Possible Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges

Assault and battery are serious charges that can lead to jail time, a criminal record, and a tarnished reputation. If you have been charged with assault or battery, it is important to know that there are defenses available to you.

If you are facing assault or battery charges, our Bloomington criminal defense attorney at The Prior Law Firm, P.C., can help you identify the best defense strategies available to you based on the facts of your case.

Defenses to Assault and Battery

These are some of the most common defenses to assault and battery charges:


One of the most common defenses to assault and battery charges is self-defense. This defense is based on the argument that the defendant used force against the victim to protect themselves from harm. In order for this defense to be successful, the defendant must show that they reasonably believed that they were in imminent [...]

How Does Assault Differ From Battery in Illinois?

The difference between assault and battery is something that seems to arise on a regular basis. Sometimes used interchangeably, assault and battery are actually separate criminal offenses under the Illinois Criminal Code. Depending on the presence of physical contact, offenders can face completely different penalty structures for assault or battery, including a jail sentence and criminal fines. 

How Does Illinois Define and Penalize Assault?

720 ILCS 5/12-1 establishes the Illinois laws against assault. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly and without legal authority:

    Engage in any conduct with another person; and Place the other person in reasonable fear of battery or similar physical contact. 

In this context, it is vital to note that assault does not require physical contact. Words alone can suffice, so long as the victim is in reasonable fear that such contact could be imminent. 

Section 12-1 also provides the Illinois penalty for assault. Under [...]

Normal, Illinois Police Officer Injured in Aggravated Battery Case

A man faces aggravated battery charges after allegedly injuring a Normal, Illinois police officer, according to an article by The Pantagraph

This incident occurred on Sunday, July 24. That is when police discovered the man in question asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle with signs of intoxication. In the process of arrest and subsequent processing, this man allegedly resisted and inflicted an injury to the fingers of a police officer. 

The man in question has links to an address in Normal and an address in Texas. Though he will face criminal charges in Illinois for aggravated battery and awaits an arraignment scheduled for August 19. 

To appreciate the potential consequences of this incident, the following sections will explore the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated battery. 

Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Battery

The Illinois laws against aggravated battery appear at 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. There are seven versions [...]

Analyzing Three Versions of Aggravated Assault in Illinois

Unlike battery offenses, assault does not require harmful or even physical contact. If the perpetrator creates a reasonable fear of imminent contact, it can qualify as assault under Illinois law. If the perpetrator’s actions fall into one of the three categories outlined below, they could face charges for aggravated assault instead.

Aggravated Assault – Location of Conduct

720 ILCS 5/12-2 establishes the Illinois laws against aggravated assault. Under Subsection (a), a standard assault crime becomes aggravated assault if the offense occurred on or about any:

    Public way; Public property; Public place of accommodation or amusement; Sports venue; or Place of worship.

Aggravated assault based on location of conduct is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, the punishment can include an upper limit of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines. 

Aggravated Assault – Status of Victim

Section [...]