Falsely Accused of IL Assault? Here’s What To Do
In Illinois, being falsely accused of any crime is a serious issue, but facing false allegations of assault charges seems to be especially egregious. You may feel helpless in the face of these accusations, but you are not. There are things you can do to protect yourself and your rights.
Assault charges can result in severe penalties that can impact your entire life. From jail time to fines to a criminal history that can ruin your reputation, you must understand what to do when facing these types of charges in the state. Here are some critical steps to follow if accused of Illinois assault.
What You Should Not Do
There are several important things you should not do if facing allegations of assault. From the moment the police confront you with the charges, you should:
Do Not Talk to the Police
You should only answer questions from the police about the case once you have an attorney representing you. Even in cases where you are innocent of the charges and know it, it’s in your best interest to invoke your right to remain silent until an attorney arrives at the police station for you. Things you say to the police beyond what is required may be used against you, so it’s important to remember and exercise your rights in this scenario.
Do Not Talk to the Victim
Even if you think you can talk to the victim to clear the matter up, it’s not advisable to do so. You should not say anything to them if they attempt to contact you directly or through your social media accounts. The victim can ultimately use statements made by them against you and they are as evidence. If communication needs to occur, then it should go through your attorney.
What You Should Do
If you are accused of assault in Illinois, there are certain things you should do to help your case, such as:
If you have any evidence that casts doubt on the allegations of assault against you, then collect and keep this evidence for your attorney. You may want to gather eyewitness statements, texts, or private messages between you and the victim leading up to the incident and anything else you think can help your case.
Do Watch What You Post
If you are active on social media platforms, make sure to use care in what you do post. Never post anything about the alleged assault. Take care in what you write, the pictures you post, the comments you make, or anything else related to social media that prosecutors could take out of context to make you look guilty.
What Penalties Can Be Faced?
In Illinois, anyone convicted of assault can face penalties for a Class C misdemeanor. You may not think that sounds very serious, but it can result in up to one month in jail, fines of $1,500, two years of probation, up to 120 hours of community service, and the requirement to pay restitution to the victim. Plus, it goes on your criminal record, which can significantly impact your future.
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.