Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer
Chicago Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer Defense Attorney
Aggravated battery to a police officer is a felony offense prosecuted to the fullest extent in Illinois. As a state, Illinois has a strong interest in protecting its law enforcement officers. Accordingly, it is a crime to use unlawful force on a police officer. If you have been charged with the crime of aggravated battery on a police officer, you will need experienced legal assistance. This charge carries the potential of years in prison, hefty fines, and a permanent felony conviction on your record.Providing Effective Defense Against Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer Charges
Attorney David L. Freidberg has dedicated more than 20 years to protecting the rights of his clients and defending those accused of felony and misdemeanor charges. As a Chicago-based criminal defense attorney, David L. Freidberg has represented hundreds of clients charged with aggression upon a police officer. Mr. Freidberg understands that this can be a difficult crime to defend against due to the public interests involved in protecting police officers. Our firm provides a non-judgmental environment in which you can share the circumstances surrounding the crime. Our attorneys will then be able to assist you in zealously defending against your charges. With attorney David Freidberg by your side, you can rest assured that you will receive knowledgeable, skilled, and caring representation against your serious charges.What is Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer?
To understand the crime of aggravated battery of a police officer, it is helpful first to define battery. The crime of battery is defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.
Aggravated battery of a police or peace officer in Illinois is defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. The statute first sets out the general crime of aggravated battery. A person commits aggravated battery on a police officer when, in committing a battery, other than by discharge of a gun, he or she knowingly:
a) Causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to an individual whom the person knows is a peace officer, fireman, community policing volunteer, private security officer, correctional facility employee, or Department of Human services employee supervising or controlling sexually dangerous persons; and
b) Injury occurs while the person is performing his or her official duties; and
c) The person is battered to prevent performance of his or her official duties; or
d) In retaliation for performing his or her official duties.
This is an offense based upon the status of the victim. To convict someone of aggravated battery of a police officer in Chicago, it is necessary to prove that the defendant knew the person battered was a police officer or peace officer. Accordingly, a battery of an undercover officer would likely not be encompassed within the scope of the crime if the defendant did not know the victim’s status. Even further, the police officer or other personnel must be on duty, and the crime must be related to the performance of the officer’s duties. There are several instances that can be contemplated where a police officer could be battered, but the actions were unrelated to his or her profession and official duty. These elements will often be challenged in defending against the charge of aggravated battery of a police officer.Penalties for Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer
Aggravated battery on a police officer will be punished in relation to the conduct charged. The offense can be a Class X, Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 felony, dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the crime. Possible sentences range from:
- Class X Felony— six to 30 years in State Penitentiary
- Class 1 Felony— four to 15 years in State Penitentiary
- Class 2 Felony— three to seven years in State Penitentiary
- Class 3 Felony —two to five years in State Penitentiary
Aggravated battery on a police officer will carry with it a minimum of several years in jail, along with the potential for up to $25,000 in fines. Additionally, defendants convicted of this crime will likely face probation for several months or years and will have a permanent felony on their record. Your criminal record is visible to potential employers, school institutions, and the military, among others. You may also be unable to vote or purchase a firearm for a significant period, if not permanently. A felony conviction in Illinois could seriously impact your livelihood, your future, and your family.Defense Against Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer Charges
If you have been arrested for aggravated battery on a police officer, you will need an experienced defense attorney on your side. The prosecution will often be tougher on offenders charged with this crime because the victim is a police officer. Prosecutors may be more reluctant to offer favorable plea bargains and could go after lengthy prison sentences. For these reasons, you should never leave your defense to chance.
Although aggravated battery on a police officer is a serious charge, there are several viable defenses that you can raise, dependent upon the facts surrounding your case. These include:
Self-defense: Self-defense may be justified if you can show that you were attacked first by the police officer, you reasonably believed your life was threatened, or you could suffer serious bodily harm, and you used only the force necessary to save your life or prevent the harm.
Officer not engaged in lawful duty: Illinois law requires that the police officer is engaged in professional duties at the time of the battery. Accordingly, if you can prove the officer was not on duty or not engaging in a lawful duty, the conviction may not stand.
Lack of scienter: The prosecutor must prove that the defendant knew the alleged victim was a law enforcement officer. If the police officer was undercover or not in uniform while on duty, the defendant may be able to raise a reasonable doubt as to this scienter requirement.
Battery on a police officer is a felony offense that will be vigorously prosecuted in the state of Illinois. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is crucial for identifying your potential defenses and pursuing your best legal options. Your defense attorney will gather all evidence surrounding the alleged crime and arrest. For here, he or she can then develop a sound legal strategy. With your lawyer’s help, you can contest the charge or seek to minimize potential penalties. The sooner you act after your arrest, the faster your attorney can begin investigating the charges, interviewing witnesses, and uncovering exculpatory evidence. When your future and freedom are at stake, be sure to retain the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney.Contact Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney David L. Freidberg To Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!
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