You may have heard people say “assault and battery” as if referring to one crime – but under Illinois law, assault and battery are two different things. Both are crimes, and both can result in time behind bars, but you can commit one without the other. Here’s what you need to know.
Assault and Battery: Two Separate Crimes
You can be charged with and convicted of assault and battery – or you can be charged with and convicted of only assault or only battery. They’re two separate crimes under Illinois law.
Assault Charges in Illinois
Illinois law defines assault this way:
“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.”
That means you intentionally made someone think that you were going to batter them. Assault could be something like moving aggressively toward another person, saying you’re going to harm them, or even throwing a punch but missing.
Battery Charges in Illinois
Illinois law defines battery this way:
“A person commits battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.”
That means you hit, push, slap or punch another person (or do something else that makes physical contact, or something that harms the person). You do not have to cause a person harm to be convicted of battery.
Battery can be a misdemeanor or felony. Usually, it depends on how much harm occurred. If the victim’s injuries are severe or permanent, you’re looking at felony charges.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Assault and Battery Charges in Illinois?
If you’ve been accused of assault, battery, or both assault and battery, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review now.