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Defending Against Assault and Battery Charges: Claiming Self DefenseOne of the most common defenses people use when they are fighting assault and/or battery charges is claiming that they were acting in self-defense. In some situations, this may be a legitimate defense, but many people do not realize that there are certain elements that must be proven if you want to succeed with a claim of self-defense. 

Illinois recognizes that there are certain situations that citizens may be put into that require the use of force against another person. Because of this, there are stipulations in the Criminal Code of 2012 that allow a person to use force against another person, as long as it is legally justifiable. If you plan to use self-defense as your claim against assault and/or battery charges, you need an attorney who has experience with self-defense claims.

Illinois Self Defense Laws

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that people can legally use force against others if they reasonably believe that the use of force is necessary to protect themselves or someone else against a person’s use of unlawful force. This means that you are permitted to use force against another person as long as it was actually necessary and you had no other way of protecting yourself.

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assault, battery, Orland Park criminal defense attorney, police excessive force,  criminal chargesThis past January, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) completed a formal investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD), specifically the misuse and overuse of force in ways that violate the civil rights of Illinois residents. The DOJ found there was “reasonable cause to believe” that CPD officers routinely took part in acts that “unnecessarily endanger themselves and result in unnecessary and avoidable uses of force.” This was not the result of a few bad officers, the DOJ said, but rather a system-wide “failure to train officers in de-escalation and the failure to conduct meaningful investigations of uses of force.”

IL Judges Reverse Battery Conviction of Man Tased Repeatedly by Police

There are many cases where police not only use excessive force, they turn around and charge the victim with a crime, such as assault and battery. Sadly, many of these victims-turned-defendants suffer from mental illness. The DOJ report noted that many law enforcement officers are not properly trained to deal with “complex situations” involving people with mental health problems and, as a result, the situation quickly escalates.

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Orland Park criminal defense lawyer, drug convictionIf you are on trial for a violent crime, such as assault and battery, prosecutors will make every effort to discredit you in front of the jury. Should you choose to testify—and remember, the Constitution protects your right to remain silent at trial—prosecutors may look to introduce evidence of prior criminal convictions to attack your credibility.

How “Impeachment” Works in a Criminal Trial

In legal terms, this is known as “impeachment.” Illinois courts have strict rules about what kinds of information may be used to impeach a witness. For example, evidence of a witness' prior criminal conviction is admissible under the following circumstances:

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