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Articles Posted in Aggravated Battery

The officer is okay. He was shot in the vest. The woman who fired the bullets, however, was critically injured in the exchange of gunfire. She was charged with attempted murder, weapons crimes, and aggravated battery. On Monday, she accepted a plea for aggravated battery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Good behavior credits plus time served mean that she could be out in as little as four years. Had the defendant been convicted of attempted murder, she would have faced a minimum sentence of 26 years. 

What Happened?

Two plainclothes officers witnessed the defendant during a suspected drug deal. One officer called the defendant over for questioning. She immediately ran. The officer gave chase. When he was about to catch up with her, she turned around and shot him. The bullet penetrated a flashlight on his vest and then also penetrated the vest leaving a scar on his body near his heart. The officers returned fire but critically wounded the defendant who survived her injuries to stand trial. She was expected to plead innocent and then defend herself at trial, but a last-minute plea deal subverted the effort.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on a CTA incident in which two CTA employees allegedly got into an altercation with a bus rider. The incident occurred on June 11. 28-year-old Leonard Anders Jr. and 46-year-old Milan Williams, both transit employees, have been fired and now face charges for their role in the incident. The victim, 43-year-old Lawrence Madden can be seen on video getting body slammed by Lawrence Madden who entered the altercation after a fight broke out between Anders and Madden.

CTA announced that the two men were being fired for violation of a number of rules, including conduct unbefitting of a CTA employee and failure to report the incident. The two men also face charges of misdemeanor battery and aggravated felony battery

Who Threw the First Punch?

kevin-gent-219197-copy-300x200On 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.

tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224Assault and battery cases occur on a daily basis in Chicago. If you are ever charged in such a case, it is important for you to know what you face moving forward. For starters, you should never defend yourself in court when it comes to even minor or misdemeanor charges. There is no reason you should mess with your freedom or your rights. Let’ us take a look at assault and battery cases in today’s post so you know what to expect if you ever face these charges.

Definition of Assault

The most common definition of assault is when one person threatens to harm another or incites the fear of harm in another person. It could also include the intent to injure another person. For the most part, contact with the victim is not necessary for someone to be charged with assault. That is why you do not need battery to be present for assault be a charge, while on the other hand battery requires assault for both charges to be issued.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240Aggravated battery of a police officer is a serious crime. Chicago judges and law enforcement are especially harsh on these cases. If you were recently charged with this crime, it is important to know your defense options. It is also crucial that you look at recent cases to understand how harsh the judge could be at your arraignment and potential trial.

Recent Cases

On July 4, 2018, Chicago police responded to a domestic dispute at a party. A woman told police that her boyfriend had physically assaulted her. She had left the event, but her child was still there. When the police attempted to arrest the boyfriend, he became violent and used the child as a shield against them. Two of the man’s relatives then assaulted the officers in an attempt to free him.

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Although crime has been on the decline in Chicago as of late, carjacking is still a common occurrence throughout the city. Due to the nature of a city/urban environment, many people live in close quarters who are using vehicles for their commute, leading to the prevalence of this particular crime. Car jacking crimes can take on many different forms. For example, carjacking is nearly always more of a serious offense than car theft due to the vehicle being taken by force or intimidation, or sometimes both. Certain actions leading up to the illegal obtainment of the vehicle may qualify as an aggravating factor to your offense.

Under Illinois law, an aggravated carjacking is sentenced as a class X felony, which is a mandatory six to 30 years in prison, while a plain carjacking offense is a class 1 with a four-to-15-year minimum sentence.

Armed and Dangerous

alex-holyoake-202959-copy-300x200A number of legal issues arise when an employee of a company commits assault on one of its customers. The lines of liability can be blurred, not least because the crime occurs on a business premises. Moreover, the employees are deemed to be working on behalf of their company during office hours. A distinction has to be made between the personal liability of the employee and the corporate liability of the employer. A good lawyer is the key to success in any case.

The first critical consideration is that the employee who has committed the assault is criminally liable for those ctions. When it comes to the civil cases, the employer may be asked to compensate the customer for any demonstrated injuries. Such was a case when a number of ex-bouncers admitted to assaulting customers in a club based within the Chelmsford area of Chicago.

Case Study of Employees Who Commit Assault During Business Hours

Hilulaohaio-225x300Chicago has sought to deal with the increasing problem of hate crime using legislative means. The provisions of the Illinois Hate Crime Act (IHCA), 720 ILCS 5/12-7.1, are the leading authority on the management of the criminal process. The act creates an imperative on the state to prosecute but does not explicitly remove the opportunity for private civil cases to take place. Many victims take the opportunity to sue for damages, even when the aggressor is a public authority or their representatives. The range of options for the court includes actual damages, punitive damages, and additional costs, including attorney fees. At other times, the court may offer injunctive relief in order to stop the offending behavior from happening.

