Chicago Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

Assault and Battery are related but separate charges. Under Illinois state law these are separate criminal offenses. The main difference between the two charges is that battery involves physical contact between the offender and the victim, whereas assault does not involve any actual physical contact. Both offenses require demonstration that the offender knowingly or intentionally committed the act.

Assault

Assault is defined as knowingly or intentionally, without lawful authority, putting another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving bodily harm or physical contact of an insulting nature. This means that in order to be convicted of assault, it must be proven that:

  • the act was done intentionally
  • the offender did not have legal authority to act
  • the victim had reasonable fear that he/she would receive bodily harm or physical contact of an insulting nature

No actual physical contact occurs; rather, the victim fears receiving bodily harm. The fear must be reasonable. Assault is a class C misdemeanor. This can include a sentence of:

  • up to 30 days in jail
  • up to two years of probation
  • a fine of up to $1,500
  • 30-120 hours of community service

Aggravated Assault

There are several circumstances that increase the severity of the crime and result in a charge of aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly and recklessly, without lawful authority, putting another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving bodily harm or physical contact of an insulting nature and:

  • the offender uses a deadly weapon; or
  • the offender is hooded, robed or masked to conceal identity; or
  • the offender knows the victim is a teacher, park district employee, employee of the department of public aid, emergency services personnel, or public transportation employee in certain locations; or
  • the victim is over 60 or handicapped; or
  • the offender discharges a firearm

Aggravated Assault can be either a class A misdemeanor, a class 4 felony, or a class 3 felony depending on the seriousness of the offense. The sentences for each are as follows:

Class A Misdemeanor

  • up to one year in jail
  • up to two years of probation (formal supervision)
  • a fine of up to $2,500

Class 4 Felony

  • possible imprisonment of 1-3 years
  • fines of up to $25,000

Class 3 Felony

  • possible imprisonment of 2-5 years
  • fines of up to $25,000

Battery

Battery is defined as intentionally, knowingly, without legal justification, causing bodily harm or physical contact of an insulting and provoking nature to another person. This is different from assault because physical contact occurs. A battery conviction requires that:

  • the act was intentional
  • the act was not legally justified
  • the act caused bodily harm or physical contact of an insulting nature

Battery is a class A misdemeanor, which can include a possible jail sentence of up to a year, formal supervision for 2 years and fines up to $2,500.

Aggravated Battery

There are many instances that increase the seriousness of battery and require a charge of aggravated battery. The location of the event, the identity of the victim and the seriousness of the wound are factors in determining a charge of aggravated battery. Simply, aggravated battery is defined as intentionally, knowingly, without legal justification, causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to another person. The following are some factors that can turn battery into aggravated battery:

  • the offender uses a deadly weapon; or
  • the offender is hooded, robed or masked to conceal identity; or
  • the offender knows the victim is a teacher, park district employee, employee of the department of public aid, emergency services personnel, or public transportation employee in certain locations; or
  • the victim is over 60, pregnant or handicapped; or
  • the offender discharges a firearm

Aggravated battery is a class 3 felony, which has a possible sentence of 2-5 years and a fine of up to $25,000. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, aggravated battery can also become a class 2 felony, class 1 felony or a class X felony. Class 2 felonies have a possible sentence of 3-7 years and fines up to $25,000. A class 1 felony has a sentence of possible imprisonment of 4-15 years and fines of up to $25,000. For the more serious offenses, a class X felony has a sentence of possible imprisonment of 6-30 years and fines of up to $25,000.

Assault and Battery Defenses

There are several possible defenses to assault or battery charges. These include:

  • self defense
  • defense of another person
  • defense of property
  • lack of reasonable apprehension
  • consent to the contact

A Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Criminal laws are complex and constantly changing. Chicago criminal defense attorney, Dennis F. Dwyer, stays up to date with the current laws and understands the complexity of the Illinois statute defining assault and battery. He can review your charges and discuss possible defenses to your criminal assault or battery case. Contact Dennis F. Dwyer to learn more about how he can help defend your freedom.

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