What You Should Know About Assault in Illinois
Under Illinois law, there are several types of assault for which a person may face criminal charges. Assault, in any form, is a serious matter, and such charges may carry severe penalties. If you have been charged with assault, it is important to understand the potential implications.
The Basics of Assault
According to the Illinois Criminal Code , assault is defined as the act of placing someone at risk of bodily harm or creating the fear of such harm. This could include verbally threatening someone, or, perhaps, chasing after someone with your fists. It is crucial to recognize that assault charges are not dependent on whether you made physical contact with or injured another person. If you are found guilty of an assault charge without physical harm to the victim, you could still spend up to a month in jail and face up to $1,500 in fines. Your costs may also include legal fees and lost wages for missed work due to court appearances or time spent in jail. You may also be sentenced to up 120 hours of community service to be completed in accordance with the court’s direction.
Aggravated assault is an assault charge that has been elevated because it involves a scenario in which it was not only more frightening for the victim, but carried the potential to be a more severe situation. You may be charged with aggravated assault if you threatened someone with a deadly weapon, for example, or if you were disguised during the time of the assault—wearing a mask or hood, for example. Even if you only committed non-aggravated assault, but the victim happened to be a state employee—such as a police officer, city bus driver, teacher, or ranger—the charge may be considered aggravated. The same holds true if the victim of the assault was handicapped or elderly and was not able, in that instance, to defend him or herself. Aggravated assault charges start as misdemeanors, with punishments including up to a year in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500, but may be elevated to felonies depending on the circumstances.
Charges of Battery
The offense of battery in Illinois is similar in some ways to assault, and many people confuse the two. Battery is simply the illegal act of causing any bodily harm. If the victim suffered suffered great bodily harm or permanent disability, the offense may be considered aggravated battery. Other aggravating factors may include the use of a weapon or disguise, as well as the age, disability, or occupation of the victim.
Seek Legal Help
If you or someone you know is facing assault charges of any type, it is important to have an attorney on your side who understands the criminal justice system. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba to discuss your case today. Mr. Zaremba is a former prosecutor who is prepared to help ensure your rights are fully protected.