Under the laws of the State of Illinois, it is unlawful to make unwanted physical contact with another person. This is referred to legally as battery or aggravated battery, depending on the circumstances of the offense. The presence of actual contact is what differentiates battery from assault crimes, which only address threats of unwanted physical contact.
The definition of battery under Illinois law appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-3. Under this section, battery occurs when a person knowingly and without legal justification:
- Inflicts physical harm or injury on another person; or
- Makes insulting or provoking physical contact with another person.
The penalties for battery in Illinois also appear in 720 ILCS 5/12-3. In most circumstances, battery results in Class A misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction, the typical punishment includes up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines, and 24 months of probation.
The definition of aggravated battery under Illinois law appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. Under this section, aggravated battery occurs when a person commits battery and:
- Inflicts severe physical harm or injury on another person;
- Harms a child or person with an intellectual disability;
- The offense occurs in a specific location, such as a public venue, sports stadium, or crisis shelter;
- Intentionally harms a specific type of person, such as an elderly or disabled person, a teacher, or a taxi driver;
- Knowingly injures certain professionals carrying out their official duties, such as a police officer, firefighter, or medical professional;
- Discharges a firearm and causes harm or injury to another person;
- Uses certain devices or weapons, such as hoods, masks, laser pointers, and air rifles;
- Intentionally delivers a controlled substance or other drug that results in harm, injury, or disability; or
- Knowingly forces a penal officer to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, or feces.
The penalties for aggravated battery in Illinois also appear in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. In most circumstances, aggravated battery results in Class 3 felony charges. Upon conviction, the typical punishment includes up to five years in jail, $25,000 in fines, and 30 months of probation.
That being said, the penalties for aggravated battery can change based on the type of offense in question. For example, a person who commits aggravated battery by discharging a firearm will likely face Class X felony charges. Upon conviction, the typical punishment includes up to 30 years in jail and $25,000 in fines. Illinois does not offer probation for Class X felonies.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.
(image courtesy of Matt Popovich)