Criminal Lawyer Bloomington IL
Understanding the Crime of Assault
Many people do not realize what actions can result in assault charges. A lot of people think there must be some kind of physical altercation in order to result in assault charges, however, as a criminal lawyer in Bloomington IL can explain, even just threatening to hurt someone can result in assault charges.
For example, if you threaten to punch someone in the face and then lunge at them as if you are going to punch them but stop before you connect, or just threaten them that you are going to punch them, either of these two actions could result in an assault arrest. All it takes for charges to be filed is for the other person to believe they were about to be struck, even if you had no intention of following through with your threat. If you actually do punch them, then you can be charge with battery.
Legally, assault is the threat of physical harm, whereas battery is the actual act of harm. If you knowingly put someone in fear of being harmed, the assault charge is usually a misdemeanor charge. Depending on the circumstances and your past criminal record, a conviction can mean anything from community service to time in jail. Your criminal lawyer can evaluate your case and past criminal record to determine possible outcomes.
There are circumstances where that misdemeanor assault charge can end up a felony aggravated assault charge. There are certain factors which will determine what category and what class of crime you are charged with. Some of these factors include the following:
- Where the assault occurred: If you commit assault on public property, a public way, or a sports venue, you could be charged with aggravated assault.
- Who you assaulted: If you commit assault against a disabled person, teacher, law enforcement officer, process server, or transit officer, you could be charged with aggravated assault.
- Whether you have a weapon or device: If you used a device or weapon on you during the assault, such as a gun, knife, or vehicle, or you use a hood or mask to hide your identity during the assault, you can be charged with aggravated assault.
If a person commits assault by using a vehicle, there must have been an action on the driver’s part that cause the victim to believe that the driver was about to run over them with the vehicle.
If you film or record an assault with the purpose of spreading the footage (i.e. on social media), you can also be charged with aggravated assault in some jurisdictions.
Are There Defenses to Assault?
There are many different defenses against charges of assault, depending on the circumstances of the case and what led up to the incident. For example, a person may have been acting in self-defense against the alleged victim and was actually a victim themselves.
A skilled criminal lawyer Bloomington IL clients recommend can evaluate all the evidence in your case and determine what the best defense against these charges are. If you have been accused of assault, contact Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols to meet with one of our defense attorney and find out how we can help you fight these charges.
If you have been charged with a crime, a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL trusts may be able to help. A skilled lawyer may help you achieve a favorable outcome with your case.
Do I Need a Bloomington IL Criminal Lawyer if I’m Innocent?
The short answer is, yes. Even innocent people can be convicted of a crime and sent to prison. The law does not require you to hire a criminal lawyer. In fact, if you cannot afford an attorney, the judge will appoint a public defender to represent you. However, public defenders are notoriously overworked and rarely have the resources to devote to a single client. As a result, they may not be able to represent your best interests as effectively as a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL men and women hire from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols.
A Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols Criminal Lawyer in Bloomington IL Can Represent You at the Arraignment
Very likely you will be required to appear in court at the arraignment. This is when you will appear before a judge for the first time and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. A criminal lawyer Bloomington IL community members turn to from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols can be by your side. Court proceedings can be confusing and overwhelming for non-lawyers. It’s important that someone looking after your best interests is there to represent you. During the arraignment, assuming that your plea is not guilty for the crime, the following may also occur:
- The judge will announce a date when you will need to attend the next legal proceeding for your case;
- The judge will consider the prosecutor’s and your attorney’s requests for bail, including the amount and possibly a request that you are not required to post bail; and
- The judge will appoint a public defender for you if you have not hired a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL locals trust because you cannot afford a lawyer.
During the Investigation
Though you may have already been charged for the crime, this does not guarantee that law enforcement has concluded their investigation. In fact, even through the deposition process when you may be called upon to provide information to the prosecution, anything you say can and will be held against you. With a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL respects by your side from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, you will receive counsel regarding what information you might share and when you should exercise your legal right to remain silent. Even innocent people sometimes need to take advantage of the Fifth Amendment in order to protect their rights.
Before You Are Arrested
It’s not uncommon for someone to know that they’re under investigation, even if they are innocent. If this is the situation for you, it may be in your best interest to talk to a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL residents turn to when they have been investigated or charged with a similar crime. A skilled attorney may be able to help you avoid getting charged, or if you are arrested, they can protect your rights from the very beginning of the legal process. They can also arrange bail on your behalf, and possibly get you released on your own recognizance.
In addition to hiring a criminal lawyer, here are a few other tips on how to deal with an arrest if you have not yet been arrested but anticipate this may occur:
Don’t Resist Arrest
If you are being arrested by the police, you should under no circumstances resist. Even if you are innocent of the crime you are charged with, resisting arrest can make you look guilty and jeopardize your case. It is best to listen to the police officer’s instructions and go quietly.
Don’t Talk to the Police
After you are arrested and booked, the police may want to discuss your case with you. No matter how friendly they seem, never speak to the police without a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL depends on. The police may tell you that they want to help you, but they actually want to get information out of you. They are skilled at asking the right questions so that they can trick people into confessing to their crimes. If the police ask to speak to you, tell them that you don’t want to discuss your case without a criminal lawyer in Bloomington IL.
Avoid Taking the Prosecutor’s First Deal
When you are dealing with criminal charges, you want to finish the legal process as quickly as possible. You may even be tempted to accept the prosecuting attorney’s first offer of a deal in order to get things over with. However, this may not be in your best interest. The prosecutor’s first deal is rarely a favorable one. Give your criminal lawyer Bloomington IL offers time to work out a better plea deal with the prosecuting attorney.
Don’t Discuss the Details of Your Case With Anyone
After you are arrested, you may want to talk about your case with family members and friends. You may feel frustrated and scared and need a shoulder to lean on. However, it may not be a good idea to discuss details about your case with anyone but your Bloomington criminal lawyer. If your family members and friends are subpoenaed, they may have to reveal the information you gave them about your case.
Hiring an Illinois Criminal Lawyer
It’s wise to hire a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL relies on soon after you have been charged with a crime. It may be in your best interest to work with a lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours in the past and has a high success rate.
During your first meeting with a criminal lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask questions about his or her experience and education. You may also want to ask a lawyer how much time her or she has to devote to your case. Many criminals lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by speaking to one.
If you are looking for a criminal lawyer Bloomington IL offers, contact Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols Attorneys at Law.
“Mike did an excellent job helping me work through an expungement hearing. Very professional, well prepared, and treated me like family. Would highly recommend.”