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

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

Assault occurs under Illinois law when you engage in conduct that reasonably places another person in fear that he or she will be the victim of a battery. You don’t have to actually have any physical contact with or have physically struck the victim. Behavior that places the individual in reasonable fear that physical contact will occur is sufficient to constitute an assault. In fact, you may be charged with assault for simply raising a hand or a dangerous object to another person in a way that he or she interprets as violent.

Defining Battery

Battery occurs when one person knowingly causes bodily harm to another person, or causes insulting or provoking contact with another person. Any degree of physical contact can amount to a battery under Illinois law, and a battery conviction does not require that the victim have suffered any physical pain or bodily injury.

Penalties for Assault and Battery

Assault and battery are both misdemeanor crimes in the state of Illinois. Assault is a class C misdemeanor, which can carry a sentence of 0 – 30 days in jail, a fine of not more than $1,500, and anywhere from 30 – 120 hours of community service. On the other hand, battery is a class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year of incarceration and a fine of not more than $2,500.

Aggravated Assault and Battery

The circumstances of the incident that led to your assault or battery charge can depend on whether you are charged with aggravated assault or aggravated battery, which can result in more severe penalties under Illinois law if you are convicted. For instance, the location of the assault, the status of the victim, or the usage of a certain device in an assault all can result in an aggravated assault charge.

Contact Our Office for Help

When you are arrested on any type of criminal charges, you have certain rights under state and federal law that the police and other law enforcement officials are required to respect. Our goal is to protect your constitutional rights and build a strong defense case on your behalf, no matter whether you are facing assault, battery, or another type of criminal charge. We also are here to help provide the prosecution with evidence in your case that may lessen the charges against you in appropriate cases. If you are in this situation, please contact our office right away so that you can benefit from the assistance of a passionate Naperville criminal defense attorney and reach the most positive outcome possible in your case.