery and Domestic Battery Defined

It is common to hear the terms “assault” and “battery” together, but under Illinois law, each refers to a separate offense—though they are related. In fact, the Illinois Criminal Code defines assault as any act or conduct that puts another person in “reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” The law goes on to define battery as conduct that causes “bodily harm to another person” or any type of contact with someone else that is considered “insulting, provocative, or unwanted.” This definition of battery includes many different possible victims.

In order for an offense of battery to be prosecuted as domestic battery, the alleged conduct must have been committed against a family member or member of the same household as the suspect in question. More specifically, the act or conduct may be charged as domestic battery if it was committed against the suspect’s:

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McHenry County criminal defense attorneyWhen a person is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), one of the biggest fears they are likely to have is the possibility of spending time in jail, whether between the arrest and the trial or as part of the sentence resulting from a criminal conviction. While it is possible for a DUI arrest to lead to jail time, recent changes in Illinois laws and the increased use of electronic monitoring devices have significantly reduced the likelihood that DUI offenders will have to spend time in jail

Misdemeanor DUI Arrest: Usually No Jail, No Bail

Historically, those who were arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges in Illinois were generally processed and immediately released on their own recognizance without having to pay bail. This includes most first-time and second-time DUI arrestees charged with misdemeanor offenses.

The Illinois Bail Reform Act of 2017 created a presumption that “any conditions of release imposed shall be non-monetary in nature” for nonviolent, low-level crimes such as driving under the influence. In December of 2020, the Illinois legislature passed the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, which promises to eliminate cash bail for all criminal suspects. The bill is awaiting the signature of Governor J.B. Pritzker in order to become law, but he is expected to sign the measure in the coming weeks. In place of cash bail, the court may set conditions of release such as electronic home monitoring, curfews, drug counseling, stay-away orders, and in-person reporting.

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McHenry County DUI defense lawyerMost people know that you can lose your driver’s license if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Illinois. However, many people do not realize that there might be a way to get the suspension of your driver’s license rescinded, but doing so generally requires the help of a qualified attorney.

You Have the Right to a Court Hearing Regarding Your Suspension

If you fail or refuse chemical testing following a DUI arrest, the state of Illinois imposes an automatic suspension of your driver’s license—known as a “statutory summary suspension.” For most people, this suspension lasts six months if you failed testing or 12 months if you refused testing. The law in Illinois, however, gives you the right to a court hearing to challenge the suspension. At this hearing, your lawyer can question police officers and present arguments as to why your license should not have been suspended.

If you hope to have your automatic suspension rescinded, you will need to prove one of the following:

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