There are a variety of situations where a person may potentially face assault charges. These types of charges may stem from disagreements or altercations, or they may be related to accusations of domestic violence. In some cases, aggravated assault charges may apply depending on the identity of the alleged victim, the location of the incident, or other factors. If you have been charged with assault or aggravated assault in Illinois, it is important to understand the possible penalties you may be facing. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, you can determine your legal options for defending against these charges.
What Is Assault?
The phrase “assault and battery” is often used in situations where a person is accused of assault. While these two terms may seem to describe the same types of activities, they actually describe two separate offenses. Illinois law defines battery as knowingly inflicting a physical injury on someone else or making physical contact with a person in a way that is considered to be insulting or provocative. Assault, on the other hand, is defined as acting in a way that causes a person to reasonably fear that they will suffer battery.
While a person may face charges for both assault and battery, assault charges on their own may apply if a person allegedly threatened someone else or acted as if they would cause them harm, even if they did not actually make contact or inflict injuries. In most cases, “simple” assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. If a person is also charged with battery, they may face additional penalties. Battery is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of less than one year (up to 364 days) and a maximum fine of $2,500.
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is a more serious charge that may apply if certain factors were involved in the alleged offense. The location of the alleged crime may be considered, and an assault that took place on public property, in a public location such as a store, at a sports venue, or in a church, mosque, or place of religious worship may be elevated to aggravated assault.
The identity of the alleged victim may also be a factor. Assault committed against a police officer or first responder, a teacher or school employee, a park district employee, a transit employee, a sports official, or an elderly or disabled person may be considered aggravated assault.
The circumstances of an alleged crime may also involve aggravating factors. Aggravated assault may be charged if a person allegedly used a deadly weapon, discharged a firearm, drove a motor vehicle in a way that put someone else at risk of being struck, wore a hood or mask with the purpose of hiding their identity, or recorded the offense with the intent of sharing it with others.
Aggravated assault may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, although Class 4 felony charges may apply if an offense allegedly involved the assault of a police officer, the discharge of a firearm, or the use of a vehicle. Class 3 felony charges may apply if a person allegedly discharged a firearm from inside a vehicle or attempted to strike a police officer with a vehicle. A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison, and a Class 3 felony is punishable by two to five years in prison. Felony convictions may also result in fines of up to $25,000.
Contact Our Naperville Assault Charges Lawyer
If you have been charged with assault or aggravated assault in Illinois, you will want to take the correct steps to defend yourself. At [[title]], our DuPage County criminal defense attorney can help you understand the defense strategies that are available, and we will work to help you avoid a conviction and resolve your case successfully. To learn how we can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights, contact us at [[phone]] and set up a free consultation.