Jun 1

The topic today involves an exploration of the differences between assault and aggravated assault crimes in Illinois. The following sections will provide definitions of and penalties for both offenses.

What is the Definition of Assault in Illinois?

The definition of assault appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-1. Essentially, a person commits assault when he or she intentionally threatens to harm another person. Unlike battery crimes, assault does not deal with actual physical contact.

What are the Penalties for Assault in Illinois?

The penalties for assault also appear in 720 ILCS 5/12-1. In most cases, assault is classified as a Class C misdemeanor in Illinois. The potential penalties for a Class C misdemeanor include a sentence range of up to 30 days, fines of up to $1,500 and probation for up to 24 months. Additionally, the court may require 30 to 120 hours of community service.  

What is the Definition of Aggravated Assault in Illinois?

The definition of aggravated assault appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-2. Essentially, there are three categories of aggravated assault in Illinois. Assault can become aggravated assault based on the:

  • Location of the Offense: When the offender commits assault in certain places, including the public way, sports venues, and other public properties;
  • Status of the Victim: When the offender commits assault against certain types of victims, including teachers, police officers, and other public officials; or
  • Use of a Dangerous Weapon: When the offender commits assault using certain types of weapons, including firearms, motor vehicles, and similar devices.

What are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Illinois?

The penalties for aggravated assault also appear in 720 ILCS 5/12-2. In most cases, aggravated assault is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. The potential penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include a sentence range of up to 364 days, fines up to $2,500, and probation for up to 24 months.

In certain cases, however, aggravated assault can feature more aggressive penalties. For example, aggravated assault against a police officer or other law enforcement agent generally constitutes a Class 4 felony. The potential penalties for a Class 4 felony include a sentence range of 12 to 36 months, fines up to $25,000, and probation for up to 30 months.

In other cases, the penalties for aggravated assault can become even more serious. If the offender fires a gun from a car, for example, it qualifies as a Class 3 felony in Illinois. The potential penalties for a Class 4 felony include a sentence range of 24 to 60 months, fines up to $25,000, and probation for up to 30 months.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.

(image courtesy of robert hickerson)