Tag Archives: assault and battery

Naperville Assault Lawyer

Self-defense is often a legitimate argument when defending against assault or battery charges, but it can only be a defense in certain situations. If you acted in self-defense, it is possible you acted with force that would otherwise be illegal. 

Like many states, Illinois understands there are some situations in which you have no other choice but to use force to protect yourself, your loved ones, or your property. The Illinois Criminal Code contains all of the stipulations and requirements that you must meet in order to claim self-defense. Depending on the circumstances, defending against charges of assault or battery can be difficult, but it can be made easier with the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.

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What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery Under Illinois Law?

Assault and battery are similar crimes in some respects under Illinois law but do contain different elements. Both assault and battery generally are misdemeanor crimes, but certain characteristics of these crimes can elevate them to aggravated status, which can result in more serious penalties if you are convicted. Fortunately, there are some defenses to assault and battery charges that may apply in your criminal case, but only an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney can help you identify and present these defenses to the court.

Defining Assault

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 aggravated assault, aggravated battery, assault and battery, Class C misdemeanor, commit a crime, definition of assault, Kane County criminal defense attorney, words can get you in troubleThreatening someone through physical action, such as throwing a fist in their direction, or simply threatening to hit them in the face, can get you arrested for assault. Hence, words can get you in trouble. However, if you do manage to hit the other person, it is clearer that you have committed a crime. In that case, you can be charged with battery or aggravated battery, depending on the circumstances of the case. Nevertheless, whether or not that fist connects, as long as the other person reasonably thinks you are about to touch them, you have committed a crime.

Misconceptions Surrounding the Term "Assault" 

Despite common usage, the legal definition of assault does not require any physical contact with another person. Assault in the legal sense can be best understood as a threat of physical contact, which the person against whom it is made reasonably thinks is about to happen. In Illinois, a person commits an assault when he or she knowingly puts another person in reasonable apprehension of being touched in a harmful or offensive manner. This kind of assault is a Class C misdemeanor for which you may go to jail, or receive another sentence, and be forced to perform up to 120 hours of community service.

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“Assault and battery” is a combination of words so common it’s difficult to distinguish between the two. However, there are differences between these two crimes and if you have been charged with either/both of them, it is important to be familiar with them.  assault and battery IMAGELet’s start with taking a closer look at “assault.” Contrary to popular belief, assault does not include acts of violence against another individual. Under Illinois law, someone who is charged with assault has “engaged in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.”  Assault is the threat of physical harm, an act that causes another person to feel that they will soon suffer physical harm. The act will result in a punishment for the individual making the threats even if the victim is not actually harmed. Battery, on the other hand, is what the previously mentioned threats may eventually lead up to. When a person “causes bodily harm to an individual” or “makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual," battery has been committed. The offender must act intentionally or knowingly without legal justification in order for the act to be criminal. Essentially, assault is the attempt to commit battery. Intent is a key factor in both assault and battery. In court, it is typically only necessary for the defendant to have done the act voluntarily and knowingly. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes put it, “Even a dog distinguishes between stumbled over and being kicked.” It is also important to realize that just physical contact can be enough to constitute battery. According to Illinois Legal Aid, one case concluded that a “finger poke in the chest” is a battery. If you or somebody you know has been charged with assault or battery-or both-do not hesitate to contact an experienced Illinois criminal attorney who can assist you in presenting the best defense possible.

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