In Illinois, a battery can become an aggravated offense if you knowingly commit battery  on a public way.  See  720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(c).

To convict you, the state must prove that you knowingly, without legal justification caused bodily harm to or made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with another person while on a public way. The state need not prove an exact location, and any injury to the victim need not be serious.

Depending where it happened, an attorney may argue that you were not on a public way. Whether the road’s owners were public or private does not matter.  The test is whether the area was accessible to the public. For example, a sidewalk near a privately owned dormitory was a public way, but a dirt lane 95 to 100 feet away from a highway was not.

In cases where the facts are murky, different judges could define a public roadway very differently.  Therefore, an attorney familiar with your courthouse may be better able to present the facts of your case to your particular judge in their most favorable light.

If you have been charged with a DUI or criminal-related offense, contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)


About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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