If you watch enough television or go to the movies, then you heard the terms “assault” and “battery” used a number of times. Perhaps you even heard them used in tandem. However, a charge of assault is different than that of battery, and while both are serious, it is important to know the distinctions.
What is Assault and Aggravated Assault?
In Illinois, assault is defined as when one person knowingly engages in conduct that places another person in reasonable apprehension of being physically attacked. The key here is that when it comes to a charge of assault, there is a lack of physical contact.
Aggravated assault is when the crime is alleged to have occurred in a public place such as a sports venue, public park, or any area deemed open to public access. Criteria that may also result in the upgraded charge include :
• Victim status: For example, if the victim is a teacher, has a physical disability, is a sports official, or is a public employee, then the assault may result in an aggravated charge result.
• Display or use of a non-lethal firearm designed to appear substantially similar to an authentic firearm.
• Wearing a hood, mask, or robe to conceal one’s identity.
• Recording (audio or video) the assault with the intent to distribute the audio or video recording.
Again, no physical contact need occur to be charged with aggravated assault.
What is Battery? Aggravated Battery?
The crime of battery includes the act of physical contact. Illinois law defines battery as the act of knowingly, and without justification, causing bodily harm to another person and/or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature.
Regular battery may be charged as aggravated battery based on certain factors, including the following:
• Victim status:
o A person who is of 60 years of age or older
o A pregnant person.
o A teacher or school employee on school grounds.
o Public employee.
• Use of a firearm: When the offender discharges certain firearms and causes injury to the victim.
• Delivery of a controlled substance that results in great bodily harm to the user.
• Other equally serious actions.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows and understands the nuances of both charges, the circumstances that may result in upgraded charges, and the sentencing guidelines that accompany these crimes.
Contact Knowledgeable Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whenever you find yourself facing criminal charges, whether a misdemeanor or felony, the smart move is obtaining knowledgeable help from a Joliet criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights throughout the legal process. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will provide a thorough and vigorous defense to ensure the best possible outcome for you.