Chicago Aggravated Assault Attorney
If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault, your future is on the line. Besides the obvious penalties of fines and jail time, your conviction will also have serious consequences for your employment or education. By hiring a Chicago aggravated assault attorney, however, you may be able to avoid the harsh consequences of a criminal conviction.
Aggravated assault is a serious crime. The offense basically consists on committing an assault in a place or against a person that are offered extra protection by the law. Depending on the aggravating factors of the assault, you could be facing either felony or misdemeanor charges. The clock is ticking, and the faster you retain the services of a skilled lawyer, the higher your chances of avoiding a conviction.
Call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential case consultation.
How Does Illinois Law Define Aggravated Assault?
An assault is any willful act that puts another person in reasonable fear of being harmed or offensively touched. Importantly, you must be in a position to immediately act on your threat for your actions to be considered as an assault. Thus, yelling at your neighbor across the fence is not usually assault – unless you have a weapon with which you can reach him. If you carry through the assault by making contact with the alleged victim, the offense becomes a battery.
- An assault committed in public – If you act aggressively towards a person in a public place such as the street, a restaurant, a bar, or a sports venue, you may get charged with aggravated assault.
- An assault carried out against a protected person – Your assault will be considered aggravated if the alleged victim is disabled, elderly, a teacher on school grounds, a police officer, or another public official exercising his or her duties at the time of the incident.
- An assault carried out with a weapon – You will face aggravated assault charges if you use a vehicle, brandish a dangerous weapon, or shoot a firearm during an assault. The authorities also consider the use of a laser or the wearing of a hood or mask as aggravating factors.
What Are the Consequences of an Aggravated Assault Conviction?
In most cases, aggravated assault is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and possible fines of $2,500. An assault carried out against a police officer or committed with a dangerous weapon is a Class 4 felony punishable by one to three years in prison and/or fines of up to $25,000. If you discharge a firearm from your vehicle or attempt to use your vehicle as a weapon, you may face Class 3 felony charges involving a maximum sentence of two to five years in prison and fines of $25,000.
In addition to these criminal penalties, your aggravated assault conviction will have serious consequences, including:
- Court fees
- Attorney fees
- A permanent entry on your publicly available criminal record
- Trouble finding a job or applying to schools
- With a felony conviction, restricted voting and gun possession rights
- For felons, inability to obtain many professional licenses
- Possible deportation if you have immigrant status
How Can a Chicago Aggravated Assault Attorney Help?
The consequences of either a felony or misdemeanor conviction for aggravated assault are harsh. Fortunately, a skilled and experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer can help defeat your charges or mitigate the consequences of a conviction. At O’Meara Law, we will start by asking for your side of the story and reviewing all of the evidence the prosecutor intends to use against you.
In some cases, it may be possible to ask the court to exclude some evidence from the case before the trial starts. If this motion to suppress the evidence succeeds, there may not be enough evidence left for the prosecutor to take your case to trial. Since criminal trials are expensive and time-consuming, winning your case in the pretrial stage will be your lawyer’s priority. At trial, your lawyer can win your case by proving that the prosecutor’s evidence leaves some doubt as to whether you are guilty of aggravated assault.
When the prosecutor’s evidence against you is particularly strong, it may be in your best interest to accept a plea agreement. Your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to obtain the guarantee of a light sentence or a conviction for a less serious offense such as simple assault. You should never plead guilty to a criminal offense without consulting with an experienced legal professional.
At O’Meara Law, we are dedicated to bringing our clients’ cases to successful resolutions. Through zealous advocacy and attention to detail, we are able to defend our clients’ rights and obtain good case outcomes.
To learn more about how we can assist in your aggravated battery case, call us today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.