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Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3175
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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My boyfriend hit a girl in her eye and gave her a black eye.

Customer Question

My boyfriend hit a girl in her eye and gave her a black eye . But she tried to hit him first so he hit back. That was a month ago and now she went to the police
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: Illinois and about a month ago
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: His lawyer called the police and the detectives said they got enough proof but there is really no proof
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He said something about probable cause
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

Hello JACUSTOMER,

Based on what you have written, there is a small probability that your boyfriend might be charged with something like a simple assault. If the police indicated that they have probable cause, that means that they believed the victim's version of what happened - that she was hit and was injured. But just because the police have probable cause this does not mean that your boyfriend will actually be arrested, charged, or convicted of anything. Since this happened about a month ago, prosecutors may be reluctant to bring a case, because if a victim delays in reporting a crime, this is indication that the victim may not be believable as to exactly what happened, and thus, it might be difficult to obtain a conviction. In addition, if the police do continue with an investigation and learn that the victim as the person who struck first, the prosecutors again would be reluctant to bring a case because your boyfriend would have the defense of self defense.

It is good that your boyfriend has obtained a lawyer, and before he speaks with the police, he should speak with his lawyer, as anything he says to the police could be used against him.

So, at this point there probably is not much to worry about. But I would have your boyfriend continue to speak with his lawyer and not speak to the police without having his lawyer present.

Good luck.

Thomas

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi thankyou so much for the thorough explanation
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do you know what could he possibly charged with , the penalty or id it possible he'll have jail time
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

The most likely charge would be Battery under 720 ILCS 5/12-3, (Scroll Down) which provides:

a) A person commits battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.
(b) Sentence.
Battery is a Class A misdemeanor.

As you can see this crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to a year and and/or fine of $2,500 (730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55). This is only the maximum penalty, and it is unlikely that anything close to a year would be imposed.

Thomas

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Even for first offense? Is there a a high chance for probation or community service
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Since the girl goes to the police a month later, that does affect it right
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

The penalty of 1 year is only a maximum, this means that a judge could sentence him for up to year. But a judge does not have to sentence any jail time. He could sentence just probation with community service, or a small fine, or some amount of restitution (monetary payment) to the victim.

The fact that the girl went to the police a month later does affect whether she is believable. And this might convince prosecutors to drop the case.

Thomas

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thankyou so much. He will be heading to the police station later today
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

Make sure he goes with his lawyer.

Thomas

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
his lawyer is picking him up and going together. He said something about being taking in to get his fingerprints and photo taken and also being taken in the cell to see a judge in the morning
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is it necessary for him to be obtain for the night?
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

Yes, it sounds like he is being arrested and processed (fingerprints/photo). and he can be held overnight until he is arraigned (charged) by the judge in the morning.'

Thomas

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okay thankyou
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

Good luck.

Thomas