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What Makes Assault and Battery Charges Aggravated in Illinois?

 Posted on June 30, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Joliet criminal defense attorneyArguments and disputes can sometimes turn into physical altercations, and if deemed serious enough, could even involve the police. Many people think that assault and battery go together, but they are actually two distinct criminal offenses under Illinois law. Assault is defined as inflicting physical harm, or in some instances, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. Either act can result in criminal prosecution and/or a civil liability depending on the circumstances. However, there are certain factors that can elevate the charges to aggravated assault, which can result in serious penalties in Illinois, including a lengthy prison sentence. In some cases though, a person may be wrongfully accused, making it crucial to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney to avoid a conviction.    

Aggravating Factors

Although laws differ by jurisdiction, aggravating factors may include the use of a deadly weapon during the criminal act. It can also be considered aggravated if the assault or battery was committed while a person is attempting to commit another crime. Who the alleged victim is can elevate the charges to aggravated, such as if he or she is a child, female, or law enforcement officer. A deadly weapon can include the following items:

  • Guns/firearms

  • Knives or similar utensils

  • Explosive devices

  • Poisonous or toxic materials

  • Brass knuckles, clubs, or nunchucks

  • Hands and feet (if the alleged offender has martial arts or military training) 

Penalties for Assault and Battery

Assault and battery can be charged differently depending on the extenuating circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. The potential sentence for a conviction of aggravated assault depends on whether the state prosecutor charged the offense as a Class A misdemeanor or as a Class 4 felony. Battery involves conduct that causes bodily harm to another person, or provocative, insulting, or unwelcome physical contact with another person.

  • Assault: In Illinois, assault is classified as a Class C misdemeanor. Punishments can include up to 30 days in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, or both. In some instances, the court can sentence an offender anywhere between 30 and 120 hours of community service.

  • Aggravated Assault: When an aggravated assault is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, it may result in up to one year in jail, a fine up to $2,500, or both. A Class 4 felony for the same crime can include one to three years of incarceration, a fine in the amount of $25,000, or both. If this is not the defendant’s first conviction for this crime, prison time can be extended to three to six years.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

Assault charges can result in serious consequences in Illinois if convicted, especially if they are elevated to aggravated assault. Do not let a false allegation of assault ruin your reputation. If you or someone you know is facing such charges, you need professional legal counsel in order to build a strong persuasive legal argument in your favor. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, our qualified Will County assault defense lawyers have handled numerous criminal cases in both state and federal courts, and we will aggressively protect your rights to achieve the best possible outcome. Call us today at 815-727-0100 to schedule your free consultation.




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