If you’re like many people, you’ve heard the term assault and battery – but what are these crimes, and what happens if you’re convicted of them?
What is Assault and Battery?
A lot of TV shows treat the two terms – assault and battery – like the same thing. In fact, you might even hear them used together as if they’re one crime. But in Illinois, assault is one crime and battery is another.
- Assault is intentionally making someone believe you’re about to physically harm them.
- Battery is intentionally physically harming someone, or making contact of an insulting or provoking nature.
Let’s look at both of those in-depth.
The Crime of Assault in Illinois
Threatening someone is assault. Saying, “I’m about to beat you down” can be an assault. So can throwing a punch but missing the other person.
The key is that the other person thinks you’re going to hit them or physically harm them in some way. Trying to trip someone, swinging an object at someone or throwing something can constitute assault – even if you don’t make a verbal threat.
You can be charged with and convicted of assault, even if you didn’t actually cause anyone any harm.
More Examples of Assault
- You and another person are arguing in a bar. You threaten to take physical action, but your friends hold you back.
- You pick up a chair and throw it at someone in your house. You miss.
- You try to kick someone in the head and miss.
Assault is a Class C misdemeanor. You could spend up to 30 days in the county jail and a judge could order you to pay up to $1,500 in fines if the court convicts you. Plus, assault goes on your criminal record and stays there unless you take other actions to remove it.
The Crime of Battery in Illinois
Battery is a crime that involves you causing another person physical harm. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how severe the other person’s injuries are.
Misdemeanor battery could be punching someone without causing any serious injuries. Felony battery – which is usually called aggravated battery – is probably the charge you’ll pick up when you beat someone up.
If the battery you committed is a misdemeanor, it’s considered a “simple battery.” It’s a Class A misdemeanor, though, which means the court can sentence you up to a year in jail and order you to pay fines of up to $2,500.
If the battery you committed is a felony, the penalties become a lot more severe – including prison time.
Related: Felony defense in Chicago
What if You’re Accused of Assault and Battery?
You can be charged with both assault and battery at the same time. But either way, you could benefit from talking to a Chicago criminal defense lawyer.
If you’re charged with either assault or battery – or both – call us right away at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to talk to a lawyer and get free advice now.