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Are Assault and Battery Treated as Separate Charges in Illinois?

 Posted on February 07, 2024 in Uncategorized

Grundy County Criminal LawyerWhile assault and battery are two common terms often used together when discussing criminal charges, they are actually treated as two separate offenses in Illinois. Many people may not fully understand the differences between these two offenses. If you have been accused of these offenses or related crimes, an experienced attorney can provide guidance on how Illinois law will apply in your case and how you can defend against a conviction.

Defining Assault

In Illinois, assault is defined as a specific act that causes another person to reasonably believe that they will be subject to harmful or offensive contact. It is important to note that physical contact does not need to occur for an action to be considered assault.

Assault charges will generally involve the following elements:

  • The defendant's intentional conduct caused the alleged victim to reasonably believe they were about to be injured.

  • The defendant intended for their conduct to cause fear or harm.

  • The victim had a well-founded fear that they would suffer immediate bodily harm or offensive contact.

Understanding Battery

Battery involves actual physical contact between the defendant and the victim. Unlike assault, which only requires intent and placing someone in fear of harm, battery involves causing physical harm or making provoking physical contact with another person.

Battery charges will generally involve the following elements:

  • The defendant intentionally caused bodily harm or made insulting or provoking physical contact with another person.

  • The actions were without legal justification such as acts committed in self-defense or to protect against harm to other people or property.

Separate Charges, Separate Penalties

While assault and battery are distinct charges in Illinois, they can also be charged together. In situations where physical harm occurs after placing someone in fear of immediate bodily harm, a defendant may be charged with both assault and battery.

The penalties for assault and battery can vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding each case. Typically, simple assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a potential sentence of up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500. Simple battery is usually treated as a Class A misdemeanor with penalties including up to one year in jail and/or fines of up to $2,500.

In cases where aggravating factors are present, the charges may be elevated to felony offenses carrying more severe consequences. Aggravated assault may involve the use of a firearm or deadly weapon or an alleged victim who is an elderly or disabled person, a police officer, a first responder, or a teacher. A person may also be charged with aggravated assault if they allegedly committed assault on public property, at a sports venue, or at a church, mosque, temple, or other buildings used for religious gatherings and worship. Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, a Class 4 felony, or a Class 3 felony. Felony charges carry fines of up to $25,000 and prison sentences of at least one year, with longer sentences applying for more serious felonies.

A person may be charged with aggravated battery if they allegedly inflicted great bodily harm on a person or caused a permanent disability. Aggravated battery charges may also involve the infliction of injuries on children, elderly, or disabled people, police officers, taxi drivers, medical providers, or store owners or employees who have detained a person based on accusations of retail theft. Carrying a deadly weapon or firing a gun while committing battery may also result in aggravated battery charges. Aggravated battery is usually charged as a Class 3 felony, but in certain circumstances, charges may be increased to a Class 2 or Class 1 felony.

Contact a Will County Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of assault or battery in Illinois, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. At Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., our experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer will thoroughly evaluate your case, help you build an effective defense strategy, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. We can provide you with skilled legal guidance and aggressive representation. Call 815-740-4025 today to schedule a free consultation.

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