Not Guilty of an Assault after a Trial in Rolling Meadows.
People v. G.K. - I recently represented a client that was charged with an Assault at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse in Cook County. The client had no criminal record, but based on the nature of his job, if he was found guilty of the assault, or if he would have pled guilty, he would have lost his security clearance and he would have been fired from his job by his employer. Because of the consequences of a conviction or guilty plea to an Assault charge, the only discussions I had with the prosecutor was to get the state to dismiss the charges. However, the complaining witness would not agree to anything less than a conviction or a guilty plea to the assault charges. Therefore, the case proceeded to a bench trial.
In September, 2019, my client was helping his friend move out of his apartment to a new apartment a few miles away. The client arrived early in the morning at his friend's apartment building and began helping him move his belongings out of the apartment and into a truck that his friend had rented for the day. The apartment building was a multi-unit, multi-level apartment building with elevators. According to the police report, the complaining witness was employed as a maintenance man at the apartment building. As the complaining witness was walking out of the front door of the building, he was passed by my client who asked him if he had taken his Cubs shirt. The complaining Witness told my client that he did not know what he was talking about and was asked by my client to join him in the elevator so they can discuss the matter. The complaining witness told the police that when he entered the elevator, my client accused him of stealing his Cubs shirt. The complaining witness denied taking the Cubs shirt and reported that he felt threatened and intimidated by my client's demeanor, and the fact that my client was much bigger than he was. The complaining witness also told the police that my client approached the complaining witness and was standing nose to nose with him as he accused him of stealing his shirt. When the elevator reached its destination, the complaining witness exited the elevator and was told by my client that if he did not return his Cubs shirt that my client would come back later and beat him up. When the complaining witness asked my client if he was threatening him, my client told him to "just return the shirt and nothing will happen to him."
The complaining witness called his employer and told him what happened. The employer called the police who went to the apartment building and spoke to the complaining witness. My client and his friend we're not at the building. When my clients friend returned to the building in the evening to pick up some belongings, the police returned to the building and spoke to my client's friend. My clients friend gave them my clients name and phone number and the police went to my client’s apartment to talk to him. My client told the police that he did not threaten the complaining witness and told them that he just wanted to know what happened to his shirt. Based on the complaining witnesses’ statement, the police arrested my client and charged him with an Assault.
An Assault (720 ILCS 5/12-1
) is defined as engaging in conduct that places another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a Battery
. An Assault does not involve any physical contact. A Battery, does involve physical conduct. An Assault in Illinois is a Class C Misdemeanor. An Assault carries a maximum punishment of up to 30 days in jail. If you receive Court Supervision for aa Assault, you must perform between 30 to 120 days of Community Service. In order to successfully complete a Court Supervision sentence for an Assault, you must successfully complete all of the community service hours.
The complaining witness’s testimony at trial was consistent with what he told the police. The police officer testified that when he spoke to the complaining witness, the complaining witness appeared to be scared and in fear of his safety. The police officer also testified that he found out that the owner of the building had security cameras throughout the common areas in the building. The officer obtained the security video and turned it over to the prosecutor who had given it to me. The police officer testified that the complaining witness told him that when he exited the elevator, my client followed him out of the elevator and stood face-to-face with him and threatened with physical harm if he did not give him his Cubs shirt back. However, I played the security video in Court and it showed the complaining witness exit the elevator, take a few steps away from the elevator, and turn around to face the elevator. The video never showed my client exit the elevator and physically approach the complaining witness. The same video showed the complaining witness voluntarily walk into the elevator and there was nothing on the video that indicated that the complaining witness was threatened or approached by anybody in a threatening manner.
After all of the evidence was presented, I argued that the state had failed to prove the Assault charge beyond a reasonable Doubt. doubt. I argued that even if the Court were to accept be complaining witness’s testimony, my client's conduct did not rise to the level of an Assault. In order to be guilty of an Assault, the state had to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that my client did something to cause the complaining witness to be in 'imminent' fear of receiving a Battery. Telling someone that you will come back later and beat them up unless they return your shirt, does not rise to the level of fear of receiving an imminent Battery. Telling somebody that you will do something to them in the future, does not satisfy the element of imminent, which is necessary in order to be guilty of an Assault.
After the Court heard all of the evidence and considered the arguments from both parties, the judge found my client NOT GUILTY of the Assault charge. My office immediately filed a Petition to Expunge
and the Petition to Expunge was recently granted by the Chief Judge in Rolling Meadows. By expunging the case, the case has been completely removed from the public record. The state and local police will destroy their records. The State's Attorney's Office will destroy their file as will the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The Clerk of the Circuit Court will also remove the case from the Court computer so nobody will ever find out and my client was charged with an assault.
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, Assault lawyer with over-28 years of experience handling Assault cases in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, James Dimeas was named a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the Years 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2021" by the American Society of Legal Advocates. James Dimeas was named a "Best DUI Attorney" and a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago" by Expertise. James Dimeas was named a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois." James Dimeas is rated "Superb" by AVVO, 10 out of 10, the highest classification possible for any Assault lawyer in the United States. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois."
If you are being charged with an Assault, you can contact
James Dimeas anytime or a free and confidential consultation. You can talk to James Dimeas personally
by calling him at 847-807-7405