Are you facing criminal charges for aggravated battery in Chicago? If you are, it is important to contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for this violent crime can have devastating consequences, including a possible sentence of life behind bars. Once you have been convicted of aggravated battery in Chicago your future will be uncertain. It will be difficult to get a job, rent an apartment, or secure a loan. In some cases, your right to own a firearm or participate in government welfare programs could be revoked. You can limit the likelihood of facing these consequences by hiring an attorney to defend you.
Gus Kostopoulos is a former Assistant State’s Attorney with more than 18 years of experience. Since he has hands-on experience prosecuting criminal cases, he understands how the State’s Attorney will approach and try your case. He is able to use this knowledge and insight to offer his clients unparalleled legal representation in criminal matters. If you are facing criminal charges for aggravated battery, call our Chicago office today for a free consultation.
Aggravated Battery in Chicago
In Chicago, you can face serious jail time and fines for making unlawful and unwanted contact with another person. If your act of battery is particularly violent or harmful, the consequences of your actions can be catastrophic. In some cases, aggravated battery is one of the most serious crimes you can be charged with in Chicago.
You can be charged for an aggravated battery in Chicago, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05, if you commit a battery and at least one of the following things is true:
- You cause great bodily harm, disfigurement, or permanent disability;
- The victim is a law enforcement officer, over the age of 60, or disabled; and/or
- You strangle your victim.
Causing Great Bodily Harm
What does it mean to cause great bodily harm? How is great bodily harm defined? There is no bright line to explain what types of injuries will be considered great bodily harm and what types of injuries will not. Great bodily harm is a subjective term and will depend on the facts and circumstances of each specific incident. Courts have, however, provided some guidance for defining what great bodily harm is. Great bodily harm is an “injury of a graver and more serious character than an ordinary battery.”
In order to be charged with simple battery, your unlawful contact must have caused physical pain or injury. Simple battery is often charged when a victim suffers minor and limited injuries such as scrapes, bruises, small fractures, and lacerations. It is helpful to look at the other types of injuries that can result in charges for aggravated battery.
You can be charged with aggravated battery if you cause great bodily harm or disfigurement or permanent disability. This should mean that great bodily harm is the type of injury that is extremely dangerous and extensive. Great bodily harm is generally defined to include more serious harms, such as traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures, internal organ damage, and paralysis.
In the end, the issue of whether you caused great bodily harm is a question of fact for the jury to decide. A Chicago aggravated battery attorney will have the experience and knowledge necessary to devise a persuasive argument that your conduct did not rise to the level of great bodily harm.
Penalties for Aggravated Battery
The penalties for aggravated battery will depend on your specific crime and what the prosecutor is able to prove. Factors that will be important in determining the penalty in your aggravated battery case include:
- The specific type of aggravated battery you are charged with;
- The extent of your victim’s injuries;
- The classification of your victim (i.e., were they a law enforcement officer or elderly?);
- Whether you used a firearm, weapon, or harmful substance to harm you victim; and
- Your existing criminal record.
Aggravated battery, without extenuating circumstances, is a Class 3 Felony in Chicago. If you are convicted of a Class 3 Felony in Chicago you can face up 2-5 years in an Illinois state prison and be required to pay fines of up to $25,000.
Aggravated battery can carry more significant penalties when extenuating circumstances are present. In certain situations, aggravated battery can be charged as a Class 2 Felony, Class 1 Felony, or Class X Felony. In some situations, aggravated battery is punishable by a minimum of 6-30 years in prison.
Defenses to Aggravated Battery
In order to convict you of aggravated battery, the prosecutor must prove that you are guilty of each element of the crime. Your attorney will argue any defense that helps to cast doubt on your guilt. Defenses to charges of aggravated battery in Chicago include:
- The alleged contact did not cause great bodily harm;
- The victim consented to the contact;
- Lack of intent to cause great bodily harm;
- The victim was not part of a specially protected class;
- False accusation;
- Mistaken identity;
- Lack of sufficient evidence; and
- Violations of your Constitutional rights.
Fighting Criminal Charges for Aggravated Battery in Chicago
Are you facing criminal charges for aggravated battery in Chicago? If so, do not hesitate to contact the Kostopoulos Law Group today. We understand that your future is at stake and will do everything in our power to limit the negative repercussions of your arrest. As a former prosecutor, Gus Kostopoulos understands how the prosecution will conduct an investigation and build a criminal case against you. He will use this insight to your advantage, and fight to get the charges against you reduced or thrown out.
The choices you make today will determine how your future unfolds. Aggravated battery is a serious crime and carries potentially life-changing penalties. It is in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney who has the ability to limit the likelihood of your facing these consequences. Contact our Chicago aggravated battery attorneys today to set up a free consultation. We will review your alleged crime, determine if your legal rights have been violated, and answer the questions you have.