On January 16, 2019, an Aurora woman was arrested and charged with three counts of felony aggravated battery and three counts of misdemeanor domestic battery at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora. The charges were spurred by a video of the incident captured by a witness who in turn called 911. The woman is accused of dragging her five year old child by the hair and holding him down and pinching his neck, causing bruising, according to The Chicago Sun Times.
What are the Punishments for Aggravated Battery and Domestic Battery?
In Illinois, aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of between two and a half to five years with a potential fine of up to $25,000. In certain cases, this sentence can be extended to up to 10 years if certain aggravating circumstances exist. A previous felony conviction within the last 10 years or if the battery is committed against a victim 12 years of age or younger are just two of the aggravating factors that can be considered. Domestic battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor (although it can also be charged as a felony in some cases) and can be punished with up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2500. It is important to note that domestic battery is a misdemeanor that, upon conviction, even if you are sentenced only to court supervision, can not be expunged from your criminal record. This differs from many other misdemeanors and further exemplifies the seriousness of the charge.
Why are There Multiple Charges for the Same Action?
Why was this woman charged with different crimes for the same action? Simply put, the police and prosecutors hedge their bets. Without a full picture of what actually happened, the authorities charge everything possible under the law to make sure that if additional information becomes available later on in the process, their bases are covered. They also do it as a way to establish and maintain leverage over the accused. Prosecutors often rely on the fact that many defendants are not aware of their tactics and use harsh felony charges to intimidate defendants into agreeing to what might otherwise be an unacceptable resolution to their case to avoid the potential for a much more severe penalty. In this case, the extremes are vastly different when you consider that the minimum punishment could be a sentence of court supervision while the maximum could be up to 10 years in prison if aggravating factors exist.
Why an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Matters
Focusing on the difference in punishment is one very substantial reason as to why you want a skilled and experienced attorney protecting your rights. While the maximum sentence in a case like this remains an unlikely eventuality, a threat of up to 10 years imprisonment is daunting. Further, public defenders carry a huge caseload and, truth be told, often do not have enough time to properly understand the specific circumstances in each of their cases and do not have enough hours in the day to necessarily even get to know their clients. The particulars in a criminal case matter as to the outcome. Videos and witnesses do not always tell the whole story and as an accused, the whole story is necessary to ensure that justice is served. If you are facing battery charges, you are in a serious situation. If you live in the Cook County area, the skilled and experienced legal professionals at The Law Offices of David Freidberg can help you get the results you deserve and help preserve your rights. Give us a call today at 312-560-7100 or click here to set up your initial consultation and get the help you need.
(image courtesy of Kevin Gent)