If you are convicted of assault in Illinois, you could face years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Assault is a crime of violence that requires knowingly engaging in conduct that places a person in apprehension of imminent physical harm.
An assault in Illinois can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime.
Assault: A Class C misdemeanor which may result in up to 30 days in jail and/or up to $1,500 in fines, or 30 to 120 hours of community service.
Aggravated assault: A Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony. A Class A misdemeanor, you may face up to a year in prison and/or up to $2,500 in fines, while a Class 4 felony could result in one to three years in prison and/or up to $25,000 in fines.
Defending against assault charges in Illinois
If you are accused of assault in Illinois, self-defense may be the best way to defend against the charges you face.
Defense of person
Under 720 ILCS 5/7-1, you are allowed to use force to defend yourself or another person, only if you believe it is reasonably necessary to defend against another person’s imminent use of illegal force.
However, the extent of the force you used to defend yourself is also important. The statute states that deadly force is only appropriate if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily harm to you or someone else. You may also use deadly force if you have a reasonable belief that it is necessary to prevent a felony.
Defense of property
As for property, under 720 ILCS 5/7-2, you are allowed to use force against someone if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent someone from unlawfully entering or attacking a dwelling. However, deadly force can only be used if the entry into the property is violent, and you have a reasonable belief that deadly force is needed to prevent assault against a person or prevent a felony.
Self-defense and several other defenses are commonly used to defend against assault charges in Illinois.
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