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What Is the Difference Between Battery and Self-Defense?

 Posted on January 12, 2023 in Assault & Battery

Wheaton criminal defense lawyerIn Illinois, anything from shoving someone to a full-blown fight resulting in serious injuries may lead to criminal charges for battery. When an altercation between two or more people escalates, it can be difficult for police to know exactly what happened and who is to blame. Sometimes, a person is arrested even though they were only trying to defend themselves. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for a fight but were acting in self-defense, speak to an attorney right away.

What Counts as Self-Defense?

According to Illinois law, battery occurs when someone initiates physical contact of an offensive or provoking nature or causes bodily harm without justification. The key element of this description is "without justification." There are some situations in which physical contact or even force is necessary to protect a person from harm.

Self-defense is a valid legal defense to criminal charges of assault or battery if the defendant reasonably responded to an attack on their person. In order to prove self-defense, one must show that they had a reasonable belief that they were in imminent danger and had no other choice than to defend themselves. However, the response must be proportional to the threat and can only include deadly force if it is absolutely necessary.

Penalties for Battery in Illinois

The consequences of a battery conviction are significant, which is why it is so important to develop a strong defense strategy. In Illinois, battery is classified as a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail. In addition to possible jail time, someone convicted of battery may also face hefty fines and be ordered to attend anger management classes or serve community service.

Aggravated battery involves actions that lead to great bodily harm and is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Aggravated battery with a firearm is considered an especially severe crime and is classified as a Class X felony. If an individual is convicted of seriously injuring someone with a firearm, he or she faces a minimum prison sentence of 12 years.

Contact a Wheaton Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were arrested and charged with battery after a physical altercation, contact Stephen A. Brundage for help. The criminal penalties associated with battery and aggravated battery can be life changing. Mr. Brundage is a former police officer with over three decades of experience practicing law. He currently works as a DuPage County criminal defense lawyer and can help you build a strong defense and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Call our office at 630-260-9647 today to schedule a free consultation.



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