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What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

April 5th, 2018 at 5:40 pm

assault and battery, Rolling Meadows defense attorney, aggravated assault, Illinois criminal law, aggravated battery chargeIf you watch any crime television show, it seems like the words assault and battery are always used at the same time, interchangeably. However, these are different crimes with different definitions and characteristics. Knowing the difference between the two is essential if you are charged with one or both of these crimes.

Battery

Illinois law defines battery as causing bodily harm to another or making physical contact that is insulting or provoking to another. The perpetrator must know that he or she is causing the offensive touching and has no legal basis in which to do so.

The most common form of battery is hitting, bunching, or otherwise engaging in harmful physical contact with another. However, a battery can also be an offensive touching to another—physically ripping a purse from someone. The purse is considered an extension of the person who was battered.

Not only can one face a battery charge, but also an aggravated battery charge. Aggravated battery is when a person, while committing a battery:

  1. Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement;
  2. Uses a caustic or flammable substance, poisonous gas, biological agent, chemical agent, explosive, or radioactive substance to cause severe bodily harm;
  3. Causes great bodily harm to an officer or fireman;
  4. Causes great bodily harm or disfigurement to someone that is over the age of 60; or
  5. Strangles another person.

Assault

Illinois law says that an assault occurs when someone knowingly places another in “reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” Essentially, it is a battery without the touching requirement. The victim must be placed in reasonable apprehension that there is imminent violence coming. An example is someone who is visibly upset and looks like he or she is going to hit or strike another person. Signs of an “imminent threat” could be the hands going into a fist, raising the fist as if to strike another, or even saying something in a menacing manner that leads another to reasonably think they are in danger.

Just like battery, there is also a situation in which an aggravated assault can occur. An aggravated assault can be:

  1. Assaulting someone in a public place or way;
  2. Assaulting someone who is disabled, a teacher or school employee on school property, park district employees, a peace officer, community policing volunteers, correctional officers, an employee of the state, and other individuals;
  3. Discharging a firearm from a car;
  4. Concealing identity with the use of a hood or robe;
  5. Flashing a laser gun at another or in their vicinity;
  6. Using a firearm against an officer;
  7. Operating a vehicle in a way that makes another think they are in danger of being struck by the car; or
  8. Placing a passenger in danger with your driving.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with assault, battery, or both, contact the office of talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley. Our legal team will defend you with the requisite skill and knowledge. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+12%2C+Subdiv%2E+5&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=21300000&SeqEnd=23400000

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