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 Posted on April 19, 2023 in Uncategorized


When an argument or other conflict escalates to physical violence, it can be hard for police officers to understand exactly what happened. Often, anyone involved in the altercation is arrested. Arrests typically happen after an officer makes a quick decision on scene as to the so called aggressor in the fight. This can lead to an individual to be charged with assault or battery even if they didn’t start the fight.

If you or a loved one ended up in handcuffs after acting in self-defense, you may understandably be frustrated and unsure of what to do next. Contacting an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible can assist in your case.

Steps to Take If You Were Accused of Harming Someone Else in a Fight

Criminal defendants have important rights and asserting these rights is often the difference between an acquittal or dismissal and a guilty verdict. Police officers will likely ask questions about the altercation and the circumstances leading up to the fight. It is important to relay that you acted in self-defense. Getting into the weeds with multiple officers regarding the events can lead to confusion as to what actually happened and potentially lead to your arrest. Speaking to a defense attorney prior to giving a full or even a recorded statement on the events allows a coherent and direct statement to be presented. If you have already been charged or the police want you to participate further in their investigation, it is important you reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Illinois Laws Regarding Self Defense

Individuals do have a right to defend themselves, their loved ones, and their property in certain situations. However, proving that you acted in self-defense will likely be a challenge as you must meet specific statutory requirements. In the broadest general terms, to prove you were acting in self-defense, you must be able to show that all of the following conditions were met:

(720 ILCS 5/7-1) Sec. 7-1. Use of force in defense of person. (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony. (b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of "aggressor" set forth in Section 7-4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.

The defense of property will require other statutory elements to be proven as well.

Your lawyer's job is to gather evidence to demonstrate that your actions were justified and you meet the criteria for self-defense. An experienced lawyer may use eyewitness accounts, security video footage, medical records, and other evidence to support your claim and help you build a strong defense against the charges.

Contact a Will County Self-Defense Defense Lawyer

Jack L. Zaremba is a knowledgeable Will County criminal defense lawyer with more than two decades of legal experience. He can protect your rights and build a strong defense case on your behalf. Call 815-740-4025 for a free initial consultation.

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