In Illinois, violent crimes are defined as those where the defendant uses force or the threat of force against the victim. Violent crimes include homicide, sexual assault, assault, battery, and others. These crimes have the potential to carry some of the most severe consequences if you find yourself charged and convicted. If you are arrested or you’re being questioned by the police regarding a violent offense, it’s crucial to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Attorney Daniel Johnson today at 773 864-9281 for a free consultation.
In the state of Illinois, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another person. In order to be convicted of first-degree murder, the prosecutor must prove that you, the defendant, killed the victim. In addition, they must prove one of the following:
- You intended to kill the other person or cause great bodily harm; or
- You were aware that there was a strong possibility that your actions would cause death or great bodily harm; or
- At the time that the person was killed, you were committing or attempting to commit a forcible felony, such as a robbery (felony murder).
If you’re convicted of first-degree murder, including felony murder, you will face at least the mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. Certain aggravating factors can increase the mandatory minimum sentence. For example, if the prosecutor is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you used a firearm to commit the murder, the mandatory minimum is increased to 45 years. This means that if you’re convicted, the judge is required
to sentence you to at least 45 years in prison.
A person commits second-degree murder, when he or she commits the offense of first-degree murder as explained above and either of the following mitigating factors exists.
- At the time that the death took place, you were under a sudden/intense passion as a result of the victim’s provocation, or another person provoked you, and you tried to kill that person but negligently killed the victim instead; or
- When the death occurred, you believed that your actions were lawfully justified, but that belief was not reasonable.
To be convicted of second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder, the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that mitigating circumstance existed at the time of the killing. To meet this burden the defendant must prove that it is more likely than not that his or her claim is true. However, the burden of proof remains on the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of first-degree murder and the absence of circumstance at the time of the killing that would justify it.
Second-degree murder is considered a Class 1 felony, and if convicted, you could be sentenced to 4 - 20 years in prison.
In the state of Illinois, the term rape is not used in the statute. Instead, it is referred to as criminal sexual assault. To be convicted of criminal sexual assault, the prosecutor must prove that there was sexual penetration and one of the following:
- Force or the threat of force was used; or
- You, the defendant, had knowledge that the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act or was unable to knowingly give consent; or
- The victim is a family member of the defendant and is under the age of 18; or
- The defendant is 17 or older and holds a position of trust, authority, or supervision over the victim, who is between the ages of 13 and 17.
Sexual penetration is defined as any contact, however slight, between the sexual organ or anus of one person, and an object, sex organ, anus, or mouth of another person.Penalties
- For first time offenders, criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony and carries a prison sentence of 4 – 15 years.
- For individuals who have prior convictions for criminal sexual assault or exploitation of a child, this crime becomes a Class X felony and carries a sentence 30 - 60 years in prison.
- For those who have been previously convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault or predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a life sentence is possible.
You can be convicted of battery if without lawful justification you (1) cause bodily harm to an individual or (2) make physical contact with an individual that is either insulting or provoking in nature. Battery is a Class A misdemeanor.
If you commit a battery against a family or household member you can be convicted of domestic battery. While domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor it can be increased to as high as a Class 2 felony based on your criminal history.
You can be convicted of aggravated battery if while committing a battery any of the following factors are present.
- Cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement.
- Committed in a certain location, such as a of religious worship, domestic violence shelter, public property, sports venue, or other locations specified in the statute.
- Victim is in a particular class such as 60 years of age or older, pregnant, physically disabled, or profession/employment.
- Discharge of a firearm, use of another weapon, or use of a device.
- Use of one of numerous substances listed in the statute.
Aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony but can be elevated as high as a Class X felony depending on the circumstances of the crime and your criminal history.
Assault is defined as placing another in reasonable fear of receiving a battery without lawful justification. Assault is a Class C misdemeanor.
You can be convicted of aggravated assault if while committing an assault any of the following factors are present.
- Committed in a certain location, such as a of religious worship, public property, sports venue, or other locations specified in the statute.
- Victim is in a particular class such as physically disabled, at least 60 years of age, or profession/employment
- Use of a firearm, device, or motor vehicle.
Aggravated assault is a Class A misdemeanor but can be elevated to a Class 4 or Class 3 felony depending on the circumstances involved.
Some of the other violent crimes Attorney Daniel Johnson is prepared to assist you with includes:
Attorney Daniel Johnson Is Here To Help
- Attempted Murder
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- Reckless Homicide
- Solicitation of Murder for Hire
- Armed Violence
- Child Endangerment
- Resisting Arrest
- Violation of an Order of Protection
Attorney Daniel Johnson is experienced in handling violent crimes and is always available to help. If you’ve been arrested, or you are being questioned by the police, or if you have any other questions or concerns regarding violent offenses in Illinois, please don’t hesitate to call. When you hire Daniel, you can be confident that you’re hiring a dedicated attorney who cares as much about your case as you do. Contact Attorney Daniel Johnson today at (773) 864-9281 for a free consultation. contact us