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IL defense lawyerMany people think the terms assault and battery are synonymous. However, under Illinois law, they are two separate criminal offenses. Assault is defined as the threat of bodily harm that causes fear of harm to the victim. Battery is actual physical harm to another person. The penalties for these crimes can range from fines to jail time. In some cases, there are factors that elevate the crime to aggravated charges, which result in harsher punishments. A conviction for aggravated battery can impact a person’s professional and personal life. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain the potential implications, and provide quality representation needed to avoid a conviction for this type of violent crime.

Simple Battery Charges

Basic battery charges in Illinois involve insulting or provoking physical contact or intentionally causing bodily harm to another. A few examples of actions that constitute battery include:

  • Pushing another person
  • Hitting and injuring someone with an object
  • Grabbing and ripping someone’s clothing in anger (clothing is an extension of the person)

The basic charge of battery is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

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IL defense lawyerLaws are put in place throughout the United States to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens. Here in Illinois, property crimes are taken seriously, and they can result in significant punishments depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. There are many different types of criminal offenses that are categorized as property crimes, such as vandalism, trespassing, burglary, robbery, and home invasion. Although it may seem like home invasion would just be entering a person’s home unannounced, it actually involved more than that and can result in serious consequences. That is why it is essential that anyone accused of this crime consults an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help defend against such charges.

Not All Illinois Property Crimes Are Alike

Like many other states, Illinois law separates the offense of home invasion from that of residential burglary. Burglary of a residence refers to the unlawful entry or remaining in the home of another person with intent to commit a theft or another felony crime. Although home invasion is a similar act, it involves a person entering a home that he or she knows or believes is currently occupied. For a home invasion to be charged, any of the following actions would apply:

  • Threatens or inflicts harm while in possession of a firearm or other weapon
  • Deliberately causes physical injury to an individual in the home
  • Fires a weapon that causes harm or death to a person in the residence
  • Commits rape, criminal sexual assault, or other sex crimes in the home

Under Illinois law, home invasion is charged as a Class X felony since it is considered a violent crime. If a person is convicted of this crime, he or she could face a mandatory minimum sentence of six to 30 years in prison and fines up to $25,000. It is important to note that a defendant is not eligible for probation after being convicted of a home invasion.

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IL defense lawyerEach year, the FBI puts together a report on crime statistics and one of their reports focuses on hate crimes in the United States. In 2106, the FBI reported that there were 6,121 hate crime incidents that took place in the U.S., with over half of those incidents stemming from racial or ethnic bias. About half of all racially or ethnically based hate crimes were those that were anti-black or African American. The prevalence of hate crimes has risen by a significant amount in the past few years and recently, a Chicago man was arrested on charges of drawing swastikas on buildings.

Chicago Man Charged with Felony Hate Crimes

A 51-year-old man has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of hate crimes after the man is alleged to have drawn swastikas on multiple homes on the North Side. The man is being charged with two felony counts of hate crimes, along with three misdemeanor counts of criminal defacing of property. Chicago police say that the man was identified on home security video footage showing him using chalk to draw swastikas on garages and fences.

Illinois Hate Crime Laws

In Illinois, a hate crime is defined as any crime that is committed due to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of another person or a group of people. Hate crimes can include assault, battery, stalking, intimidation, theft, damage to property, trespassing, and others. A hate crime is a Class 4 felony for a first offense and a Class 2 felony for a second offense. A first-offense hate crime can be classified as a Class 3 felony if it is committed on the grounds of a religious institution, a cemetery, a school, a public park or any public property within 1,000 feet of any aforesaid locations.

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IL defense lawyerBeing accused of a sex crime can be stressful and emotionally tolling for you, your friends and your family. Whether the accusation is true or not, being accused of a sex crime can not only cause problems between relationships with people in your life, but it can also cause problems at work or getting future jobs. Understanding common defenses to sex crimes can prepare you if you are facing these types of charges.

Innocence

One of the most common defenses to sex crimes is innocence, meaning that you are pleading that you did not commit the crime. This is perhaps the most basic defense in sexual assault cases. The defendant can argue that they couldn’t have committed the crime because they were in a different place at the time the crime was committed. This is called an alibi and must be supported by credible evidence that they could not have possibly committed the crime.

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Chicago criminal defense attorneyIn popular culture, the crimes of assault and battery have acquired numerous meanings that are not entirely in keeping with the actual nature of the offenses themselves. This can cause potential problems when one is accused of such an offense and is not entirely sure what specific acts they are being accused of committing. If this situation ever arises in your life, it can be extremely helpful to know exactly what such an accusation includes and what it does not.

Definitions

The popular perception of assault is that it involves unwanted physical contact with a second person. This, however, misstates several aspects of the legal definition. Assault in Illinois is defined as a person engaging in a course of action “which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” In other words, one need not even touch another to commit assault against him or her. The crux of the issue is the fear that the victim is made to feel, whether it is subjective or not.

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