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What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in Illinois?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Elgin criminal defense attorneyEven though most people never intend to run afoul of the law, there are some situations where a person may be accused of harming someone else, and these may lead to criminal charges. In some cases, an argument or disagreement may get out of control, causing a person to feel threatened, or a physical fight may break out, resulting in injuries. These situations could lead to assault and/or battery charges. While these charges are often used together, they are two separate offenses, and it is important to understand the distinctions between them. Depending on the circumstances of a case, assault or battery may be charged as a misdemeanor, or aggravating factors may lead to felony charges.

Assault Charges

A person may be charged with assault if they knowingly take actions that would reasonably cause someone else to fear that they will suffer bodily harm or to believe that the person will make physical contact with them in an offensive or insulting manner. Since assault involves the threat or anticipation of action, a person may be charged with this offense if they verbally threaten to harm someone else, pull back their fist in preparation to punch someone, or brandish a weapon in a threatening manner.

At the most basic level, assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor. However, a charge may be elevated to aggravated assault if a case involved certain aggravating factors. If assault is committed in a public place, if a person used a deadly weapon while committing assault, or if the alleged victim was a teacher, school employee, person with physical disabilities, person over the age of 60, park district employee, transit employee, sports official, or security guard, aggravated assault may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If a person allegedly discharged a firearm while committing assault or threatened to run someone over with a vehicle, or if the alleged victim was a police officer, fireman, emergency medical technician, corrections officer, or probation officer, aggravated assault is a Class 4 felony.

Battery Charges

A person may be charged with battery if they knowingly caused bodily harm to someone else without legal justification or if they made physical contact with someone in a manner that was insulting or provoking. While assault and battery are often charged together, a person may be charged with battery even if they did not commit assault. For example, battery may involve striking someone from behind without warning.

In many cases, battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. A charge may be elevated to aggravated battery based on many of the same aggravating factors as for assault, including the identity of the victim, the location where the incident occurred, and the use of a firearm or another deadly weapon. In addition, aggravated battery may be charged if the alleged victim suffered great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement. In many cases, aggravated battery is charged as a Class 3 felony. However, more serious felony charges may apply if aggravated assault was committed against a police officer or a child under the age of 13, or if a person injured someone by discharging a firearm. The maximum charge is a Class X felony, and a conviction may result in a jail sentence of up to 60 years or life in prison.

Contact Our Elgin Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

If you are facing charges of assault or battery, you will need a skilled attorney on your side to help you determine the best defense strategy. At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we will advise you of your options, provide you with representation in court, and work to help you avoid a conviction wherever possible or negotiate a lesser charge to ensure that you will not face serious consequences. Contact our Kane County criminal defense lawyer at 847-488-0889 to set up a free consultation and get the defense you need.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=21100000&SeqEnd=23000000

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=073000050HCh%2E+V%2E+Art%2E+4%2E5&ActID=1999&ChapterID=55&SeqStart=27300000&SeqEnd=29800000

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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