What’s the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

 Posted on August 23,2021 in Criminal Law

illinois defense lawyerSometimes, the terms assault and battery are used interchangeably. People use both terms to refer to a physical attack of some kind. However, in Illinois, assault and battery are different offenses with different legal definitions. These offenses also have much different punishments. So, what is the difference between assault and battery in Illinois?

Assault Laws in Illinois

To assault someone in Illinois means you put a person into a position to think or feel that they are about to receive a battery. For example, if you threaten to punch someone and cock your fist back in preparation for throwing a punch, you could be charged with assault. Assault in the Prarie State is considered a Class C misdemeanor and could result in up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. 

Additionally, you could be charged with aggravated assault if you use a weapon or threaten a protected class like a police officer, teacher, handicapped person, or elderly citizen. If you are convicted of aggravated assault, how you are charged depends on the details of the incident and your criminal background. You could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or Class 3 Felony. In turn, you could be sentenced to less than a year in jail to 10 years in prison. 

Battery Laws in Illinois

If an assault is threatening to cause a battery in Illinois, a battery is carrying out the threat. More specifically, a battery is when you make physical contact with another person in order to harm them or insult or provoke them. Using this definition, you batter someone, for example, when you punch them or spit on them. In the former, you are causing bodily harm and in the latter, you are making contact that is insulting or provoking. Battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor, so you could face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. 

Illinois’s definition for aggravated battery mirrors the definition of aggravated assault in that you can be charged with it if you use a weapon or batter a protected class. Additionally, the charge ranges from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 3 Felony depending on the elements of the crime and your criminal history. 

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with assault, battery, or both, contact an Illinois criminal defense lawyer immediately. With years of experience practicing criminal law, attorney Scott F. Anderson can help you with your case. Contact his office today for a free consultation by calling 847-253-3400.




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