In this article, we discuss Illinois assault and battery laws and answer the following questions:
A common misconception is that the charge of assault results from someone physically harming another person. However, assault is described as any intentional act or behavior that reasonably causes the other person to fear for their safety, or believe they will be imminently harmed. Raising your hand against someone in a deliberate and menacing manner, especially if accompanied by language suggesting you intend to cause the other person harm, is considered assault. Even if you do not physically harm the other person, you may still be charged with assault. Words alone, however menacing, will not generate an assault charge. However, what the words convey, such as stating explicitly and repeatedly that you plan to hurt or kill someone will most certainly lead to trouble with the authorities.
Battery occurs when one person makes physical contact with another; intentionally harming them or an attempt to provoke them. This extends to ripping another person’s clothing and harming another person with an object.
Often, an individual who physically attacks another person will be charged with assault and battery because they are 1) intentionally acting in a way that would make the person fearful of injury, and 2) actually striking and injuring the person.
Yes. If an individual knowingly causes harm to an unborn fetus it is still considered battery. If the individual intentionally harmed someone who was pregnant, resulting in injury or death to the fetus but did not know the person was pregnant, it may provide a defense against the charge, or result in a lesser charge. Minor harm to a fetus is considered a class A misdemeanor while serious harm to a fetus is considered aggravated battery, a class 2 felony.
The primary difference between battery and domestic battery is the relationship between the individuals involved. If someone hits another person within their household, or to whom they are closely related, but not immediately living in the same household, it will be considered domestic battery. The charges and penalties are essentially the same. Domestic batteries are also much more likely to result in a protection order.
A standard charge of assault, let’s say someone strikes another person, but that person isn’t significantly injured or left with disability, is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by:
If there are other factors associated with the charge, such as the use of a weapon, assault of a minor, etc, the punishment will be accordingly severe.
Simple battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by:
If you have a question about assault and battery laws in Illinois or representation, please give our office a call.
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