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What to Do When Facing Harassment Charges in Illinois

 Posted on April 15, 2024 in Uncategorized

Will County Harassment Defense AttorneyFacing harassment charges in Illinois can be a scary and overwhelming experience. Whether you think the accusations are baseless or you have made an error in judgment, you must know your rights and take the right steps to protect your interests. An Illinois lawyer can help you with handling harassment charges.

What is Considered a Harassment Charge in Illinois?

According to Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/26.5-3), harassment occurs when someone engages in behavior they know or should know would cause emotional distress to a reasonable person. This includes persistent unwanted contact, threats, or the use of offensive language. The charges for harassment can vary from a misdemeanor to a felony, based on the seriousness and type of the behavior in question.

Gather Evidence and Documents

To build a solid defense, work with your attorney to gather all relevant evidence and documents related to your case. This may include:

  • Text messages, emails, or social media posts

  • Witness statements

  • Phone records

  • Any prior communication with the accuser 

Your attorney will use this information to analyze the strength of the prosecution’s case and identify potential weaknesses or inconsistencies in their arguments.

Make Sure You Know Your Defense Options

There are several defense strategies your attorney may consider when fighting harassment charges in Illinois:

  • Lack of intent: If you can demonstrate that you did not intend to cause emotional distress or did not know your actions would cause distress, it may be possible to have the charges reduced or dismissed.

  • False accusations: If the accuser has made false statements or has a history of making baseless allegations, your attorney may use this information to challenge their credibility and cast doubt on the charges.

  • Constitutionally protected speech: In some cases, the alleged harassment may fall under the protection of the First Amendment. Your attorney will evaluate whether your actions are considered protected speech and argue accordingly.

Attend All Court Appearances

It is crucial to attend all scheduled court appearances and follow your attorney’s advice throughout the legal process. Failing to appear in court can result in a warrant for your arrest and additional charges. Your attorney will keep you informed of any developments in your case and guide you through each step of the proceedings.

Consider Plea Bargaining

In certain situations, your attorney may recommend considering a plea bargain. This process entails negotiating with the prosecution to lessen the charges or obtain a more lenient sentence in return for a guilty plea. While this may not be the ideal outcome, it can sometimes be the most pragmatic approach, especially if the evidence against you is strong. Trust your attorney’s judgment and carefully weigh your options before making a decision.

Contact a Grundy County, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Confronting harassment charges is a vital issue that requires immediate action. Understanding your rights and working alongside a Will County, IL criminal defense attorney can make all the difference with your case. Call Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

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