This is the next post in a series of articles addressing defending against assault and battery charges in Peoria, Illinois. The previous post discussed common Miranda issues that arise in assault and battery cases. Law enforcement’s failure to provide the required warnings to suspects in police custody may result in the exclusion of statements made by the suspect. An experienced criminal attorney can help you understand whether your rights have been violated. In this article, I will discuss how the use or possession of a weapon during an assault and battery may result in increased criminal penalties or additional criminal charges. If you have been charged with assault and battery, contact my office to speak with a lawyer.
As is the case with many types of criminal activity, if the suspect possesses or uses a weapon during the commission of the offense, the conduct will be treated much more severely than the underlying offense. Under Illinois law, possessing a firearm during the commission of assault and battery will result in elevating the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. Obviously the penalties resulting from the heightened charge will be more serious as well. For example, a simple assault is typically a Class C misdemeanor in Illinois. If a gun is present or used in the simple assault, the prosecuting attorney may increase the charge to a Class 4 felony. This can mean the difference between being sentenced to thirty days in jail for the underlying assault versus one to six years in jail for a Class 4 felony. Furthermore, if the assault involves a specifically protected group, such as police, children or public servants, the penalties may be more significant. Finally, the presence of a weapon may also lead to additional federal or state criminal penalties for illegal possession of a firearm or felon in possession violations. It goes without saying that the additional charges carry their own serious penalties.
Given the potential consequences one may face if charged with a crime involving a weapon, I cannot stress enough the importance of retaining a Peoria criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer will review all aspects of your case to explore and present all possible legal defenses on your behalf. If you have been accused of assault and battery with a weapon, contact my office today to schedule a consultation. My office also represents clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.