Monday, September 24, 2018

DID YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WERE DOING? THE DEFINITION OF INTENTIONAL CONDUCT IN ILLINOIS

If you are charged with a crime, the state must prove all the elements of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Most offenses require that you had the mental intent to commit the crime. In other words, you must have acted knowingly.

A recent Illinois case demonstrates how this works. In People v Jackson, the defendant was accused of battery and resisting a peace officer. Both offenses require the state to prove that the defendant acted knowingly. Battery occurs when you knowingly makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with another and without legal justification. (720 ILCS 5/12-3(a)(2).) Resisting a peace officer occurs when you knowingly resist the performance by someone that you know is a peace officer. (720 ILCS 5/31-1(a).)

Illinois law defines “knowingly” to mean that you are consciously aware that your conduct is practically certain to cause a particular result. (720 ILCS 5/4-5(b).) Knowing may be proven by circumstantial evidence and inferred from your actions and the conduct surrounding them.

The defendant in the above case claimed he was having an epileptic seizure. The state’s witnesses testified that the defendant was not behaving normally in that the defendant continued to call 911 even though paramedics and an ambulance were already on the scene.

The defendant did not present evidence as to his mental state at trial. But, the court noted that he did not need to do so. The state had the burden of proof and failed to show the defendant acted knowingly.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Can the state prove all the elements of the offense? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

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.)

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