The criteria for what constitutes a hate crime can be fluid and those who offend have often used the ambiguity of definitions in order to attempt a get-out-clause for their behavior. Typically, they will claim that this is a case of freedom of speech, which is constitutionally guaranteed. For those who actually go on to commit acts of violence, the case is much simpler since the prosecutor can go for the assault line of questioning and later prove that hate-inspired motives were at play. A crime becomes a hate crime when it is motivated by perceived creed, race, color, gender, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, nationality and even membership of a particular group. Bigotry is at the heart of this crime and will be part of the Mens Rea during the prosecution.

The Importance of the Motivating Factors

3scbuulajgg-matthew-hamilton-300x200It is a nightmare scenario when a defendant is accused of having injured a police officer in the line of duty. Both the courts and probation office are reluctant to give defendants any benefit of doubt or leeway in such circumstances. The message is clear: You mess with public officials and the public will mess with you by way of aggravated sentencing guidelines. Although such cases are a true test of defense skills, it can certainly help to solidify some of the key aspects of criminal defense. Many trainer attorneys might benefit from handling such a case. The key ingredients of the crime are summarized in the provisions of 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05.

Understanding the Crime and its Ingredients

It helps to first understand the general crime of battery and then assess the aggravating features in as far as they relate to the current case. First of all, the defense team must take note of the important technicality that battery for these purposes excludes the discharge of a gun. That is an entirely separate crime with more serious consequences for the defendant if one of the victims was a police officer. In any case, there is a requirement that the defendant knowingly committed the constituent acts which include causing bodily harm or disfigurement. The harm clause also refers to permanent disability.

Two Chicago store clerks who were the victims of an armed robbery opened fire on the alleged assailants recently. Following the robbery, the manager of the 7-11 saw a vehicle parked in the alley; when he and the employee approached with guns, the alleged assailants opened fire. The clerks fired off eight shots before the alleged assailants fled.

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Self-Defense: By the Victims or the Armed Robbers?

This case raises an interesting question of whether the victims were justified in their use of force against the armed robbers, and whether they could face potential charges of aggravated battery or aggravated assault for firing upon the alleged assailants.

Illinois law allows an individual who used force against another to claim self-defense if “he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” The law further states that a person can only use force intended to, or likely to cause, death or great bodily harm – such as firing a gun – “only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.”

Illinois law does not allow a person to claim self-defense if force was used during an escape from commission of a forcible felony, or initially provided the use of force himself. It also cannot be claimed if the person asserting the defense initiated the contact, unless he indicates his desire to withdraw from his initial use of force.

So in a typical convenience store robbery, the alleged victims would have been justified in pulling their weapons and firing if they had done so during the commission of the crime. One assailant allegedly held a gun to the clerks’ head and threatened to blow his head off if he didn’t hand over the money. Under the self-defense law, the clerk and his boss would have been justified in pulling their weapons and firing because there was a reasonable belief that their lives were in imminent danger. They also would have been justified in using force, even if the assailant hadn’t made the threat, because armed robbery is a forcible felony.

But the circumstances surrounding this case are not so straightforward. The clerks pulled their guns after the armed robbery had been committed and the assailants fled the store. So there is a question of whether the clerks’ use of force was justified, or whether the assailants themselves could claim self-defense.

At the point where the clerks approached the assailants with their weapons, there was no longer a need to defend against another’s use of imminent force, there was no fear that either of them were in danger of suffering great bodily harm, and the forcible felony had been completed. This doesn’t appear like the typical “escape” scenario, because the clerks did not chase the assailants out, guns drawn. Instead, the assailants left with the money, and the clerks then saw a car in the alley on their security cameras. They then chose walk out and confront the assailants, not even sure if the people in the car were the assailants. Their actions could be considered retaliation or vigilante justice rather than self-defense.

You may be thinking, “But when the clerks approached, the assailants drew their weapons and opened fire, so the clerks were justified.” That may be true. It may also be true that the assailants (assuming they even were the assailants) were now in fear for their lives and opened fire to protect themselves from imminent bodily harm. Yes, the law says that a person who initiated force cannot then claim self-defense if force is used against them. However, the initial aggressor can claim self-defense if he indicated a desire to disengage. Here, the fact that the assailants fled the scene could show an indication on their part to disengage from their initial threat of force, so that the clerks’ approach with guns drawn was now an improper use of force.

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