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Joliet criminal defense attorneyArguments and disputes can sometimes turn into physical altercations, and if deemed serious enough, could even involve the police. Many people think that assault and battery go together, but they are actually two distinct criminal offenses under Illinois law. Assault is defined as inflicting physical harm, or in some instances, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. Either act can result in criminal prosecution and/or a civil liability depending on the circumstances. However, there are certain factors that can elevate the charges to aggravated assault, which can result in serious penalties in Illinois, including a lengthy prison sentence. In some cases though, a person may be wrongfully accused, making it crucial to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney to avoid a conviction.    

Aggravating Factors

Although laws differ by jurisdiction, aggravating factors may include the use of a deadly weapon during the criminal act. It can also be considered aggravated if the assault or battery was committed while a person is attempting to commit another crime. Who the alleged victim is can elevate the charges to aggravated, such as if he or she is a child, female, or law enforcement officer. A deadly weapon can include the following items:

  • Guns/firearms

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Joliet dog bite injury lawyerDogs can be some of the most friendly, giving, and loving companions. They can be there by your side on your worst and best of days. However, there are times when dogs can be provoked or have continual behavior issues that cause them to be aggressive and lash out at whoever is around. In many cases, the individuals who are most prone to dog attacks are postal service carriers trying to deliver mail. Although this may seem like a cliche, it exists for a reason. According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), over 5,800 postal carriers were victims of dog attacks in 2019. Under children and the elderly, they are third on the list of the highest number of dog attack victims. This makes delivering mail a potentially dangerous job due to the vast amount of houses they visit each day, many of which will have a pet. Dog bites can be serious, causing not only severe physical injuries but emotional and mental damages as well.

Physical Damage

There is no denying that dogs have very sharp teeth. They can use them to bite down into hard-as-rock bones and chew through their favorite toys. These same teeth can cause massive damage to the human body. If severe enough, bites can lead to stitches, hospitalization, nerve damage, and in some cases, amputation. The pain and physical suffering may linger long after the initial bite. Victims of a dog attack may require extensive rehabilitation or physical therapy to overcome their injuries. 

Emotional Trauma

Getting bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience, and can lead to emotional and mental distress that can take years of therapy to work through. Traumas such as these can live in the body and make it difficult to move forward in life. Experiences like this may affect a victim’s everyday living, ability to be near dogs, and feelings of security while performing his or her job. According to Illinois law, if a dog or other animal attacks someone without provocation and the victim sustains injuries, the owner is liable for civil damages. Unfortunately, someone who is simply trying to do his or her job by delivering mail to the community can be susceptible to such an attack when going from door to door.

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Joliet car accident lawyerMotor vehicle accidents occur regularly on our nation’s back roads and highways. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 4,000 people died in large truck crashes in 2018. The majority of these fatalities in truck crashes were passenger car occupants. One of the main reasons for these statistics is the difference in size and therefore, the vulnerability of people traveling in smaller vehicles. Trucks can weigh 20 times heavier than passenger cars and are much taller. However, truck drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists can also be injured. Even if someone is not injured fatally in a truck crash, the force of the impact can be devastating even when traveling at slow speeds. The injuries suffered could result in permanent disabilities. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine liability for the accident and hold those responsible for causing it accountable.  

Back and Neck Injuries

A large truck can cause major damage to a smaller vehicle, in addition to the occupants inside. Due to the sheer size and weight of a semi-truck, the force of the impact can send passengers flying into the windshield or dashboard. Even if you are wearing safety restraints, your back and neck can be severely injured. Herniated disks are one of the most serious injuries that can result from being involved in a truck crash. Sometimes referred to as a slipped or ruptured disk, a herniated disk in the spine can also irritate nerves, causing pain, weakness, or numbness in arms and legs.

Whiplash is another common injury sustained in a rear-end collision. In these instances, the head suddenly moves back and forth, similar to the cracking of a whip. In some cases, whiplash victims suffer from chronic neck pain and migraine headaches. In certain situations, you may not be able to return to work or the same occupation if your injuries render you unable to perform certain duties. 

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Joliet criminal defense attorneyThere are many acts that can result in a criminal charge. For some offenses, physical harm or the threat of harm is involved, but that is not the case in other crimes. Many people have heard of the phrase “disorderly conduct,” but they may not know what exactly that entails. Some may think it is simply disturbing neighbors by playing loud music, yelling during a domestic argument, or revving a motorcycle or car engine. 

Under Illinois law, disorderly conduct is a criminal charge that includes numerous actions or behaviors. The statute defines it as “an act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another, to provoke a breach of the peace.” Disturbing the peace can result in criminal charges depending on the extent of the incident. It is important to know what actions constitute disorderly conduct in order to avoid an arrest and possible conviction. 

What Actions Constitute Disorderly Conduct?

If police believe that certain behaviors cause enough of a disturbance, an officer may place someone under arrest for this offense. A few examples of disorderly conduct in Illinois include:

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Will County DUI defense attorneyIt is impossible to understate the role of commercial and delivery drivers in the age of Amazon, especially during a time when online shopping has been encouraged to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Truckers who possess a CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License, are the backbone of a digital economy, but with the introduction of services such as Uber and Lyft, how has the CDL changed? And, perhaps even more importantly, how does a driving under influence (DUI) charge affect those who drive to make a living or to otherwise supplement their income?

Rideshare Drivers

Although you might think Uber or Lyft drivers would be required to obtain a CDL by the nature of their work—conducting business by driving to earn money—that is not the case. In Illinois, there are no state-wide requirements for these kinds of drivers. However, local municipal governments (town or city) may have requirements, licenses, or fees. While rideshare drivers may not require additional licensure depending on the county, both CDL and rideshare drivers can incur additional penalties if they are cited for DUI.

When Does a DUI Apply?

Working as a rideshare driver and driving with a CDL are not equal, and differ in more than required licensure, but they do have something in common: increased penalties. Whereas a DUI in Illinois for a first-time offender is a Class A misdemeanor, according to the Illinois 2020 DUI Fact Book, a DUI committed while driving a vehicle for-hire carrying one or more passengers may result in a Class 4 felony charge.

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