Charged With IL Assault? You Have Rights
Criminal defendants, no matter what crimes they are charged with, have rights in the United States. These rights are protected by the United States Constitution. The problem is, not everyone who is accused of a crime like assault in Illinois takes full advantage of these rights – which is why your attorney is here to help.
What does the state of Illinois consider assault, and what rights do you have if you are accused? These are questions to which every person should know the answer in the state, so make sure to read on to find out what you need to know. This knowledge can come in handy whether you’re accused of a crime or not.
Assault in Illinois
The state of Illinois has its own definition of what actions constitute assault. Someone commits this crime in the state if they act in such a way that knowingly puts another person in fear of battery. It’s also crucial to this crime that the perpetrator has no legal authority to act in such a way.
Battery in the state is when someone acts in a provoking or insulting way resulting in physical contact, such as hitting another person. Even grabbing a person’s clothing can be considered battery, since clothing is considered to be an extension of the person.
So, assault is perpetrated when you put someone in fear of battery. However, there is simple assault in Illinois and aggravated assault, as well. Simple assault is considered a misdemeanor, but assault with the use of a deadly weapon is a felony and can result in harsher criminal penalties.
How Assault Is Punished in Illinois
If you are convicted of simple assault, then it’s a Class C misdemeanor in Illinois. That can result in up to one month behind bars as well as the requirement to pay a fine of as much as $1,500. You may also be placed on probation for two years, be required to complete up to 120 hours of community service, and be compelled to pay restitution to the victim.
Aggravated assault penalties take into account several factors:
- Where the assault was committed
- Who it was committed against
- If a deadly weapon was involved
All of these factors will play a role in the penalties faced. It can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail and fines of $2,500. In lieu of jail time, you may be sentenced to up to two years of probation.
However, it can also be considered a Class 4 felony in some circumstances. If you are convicted of a Class 4 felony in Illinois, then you face up to three years in prison and fines of as much as $25,000. Some perpetrators may be eligible for probation instead, which can last up to 30 months.
The most serious penalty associated with aggravated assault can be enforced if a firearm is fired from a vehicle or if a vehicle is used to create fear in the victim. In these cases, it can become a Class 3 felony, which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and fines of as much as $25,000. Some may qualify for probation for this crime, which can be imposed for up to 30 months.
What Are Your Rights?
The penalties a person may face for assault in Illinois can be quite severe, having an impact on their life long after any probation or imprisonment sentence is complete. That’s why it’s vital for every person accused of a crime like this to understand what their rights are.
Criminal defendants in the United States have important rights. Some of the most notable include:
The Right to a Speedy Trial
You cannot simply be put in a jail cell and languish there forever. The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution provides you with the right to a speedy as well as public trial when you are charged with a crime. That means you have the right for your case to be put before a jury of your peers or a judge in a time frame that is reasonable.
The Right to a Lawyer
The Sixth Amendment also gives you to right to obtain the counsel of an attorney when you are accused of a crime, whether it’s a public defender or an attorney whom you hire on your own. This is perhaps one of the most important rights to take advantage of, since a skilled and experienced attorney will understand the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and ensure that your rights are upheld.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.