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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.


You have probably heard it dozens of times on the news. Mr. John Doe has been charged with assault and battery following his arrest last night. Sometimes you may hear of a suspect being charged with simple assault with no mention of battery. It can seem very confusing but if you or someone you love is the one facing the charges, knowing the difference between the two can be extremely helpful to your case.

Based on the law’s definition of the terms, it makes more sense to start with what constitutes battery. According to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, a person commits battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual. Any charge of battery must be shown to have been intentional, and the insulting or provoking nature clause allows for a more open interpretation than bodily harm."

The law also includes a number of factors that can change simple battery to aggravated battery, which the state considers a felony. These factors include, among others, the level of harm caused, the age, physical condition, or disability of the victim, and the use of a firearm. Battery which it committed against a family or household member is known as domestic battery, and also may be considered a felony based on the situation.