Assault and Battery in Illinois: A Quick Rundown
By Dan Noll on May 12th, 2016 in Articles, Criminal Defense
In Illinois, assault is when one person does something that makes another person fear he or she will receive bodily harm. This can be something like pointing a weapon at or raising a fist to someone else. Battery is that bodily harm, and it can also be provoking physical contact with someone else. Both simple battery and simple assault are misdemeanor charges that can carry penalties of jail time, fines and community service.
You can end up facing stiffer penalties if you’re charged with aggravated assault or aggravated battery because certain conditions exist in your case. Aspects such as your victim’s status, where the offense happened, the object or device used, and the level of the victim’s injury can make a simple battery or simple assault charge morph into an aggravated charge.
Assault: Simple and Aggravated
A simple assault is a Class C misdemeanor in this state, carrying a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and/or a fine of not more $1,500. People convicted of assault in Illinois must perform community service, with the hours ranging from 30 to 120.
Aggravated assault can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 3 or Class 4 felony, depending on the case specifics, so penalties vary. With a Class A misdemeanor, for example, you can be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined no more than $2,500, but a Class 4 felony calls for a jail sentence of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000.
An assault charge can be aggravated under the right circumstances, as outlined below.
- The offense happened against a person who was on a public way, in a public place of amusement or accommodation, public property or a sports venue.
- The victim was part of a class of people defined under state law, such as physically disabled, over 59 years of age, a school teacher or employee, a park employee or a police officer.
- The assault involved the use of a deadly weapon, firearm or something very similar to a firearm.
- You audio or video recorded the incident with the intent to publicize or publish the recording.
Battery: From Misdemeanor to Felony
Simple battery is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a maximum jail sentence of one year and fine of less than $2,501. Aggravated battery, like aggravated assault, can range from a Class 3 felony with penalties of two to five years in jail and fines, to a Class X felony, which carries a jail sentence of 6 to 30 years in a state prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
A simple battery charge is enhanced to an aggravated battery charge by the circumstances in the case. These include serious injury to the victim, a victim in a state-defined class such as children and taxi drivers, and the use of a deadly weapon or similar device.
If you’ve been accused of battery or assault, speak to a seasoned criminal defense attorney in Lincoln IL today. Being convicted of either charge can result in jail time, fines and serious repercussions on the rest of your life.