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Battery vs. Assault: Which Is More Serious in Illinois?

 Posted on March 09, 2021 in Assault & Battery

Wheaton assault defense attorneyWith regards to criminal law and criminal defense in particular, all crimes are serious, carrying with them significant penalties, but all crimes also have varying degrees of this substantiality. Concerning battery and assault specifically, and aggravated battery and aggravated assault especially, the differences are slight but certainly could result in much more serious and severe consequences depending on classification. Here is a summary of the major differences between assault, battery, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery to illustrate this point.

Assault: Defined

According to Illinois law, assault happens when someone without any legal authority knowingly engages in an action that places someone else in a circumstance more likely to lead to battery.

A simple assault would result in a Class C misdemeanor, which carries with it up to 30 days in jail and up to $1,500 worth of fines, in addition to potential other penalties.

Battery: Defined

Per Illinois law, battery occurs when someone consciously and without legal justification does one of the following:

  • Causes bodily harm to someone else
  • Makes physical contact that insults or provokes someone else

A simple battery charge carries with it the classification of Class A misdemeanor, which could lead to a year or less of imprisonment, in addition to probation and fines of up to $2,500.

Aggravated Battery and Aggravated Assault: Added Complexity

As for aggravated battery and aggravated assault, the word “aggravated” tends to add extra complications to your case, depending on the situation. Unlike simple battery and simple assault, these “aggravated” charges are usually classified as felonies, carrying with them much stiffer and more serious penalties. 

Overall, aggravated assault is determined based on three main scenarios:

  1. Location—Depending on where the assault takes place, it could be prosecuted as aggravated assault instead of simple assault.
  2. Victim’s status—Depending on who the person is being assaulted, it could be categorized as aggravated.
  3. Use of a deadly weapon—Based on the use of a weapon for assault of the victim with a firearm, device, or motor vehicle, using the aforementioned weapons in the action will lead to the assault being graded as aggravated.

With regards to aggravated battery, this is determined through the following:

  1. Injury severity—This could be a wide range of situations that result in “great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement,” by use of a deadly weapon or toward a peace officer or toward the elderly or toward a child, for instance.
  2. Injury to a child 13 and younger or a person with a profound intellectual disability—Any great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement inflicted upon a child or intellectually disabled person is considered aggravated.
  3. Location—This is similar to the reasoning behind aggravated assault by definition through location.
  4. Victim’s status—Again, who the victim is can make it an aggravated offense, such as being a peace officer.
  5. Use of a firearm—Not just any weapon but a firearm here gets its own category to be characterized as aggravated battery. Examples include machine guns or other firearms with silencers.
  6. Use of a deadly weapon other than a firearm—This includes deadly weapons and devices under specific circumstances, such as recording the event for broadcast or concealing one’s identity.
  7. Specific conduct—There are particular ways that offenders might conduct themselves that can elevate battery charges to aggravated battery, such as through deceptive practices tricking someone to take an impairing substance.

Most aggravated batteries are Class 3 felonies, punishable by two to five years in prison with a possibility of extended time up to 10 years.

Contact a DuPage County Assault Defense Attorney

Whether you are facing a simple assault or battery, or you are facing an aggravated assault or battery, you need an experienced lawyer who understands the inner workings of both policing and the legal system. That is why you should contact a DuPage County battery defense lawyer. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has more than two decades of experience and knows how to win your case. Contact Stephen A. Brundage at 630-260-9647 for a free consultation.



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