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The MacNeil Firm Ltd.

How Do You Advise People Who Are Hesitant To Hire An Attorney?


It is a naïve concept to think that if I just tell the truth or give my side of the story, the charges will go away. What if the truth incriminates you? What if the police don’t report your story accurately? What if the police lie about what you admitted or denied? These cases are very complicated, and the nuances are significant. For example whether the weapon is a deadly weapon, or whether bodily harm is great bodily harm, these are not simple concepts. They are not the kind of concepts that people should try to grasp based on their common sense, particularly when their freedom is on the line. Another misconception that is infuriating is the idea that hiring an attorney makes you look guilty or makes you look bad. That is a narrow minded and unsophisticated way of thinking. All judges and prosecutors know that when smart people are accused of a crime, they hire a lawyer. This is a false concept and interrogation technique invented by law enforcement as a tool to convince you to incriminate yourself.

This is particularly true when you have been charged with a serious crime like assault, battery, or an aggravated assault or an aggravated battery. When you go into the courtroom everyone, from the judge to the prosecutor, knows that only the very foolish would try to defend themselves in a criminal case like that. There is no negative inference from the judge or the prosecutor if you hire your own lawyer. It is what an intelligent and well informed person does. If you are charged with a criminal offense, you hire a defense lawyer to represent you.

What Can Be Considered A Deadly Weapon In An Assault or Battery Case?

It is a vague term and it is further complicated by the fact that in Illinois, a deadly weapon is not defined by statute. Some weapons are obviously deadly. For example, a firearm or a knife. In addition, vehicles are considered a deadly weapon under the statute, but everything else is subject to interpretation by a judge or a jury. For example, a baseball bat, a hammer, or some other sort of blunt object probably could kill someone; therefore, I would say that there is a probability that those could be considered deadly weapons. What if the weapon was a long metal flashlight or what about somebody who puts a couple of rolls of quarters in a sock and uses that as a weapon?

All sorts of things can be used as weapons. The real question is whether they can be considered a deadly weapon, and that is a decision for either the judge or the jury.

How Often Are Plea Bargains Used To Settle Assault Or Battery Cases?

Plea negotiations are usually available in assault or battery cases, as well as aggravated assault and aggravated battery cases. The facts and the circumstances will dictate exactly what the terms of such a plea agreement would be, or whether that is available or even appropriate in a particular circumstance. The court negotiations in these types of situations could include avoiding jail time, or maybe reducing a felony to a misdemeanor, or just keeping the offense off your record. However, at the end of the day, it is really a fact specific question, and the facts of a particular case will dictate exactly what sort of plea agreement, if any, is available.

Why Is It Important To Hire An Experienced Attorney To Handle Assault Or Battery Charges?

These types of violent crimes are very difficult to contend with. Cases that involve an offense against a person and particularly where injuries are involved, those require an experienced lawyer and particularly a lawyer that is experienced in these specific types of cases. These are not the types of cases that you entrust to a lawyer that practices in multiple areas of the law. You need a criminal defense attorney, not a part time criminal lawyer. Another thing to consider is that when people have been threatened or hurt, judges take that very seriously, more so than if something was stolen or if you have a traffic case or possession of a controlled substance case.

The reason is that in some of these other non-violent cases, no one has actually been hurt, or no one is damaged because of that. With battery and assault, and especially the aggravated assault and aggravated battery, these real people have real injuries, and have really been threatened. The judges take that very seriously. If you have been charged with one of these violent crimes, you need to retain the best lawyer to represent you. You could be facing a lengthy jail or prison term. I have successfully represented people in fistfights, I have represented people in aggravated batteries committed upon police officers, and I have represented people charged with an aggravated battery with a firearm resulting in permanent disfigurement. I have great experience when it comes to these violent offenses. If you have been charged with that type of crime, you definitely want to have me by your side.

For more information on Self-Representation In An Assault Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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