Being accused of what some view as a heinous crime can be a terrifying experience for an individual. This is because people may naturally see a person with a felony charge as being culpable of the alleged wrongdoing when, in essence, he or she may not have been directly involved in or responsible for the incident, despite facing the consequences for it. In the eyes of Lady Justice, however, this person is presumed innocent unless prosecutors can prove his or her guilt in Illinois.
In a recent case, an eighth-grader faces felony charges following an alleged physical attack on school grounds. The victimized boy said he believes that the incident was a hate crime. The reported incident caused the 13-year-old boy, whose two collar bones were broken, to lose mobility and experience discomfort.
The accident allegedly happened when the boy was attacked by the eighth-grade student. The incident began with a racial slur, the victim said. It ended with his head being thrown into the ground over and over again.
In this situation, prosecutors in Illinois are obligated to prove that a felony charge is true beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be secured. This is particularly important because a felony conviction might result in years in prison, depending on the facts of the case and the judge's decision. It also can deter a person from getting a much-needed job. The criminal defense in this situation may benefit from examining the proof that prosecutors plan to use to try to confirm the defendant's guilt in court.
Source: CBS Chicago, Crystal Lake 8th Grader Charged With Hate Crime After Alleged Attack On Fellow Student, Dana Kozlov, Feb. 11, 2014