Although “assault and battery” are often mentioned together, they are actually separate crimes in Illinois.
There are two ways a person can commit the crime of battery in Illinois:
It probably comes as no surprise that causing physical harm to another person constitutes battery. Actions like slapping, punching and kicking probably spring to mind immediately when you hear the word. But, you may not realize that not all battery requires direct physical contact between the batterer and the victim. For example, a person may commit battery against another person by striking him with an implement, throwing a rock, or otherwise causes physical harm.
Many people also do not realize that “insulting or provoking” physical contact that does not cause bodily harm also constitutes battery. For example, spitting on another person, tearing off a piece of clothing or wiping mud on his face may lead to a battery conviction, though no physical harm to the person resulted.
Simple battery is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Many factors may convert misdemeanor battery to aggravated battery, including:
This is just a sampling of factors that can elevate a battery charge to aggravated battery. Generally, aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony, punishable by 2-5 years in prison. However, certain types of aggravated battery carry more serious classifications and penalties. Certain types of aggravated battery involving firearms are charged as Class X felonies and carry mandatory minimum sentences of 12, 15, or even 20 years in prison.
If you’re facing battery or aggravated battery, you could have a lot at risk. Don’t take chances. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about the charges you’re facing, your possible defenses, and how we can help you protect yourself and your future. Contact us right away.
Unlike battery, assault does not require physical harm or contact. Rather, a person commits assault in Illinois when he or she “places another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” Most commonly, assault involves a threat. However, that threat need not be verbal. A person can commit assault through actions and gestures that create the reasonable impression that he is going to commit battery against another.
Simple assault is a Class C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail. However, conviction may carry other consequences, including up to two years of probation.
Aggravated assault involves assault which is punished more severely based on specific circumstances. For example, assault which occurs in certain specific locations, such as on public property or in a sports venue, is considered aggravated assault and is a Class A misdemeanor.
Like battery, assault is treated more seriously when the victim belongs to a specific class, generally those considered to be more vulnerable or those who are performing public services. Depending upon the specifics, aggravated assault may be charged as a Class 4 felony or even a Class 3 felony, resulting in possible penalties of up to 5 years in prison—longer, if the offense qualifies for extended sentencing.
Assault and battery charges can be serious, and most people don’t have the understanding of legal process necessary to effectively defend themselves. Before you make a decision—or a mistake—that could impact the rest of your life, get advice from one of the seasoned legal professionals at Callahan & Hockemeyer, P.C.. We’re here to ask the tough questions, help you build the best defense possible, and hold the prosecution to the high burden the law requires.
Contact the experienced attorneys at Callahan & Hockemeyer, P.C. for help with assault & battery defense law issues.