Chicago Aggravated Battery Attorney
If the authorities have evidence that you unlawfully used force against another person, you may be charged with aggravated battery. Like all crimes of violence, the authorities vigorously prosecute suspected cases of aggravated battery so you should hire a seasoned Chicago criminal defense lawyer if you want to avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction.
As a felony, a conviction for aggravated battery will result in years behind bars and severe restrictions on your rights upon your release from prison. Do not plead guilty to your charges before consulting with a lawyer, because there may be several defense strategies available to you. The aggravated battery lawyers of O’Meara Law stand ready to give your case the thorough attention it deserves and are available today for a free and confidential case consultation.
Call us today at 312-909-0706 to discuss your situation.
How Does Illinois Law Define Aggravated Battery?
In essence, aggravated battery is a simple battery that involves some aggravating factor. A simple battery is any unwanted, offensive, or violent physical contact with another person. The aggravating factor might be the manner in which you allegedly harmed the victim, the victim’s protected status, or the place where the alleged battery took place.
The Illinois statute for aggravated battery is 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. This law describes a variety of scenarios that may lead to an aggravated battery charge along with the penalty range that attaches to each. Below are descriptions of the most common aggravated battery charges:
- When injuries are the aggravating factor – If you severely injure or disfigure another person other than by using a firearm, aggravated battery is considered a class 3 felony, which carries a two to five-year prison sentence and a possible fine of $25,000. If the victim was over 60 years old at the time of the attack, however, the offense becomes a class 2 felony involving three to seven years’ imprisonment and up to $25,000. If the victim was a police officer exercising his or her duties, aggravated battery is a class 1 felony punishable by four to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
- The use of a weapon is the aggravating factor – If you injure someone by discharging a firearm, aggravated battery is a class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. If the alleged victim was a police officer, emergency services worker, or a school teacher, the minimum prison term for this offense increases to 15 years.
- Location of the offense is the aggravating factor – A simple battery that occurs in public, in a hotel or restaurant, a domestic violence shelter, or a sports venue is considered an aggravated battery. The offense is a class 3 felony involving a two to five-year prison sentence and fines that may reach up to $25,000.
- When the status of the victim is the aggravating factor – If you commit a simple battery against a person over 60, someone with a disability, a teacher or school employee on school grounds, a judge, or a peace officer, an EMS worker, a transit employee, a state official, or a taxi driver on the job, then the battery is considered a class 3 felony punishable by two to five years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines.
A Conviction for Aggravated Battery Involves More than Prison Time and Fines
If you’ve been charged with aggravated battery, your primary concern is probably the prospect of prison time and having to pay fines. But a conviction for aggravated battery carries with it additional, unexpected consequences, including:
- Court costs
- Attorney’s fees
- Civil liability if the alleged victim sues you to recover for his or her medical expenses
- A felony conviction visible on your public and permanent criminal record
- Restricted voting rights
- Inability to legally own or possess a firearm
- Excluded from many professions requiring a license
- Difficulty finding employment or gaining admission to college
- Deportation if you’re an immigrant
Owing to the collateral consequences of an aggravated battery conviction, you should never plead guilty without consulting an experienced Chicago aggravated battery attorney who can determine whether you’re in a position to win your case.
How Can a Chicago Aggravated Battery Attorney Help?
Every case is different, but your lawyer will usually explore your options in crafting the defense to your aggravated battery charges. Your attorney may seek to suppress evidence or prove that there is reasonable doubt in your case. You may have committed the offense, but have an affirmative defense, such as self-defense. In the end, you may either make a deal with the prosecutor or decide to take your case to trial.
You may have several options for the defense of your case. If you act fast and retain the services of a lawyer to defend your rights and rebut the charges, you may be able to avoid the devastating consequences of an aggravated battery conviction. At O’Meara Law, we are ready to begin work on your case today.
Call us at 312-909-0706 for your free and confidential case consultation.