Assault Charge; Illinois Misdemeanor and Felony Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with the crime of assault, the charge you face can range from a Class C misdemeanor crime all the way up to a Class 4 felony charge resulting in up to three years in prison. Assault, or putting a person in fear of receiving physical harm, is a very serious offense in Illinois. Aggravated assault, which involves assault with a deadly weapon, disguises, or assault on certain classes of persons, is a much more serious charge than simple assault. The specific charge against you and the potential punishment you face depend upon the unique facts of your individual case.
What is the Crime of Assault in the State of Illinois?
Most people typically think of assault and battery together as a single crime. But they are actually two separate offenses. Battery basically means to intentionally or knowingly cause bodily harm to another person without legal justification or to make an insulting or provoking physical contact with another person. Assault occurs when you place a person in fear of receiving battery.
ASSAULT: (a) A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of battery.
Note that you do not have to actually harm someone or even touch him or her to be charged with assault. You only have to act in a way that causes that person to feel a reasonable fear of being harmed. Pointing a weapon in a threatening manner or encroaching upon someone’s personal space as you threaten them verbally can result in an assault charge.
What is the Possible Sentence for Assault in Chicago?
The crime of simple assault is a Class C misdemeanor that can result in up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. But you might be charged with aggravated assault, which carries far more serious penalties and can land you in prison for up to 3 years.
What is Aggravated Assault under Illinois Law?
Aggravated assault occurs where the defendant employs a disguise, uses a deadly weapon, or assaults certain classes of person. Aggravated assault includes, but is not limited to, the following crimes:
- Use of a deadly weapon or a device designed to be substantially similar in appearance to a firearm;
- Discharge of a firearm;
- Use of a robe, hood, or mask designed to conceal your identity;
- Assault of a teacher or school employee on or adjacent to school grounds;
- Assault of a director, supervisor, or instructor employed in a park district on or adjacent to park grounds;
- Assault of an employee of the Department of Public Aid while they are on the job;
- Assault of a peace officer, a correctional officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer or correctional officer, a paramedic, or a fireman while engaged in performing their jobs, to prevent them performing their jobs, or in retaliation for them performing their jobs;
- Assault of an employee of the State of Illinois while the employee is on the job;
- Assault of a public transportation worker or a public transportation passenger while engaged in the use of the public transportation system;
- Assault of a person on public property or in a place of public accommodation or amusement;
- Assault on a senior citizen aged 60 or older; and
- Assault on a handicapped person.
As you might see from the lengthy list of aggravated assault crimes, the crime of aggravated assault is a complex one. Different facts and circumstances in individual cases can lead to varying charges and punishments. Aggravated assault is an extremely serious crime that can leave a stain on your record for life. If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault, it’s important that you hire an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney right away to look into your case and take action to protect your legal rights.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault
Some aggravated assault crimes are Class A misdemeanors involving up to one year in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,500. But if your crime involved discharge of a firearm or assault on a correctional or peace officer, aggravated assault becomes a Class 4 felony for which you can receive up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. The specific facts of your case determine the severity of the charge against you and the possible punishment you might receive.
Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Chivari will Fight for Your Rights
Assault cases revolve around the difficult questions of whether you intended to create a reasonable fear of an impending battery and whether the victim in fact experienced a reasonable apprehension of physical harm. These are questions of fact, and the prosecutor must convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. You need a skillful and knowledgeable Chicago criminal defense attorney to put your actions in the best light.
Chicago criminal defense attorney Matthew Chivari has the in-depth experience handling assault cases that you need to turn your case around. He could examine the specific facts and circumstances of your case and present them to the court in a way that protects your rights, puts the incident into proper context, and gives you your rightful chance to be found innocent of the charges against you.
The consequences of a criminal conviction, even a Class C misdemeanor, can stay with you for life and adversely affect your job and housing prospects. Don’t let yourself be unjustly convicted.
Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney Matthew Chivari to uphold your rights and build a strong defense strategy from the true and specific facts of your case.