drunk people fighting in a pubThis is the next post in my series on the handling of Class “A” misdemeanors in Peoria and other Illinois areas. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you or a family member have been arrested. The sooner you contact counsel then the sooner they will begin to build a defense on your behalf. This article will discuss the handling of aggravated assault charges, which is a Class “A” offense. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Aggravated assault can be a Class “A” misdemeanor, or a felony, in the state of Illinois

There are multiple types of conduct which can be considered aggravated assault in the state of Illinois. In short, a normal assault becomes “aggravated” under any of the following circumstances listed in 720 ILCS 5/12-2:

  • It is known that the victim is at least 60 years old, a teacher, a law enforcement officer or public employee, or a member of another group listed in 720 ILCS 5/12-2 (b)
  • If the assault involved the use of a firearm or a motor vehicle
  • If the perpetrator wears a hood or mask to conceal their identity
  • If the perpetrator makes a recording of the incident with the intention of sharing it online

Depending on which section of the statute applies, the crime may be charged as a Class “A” misdemeanor, a Category “3” felony, or a Category “4” felony. This means that, on the low end, a defendant may face up to one year in jail and on the high end they may face up to five years in prison.

It can be common for a defendant to face other charges in addition to a count of aggravated assault. Consider the following example. Joe is a convicted felon and he knowingly assaults a person protected under Illinois law. Joe is arrested and a gun is found on his person. In addition to facing charges for aggravated assault, Joe will be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Depending on the facts of the case, Joe may face additional charges as well. In the event of a conviction, the Judge will have discretion as to whether the sentences will run consecutively or concurrently.

Peoria defendants may raise defenses in an aggravated assault case

If one has been arrested for aggravated assault then it is important to remember that there are defenses which they may raise on their behalf. If they were acting in self-defense then this is a claim they may make. Also, it may be possible to exclude the use of eyewitness identifications if the ID’s were obtained through overly suggestive law enforcement methods. It may also be possible to outright defend the charges at trial. Even if a defense is not available, an experienced attorney will attempt to reach a more favorable resolution with the prosecution. Your choice of counsel can be crucial in such cases.

As a Peoria criminal defense lawyer, I am experienced in handling aggravated assault charges. I have handled a number of both misdemeanor and felony cases. I am also a former prosecutor who is familiar with our local court system. My office believes that everyone is entitled to effective representation and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you. My office also services the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.