Blogs

Reasonable Grounds for Charges of Aggravated Assault

Joliet Assault Injury AttorneyWhen you are accused of aggravated assault , it is understandable that one of your very first concerns may be whether or not you are being justly accused. Does the arresting officer really have the right to take you into custody? Are the grounds for your arrest truly reasonable, or are they somewhat questionable? These questions depend greatly on the nature of the accused crime. If you are facing aggravated assault charges, it is important to know where you stand, and one of the best ways to educate yourself is by reviewing the Illinois state laws that govern such charges.

What the Law Considers Reasonable Grounds

In general, when a person commits an act of conduct without lawful authority and is aware that it places another person in harm’s way, the law considers the action to be an assault. The law states that if you place another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery, it is a Class C misdemeanor. Aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault, which may include the use of a weapon.

An individual may also be charged with this aggravated assault if they know their victim happens to be a physically handicapped person, a person 60 years of age or older, a teacher or school employee, or a community policing volunteer. There are other grounds for aggravated assault charges that are based on the status of the victim or the location of conduct. For example, if an individual harms someone who works for the community or does so in retaliation for performing their official duties, the perpetrated can be charged with aggravated assault. Additionally, if the offense is committed on public property, in a public place of accommodation or amusement, or at a sports venue, aggravated assault charges may follow.

What Cannot Be Used as Reasonable Grounds

When it comes to aggravated assault, mere verbal threats, such as shouting or the use of profanity, cannot be the only grounds for charges. There must be some form of physical threat, and the person being assaulted must have reasonable belief that the accused offender is either in possession of a weapon or has the intention of carrying out a threat that somehow places them in harm’s way.

If you have been accused of aggravated assault, it is important you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet who can help examine your case and protect your best interests in a court of law. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is a former prosecutor who understands the law and is ready to provide the help you need. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

Exercising Your Rights During an Arrest: What You Need to Know

Arrested Joliet Illinois AttorneyWhile most citizens know they have the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, and the right to privacy in their own home, they do not fully understand what these rights mean. Add in the fear of crossing a police officer and it is no mystery why so many fail to fully exercise their rights during an arrest. Do not make the same mistake! Learn what rights you have under the law, and how you can exercise them, should you ever be arrested.

Your Right to Privacy and Proper Procedure

As a U.S. citizen, the Fourth Amendment protects you from an unwarranted invasion of your privacy. This broadly encompassing amendment means that an officer cannot legally perform a search or seizure of your vehicle, home, or person without your permission or probable cause. If you give them consent – either verbally or implied – they can and will attempt to use anything they find as evidence. So do not invite an officer into your home, do not “secure” your vehicle, and do not hand over your keys when they ask. To add an extra layer of protection, you can also verbally say (as loudly as possible) that you do NOT give them permission to search your vehicle. If any bystanders hear you, their testimony could be used as mitigating evidence in your case.

Your Right to Remain Silent

Failing to remain silent is one of the most common and most incriminating mistakes that arrested individuals make. They try to explain their innocence, start blurting out questions that incriminate them, give away information that they do not have to, or otherwise say something that can be used as evidence against them. From the moment that an officer pulls you over, stops you, or approaches you, you have the right to exercise silence. You do not have to answer when they ask about the joint in your ashtray, give them your address when they ask, or try to explain why you ran the stoplight. You do not have to say anything at all.

Your Right to an Attorney

Often, those who are facing possible charges do not know when they can exercise their right to an attorney. This is partly because law enforcement is not required to ask you if you want your lawyer present since that right is expressed when they read you your Miranda rights. This means the burden is on you to request one. When should you? The answer to this is simple: you request your attorney the moment you are taken into custody or pulled in for questioning. Again, do not say anything until your attorney arrives.

Once you contact our firm, we will help to ensure that all of your other legal rights are protected. We will also work aggressively to mitigate your charges. No matter what situation you are facing, we fight for the most favorable outcome in your case. Call 815-470-4025 to speak with an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney today.

Understanding the Penalties of an Illinois Drug Possession Charge

Joliet Drug PossessionBeing arrested on drug charges can have a lasting impact on your life. Besides the cost of the charge itself, your job or livelihood could be placed at risk, and you may even lose government funding if you are attending or planning on going to college. Understand how the state of Illinois processes these charges, and what you can best do to protect yourself from the adverse consequences.

Drug Scheduling in Illinois

In Illinois, the penalties of a drug charge depend on several factors, including the assigned “schedule” of the drug you allegedly had in your possession. Based on the drug’s potential for abuse and whether or not they are considered approved for medical use, this schedule is as follows:

• Schedule I drugs: opiates and opium derivatives that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (heroin, LSD, ecstasy, etc.);
• Schedule II drugs: some accepted medical use, a high potential for abuse, and the propensity to cause severe psychological or physical dependence (Demerol, OxyContin, Percocet, etc.);
• Schedule III drugs: a lower potential for abuse and a moderate to low risk of physical or psychological dependence (Vicodin, Tylenol with Codeine, Suboxone, etc.);
• Schedule IV drugs: a low potential for abuse compared to other higher schedule drugs (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, etc.);
• Schedule V drugs: a low potential for abuse compared to other higher schedule drugs and primarily preparations that contain limited quantities of higher level narcotics (Robitussin AC, Codeine, Phenergan, etc.).

Other Factors Considered in Your Drug Possession Case

While the scheduling of the alleged drug is a major factor in determining the potential consequences of a drug charge, there are many other factors considered as well. Examples include the number of previous convictions and/or possession charges, the amount of the drug you were allegedly carrying, and your proximity to a school at the time of an arrest.

Possible Penalties of Drug Possession

Schedule I drugs often result in felony charges, which could lead to incarceration of anywhere from four to 50 years, depending on the amount you were allegedly carrying. However, there are exceptions. In contrast, lower schedule drugs are often considered misdemeanors, which typically results in a shorter sentence. Still, there are factors that could aggravate a lower schedule drug charge and increase your penalties.

Contact an Illinois Criminal Law Attorney
If you are facing a drug charge in Illinois, it is critical that you contact an attorney that understands how to defend your rights and mitigate your charges. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we possess this knowledge, and we will take swift, aggressive action in your case. Get the representation you deserve. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney to schedule your confidential consultation today.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs