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Assault (720 ILCS 5/12-1)
Aggravated Assault (720 ILCS 5/12-2)
If you are charged with Assault (sometimes referred to as Simple Assault) you will need legal representation. Assault is a Class “C” misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in the County Jail and/or a fine of up to $1500. If the sentence does not include jail, you would be required to perform at least 30, but not more than 120, community service hours for a conviction.
Assault occurs when a person reasonably believes that they are about to be the victim of a battery. It most commonly occurs when someone makes a movement that indicates they are about to hit or kick someone but doesn’t follow through, or misses with the attempt to strike. However, any attempt at making a person the subject of an “unwanted touching” can be considered an assault. Assault can often be thought of as an attempted battery.
Illinois Criminal Offenses That Could Lead to Arrest, Jail Time, Substantial Fines, Costs, Public Service Hours, and Convictions on Your Criminal Record
In order to prove an Assault beyond a reasonable doubt the Prosecution must prove several elements. First, that the conduct involved was knowingly done by the accused. Second, that the victim believed they were about to receive a battery and that belief was reasonable. Finally, that the accused did not have lawful authority to commit the act.
Of those three elements, in the overwhelming majority of Assault cases, it is easy for the Prosecutor to prove that the person did not have lawful authority. Essentially, they just have to show that the accused is not a police officer, medical professional, or firefighter acting in their professional capacity.
The other two elements can often be difficult for the prosecution to prove, however. Proving that a person knowingly performed an act can often be problematic for the State, especially if the accused is highly intoxicated at the time of the offense. Intoxication can be what is called an “affirmative defense”. Affirmative defenses are highly technical and are best prepared by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The State also has to show that the victim’s belief they were about to be subjected to a battery must be reasonable. The term “reasonable” can be difficult to define, and varies from person to person. An experienced attorney may be able to effectively cross-examine the victim of the alleged assault in Court, and show that their belief was, in fact, not reasonable.
Some assaults can be elevated to more serious misdemeanors or even felonies if certain conditions apply, such as the location the assault took place, the status of the victim (age, employment, mental or physical handicap), or the type of weapon used. When elevated under these circumstances, the charge is referred to as “Aggravated Assault”. If you are charged with Aggravated Assault, it is even more critical that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you with your case. Discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle or trying to strike someone with a motor vehicle, for example, is a Class “3” Felony, punishable by 2 to 5 years in the Department of Corrections and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
If you have been charged with Assault or Aggravated Assault, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Hall, Rustom & Fritz to handle your case.
Peoria, Illinois Lawyers Who Care About the Results We Obtain for Our Clients
If you are charged with Assault or Aggravated Assault, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Attorney Jeff Hall is a former prosecutor in Central Illinois and he can assist you. Email Jeff at [email protected]