Often misunderstood outside of legal circles, assault is an Illinois crime that involves a reasonable fear of harmful or offensive contact. Unlike battery crimes, assault does not require physical contact. But if a perpetrator makes a victim fear that such contact is imminent, they can face criminal charges for regular or aggravated assault under Illinois law.
What are the Illinois Laws Against Assault?
720 ILCS 5/12-1 establishes the Illinois laws against assault. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly engage in conduct that places another person in reasonable fear of battery, without legal authorization or authority.
How Does Illinois Punish Assault?
Section 12-1 also furnishes the Illinois punishment for assault. Under this section, assault is usually charged as a Class C misdemeanor. If convicted, the penalties can include a maximum of 30 days in jail and $1,500 in criminal fines. Any person who commits assault may also face a community service requirement of 30 to 120 hours.
What are the Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Assault?
720 ILCS 5/12-2 provides the Illinois laws against aggravated assault. Under this section, a regular assault crime becomes aggravated assault based on:
- Location of Conduct — The offense occurs on the public way, public property, accommodation or amusement facility, sports venue, or place of religious worship;
- Status of Victim — The offense occurs against a specific type of victim, such as an elderly or disabled person, police officer, teacher, firefighter, government employee, or several other categories of victims; or
- Use of Weapon — The perpetrator uses a firearm, deadly weapon, motor vehicle, or other device to complete the offense.
How Does Illinois Punish Aggravated Assault?
Section 12-2 also supplies the Illinois punishment for aggravated assault. Under this section, aggravated assault is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the penalties can include a maximum of 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
That being said, aggravated assault can become a felony crime for certain offenses based on status of the victim or use of a weapon. In most of these circumstances, aggravated assault is typically charged as a Class 4 felony. If convicted, the penalties can include one to three years in prison and $25,000 in criminal fines.
On a related note, aggravated assault can also be charged as a Class 3 felony. For example, a perpetrator can face this enhanced charge if they commit assault while discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle. In these cases, a conviction can result in two to five years in prison and $25,000 in criminal fines.
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 email@example.com or by completing an online form.