Tuesday, May 31, 2016

MORE THAN WORDS REQUIRED: AGGRAVATED ASSAULT TO AN OFFICER IN ILLIOIS

In Illinois, you can be charged with aggravated assault if you knowingly and without authority cause someone that you knew was a police officer performing their official duties to reasonably fear that you were going to cause them bodily harm. To sustain this charge, however, the law generally requires more than words.

To determine whether the officer’s fear is reasonable, the court considers what a reasonable person would normally find frightening. Words alone are generally not enough to prove aggravated assault. There must be some sort of action, such as waiving a tire iron while yelling at an officer or threatening to shoot while holding a gun.

A recent Illinois case held that a defendant’s yelling obscenities and threatening “I’m going to get your ass” while leaving a courthouse was not enough to place an officer in reasonable fear of harm. The court acknowledged that deputies have a difficult job keeping the peace but stated “We cannot find any Illinois cases that would support a conviction because mere words alone without a gesture objectively does not place a person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” (See People v Taylor.)

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case to assist you in presenting your best possible defense.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

Monday, May 9, 2016

HOW LONG CAN I BE PROSECUTED FOR A CRIME IN ILLINOIS?

Years ago, you did something illegal. Maybe you sold some drugs or you stole a designer dress. Now you wonder if your past could catch up with you.

How long does the prosecution have to bring charges?

The answer depends on the offense. Naturally, a crime like murder is treated differently from stealing a dress.

Most crimes have a time limit on when charges may be brought referred to as the statute of limitations. In general, in Illinois, the time limit is three years for a felony and 18 months for a misdemeanor unless the criminal code says otherwise. Many identity theft-related crimes have a seven year limit.

The following offenses have no time limit: first or second degree murder, attempt to commit first degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, leaving the scene or failling to give information and render aid in a motor vehicle accident involving death or personal injuries, concealment of homicidal death, treason, arson, forgery or child pornography. There is also no time limit for any offense involving sexual conduct in which the DNA profile of the offender is obtained and entered into a DNA database within 10 years after the commission of the offense where either: (i) the victim reported the offense to law enforcement authorities within 3 years unless a longer period for reporting the offense to law enforcement authorities is provided or (ii) the victim is murdered during the course of the offense or within 2 years after the commission of the offense.

The statute of limitations may be further extended under certain circumstances such as where the victim is a minor or is legally disabled or there is a delay in discovering the offense.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. If your offense is outside the statute of limitations, an attorney may be able to petition the court to dismiss the charges.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter,please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

Source: 720 ILCS 5/3-5 General limitations statute and 720 ILCS 5/3-6 Extended limitations statute.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)