720 ILCS 5/12-1 defines the offense of Assault in Illinois: A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he or she knowingly engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.
“Conduct” is the most important word in the definition of assault because it implies that words alone do not constitute an Assault. The words have to be coupled with action in order for an assault to occur.
For example, making a fist and chasing after someone while yelling “I’m going to kill you” is an Assault. But standing 30 feet away from someone and simply saying “I’m going to kill you” without any other action is not an assault.
Police routinely arrest people for assault even when an assault truly did not occur. Unfortunately, our system of justice makes it easy to arrest someone with little evidence to support the charge. However, it is much harder to convict someone in a court of law because the evidence must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is why it is vital to hire an attorney who understands the law and can establish your innocence.
Contact The Law Offices of Matt Fakhoury – A Chicago Criminal Defense Firm for a Free Consultation at 847-920-4540 or ILDefense.com