When you’re the reason an accident occurs, dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming, especially if someone is injured in the process. However, when charged with aggravated vehicular battery, it can be even more upsetting. Many are unfamiliar with what this charge entails, so you’ll want to keep reading to discover what you should know about the charges you’re facing. Additionally, you’ll learn why connecting with a Peoria violent crime lawyer is critical during these difficult times.
Before understanding what vehicular assault is, you should first understand the differences between assault and battery in Illinois. Unfortunately, many people use these terms interchangeably, leading to confusion surrounding the severity of these crimes. Generally, any threat or attempt to cause someone severe bodily harm is assault, while battery is when physical contact occurs. If an aggravating factor is present, such as where the crime occurred or the victim’s identity, you can face an aggravated criminal offense.
Aggravated vehicular battery is charged to those who cause serious physical injury to another person when operating a motor vehicle. Generally, this goes hand in hand with someone driving under the influence or engaging in reckless behavior. Even if you didn’t mean to cause a collision, the prosecution will likely argue that by engaging in reckless behavior, you intentionally caused injury because you chose to speed or get behind the wheel under the influence.
The penalties for an aggravated battery charge are severe, given the violent nature of these crimes. Generally, this is always charged as a felony. However, the aggravating factors will influence what Class of felony this is charged as. For example, if the injuries are the influencing factor, this warrants a Class 3 felony. If the victim is the aggravating factor, this warrants a Class 1 or 2 felony, depending on the victim’s identity. For example, injuring an on-duty police officer warrants a Class 1 felony.
All of these felonies carry time in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
If charged with this offense, you may not know how to proceed. Trying to navigate the legal system on your own can be overwhelming. As such, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to help protect your best interest during these challenging times.
At Giraudo Law, our dedicated legal team will work with you to explore every avenue. We will do everything in our power to help craft a defense to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Additionally, we will fight to protect your rights as a criminal defendant. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through this legal matter.