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Assault in Illinois

April 23rd, 2015 at 5:00 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutesWhat exactly is assault? Because different states have different standards, there can often be confusion about what counts as assault, what counts as battery, and whether they are the same thing. For example, our neighbor to the southwest, Missouri, does not recognize a crime of battery and considers all offenses that involve striking another person to be “assaults.” Here in Illinois, however, we have multiple types of assault and multiple types of battery.

Simple Assault in Illinois

The first assault crime in Illinois is known as either “assault” or sometimes as “simple assault.” A person commits this crime when he or she, without lawful authority, knowingly does something that places another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. So the immediate follow up question has to be: what is considered a battery in Illinois? Illinois defines battery where one person knowingly, without legal justification, either (1) causes bodily harm to an individual, or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual. Basically, one commits an assault when one makes another reasonably afraid that they are either about to suffer bodily harm or be touched in some sort of insulting or provoking way. Simple assault, on its own, is a relatively minor offense in Illinois. It is only a Class C misdemeanor. There is a special sentencing provision that requires that anyone convicted of assault perform between 30 and 120 hours of community service if such community service is available in the community where the assault was committed, unless the person is sentenced to actual incarceration.

Aggravated Assault in Illinois

Aggravated assault is like simple assault, but the facts of the case are somehow worse than a simple assault; thus, aggravated assaults are punished more harshly. There are three main times of aggravated assault in Illinois:

  • Assaults aggravated based on location of the conduct;
  • Assaults aggravated based on the status of the alleged victim; and
  • Assaults aggravated based on the use of a firearm, device, or motor vehicle.

Aggravated assault based on location or conduct comes in a few forms. This includes assaults that are committed against a person who is on or about a public way, assaults that take place on public property, assaults that occur at a place of accommodation or amusement, and assaults that occur at sports venues. This kind of aggravated assault is a Class A misdemeanor.

Aggravated Assault Based on Victim Status

Aggravated assault based on the status of the alleged victim is the most sweeping part of the aggravated assault law. Alleged victims who have special protections under this statute include:

  1. Physically handicapped people and people aged 60 or older;
  2. Teachers and school employees on school grounds, grounds adjacent to the school, or in any part of a building used for school purposes;
  3. Park district employees on park grounds, grounds adjacent to park grounds, or in any part of any building used for park purposes;
  4. Peace officers, community policing volunteers, firefighters, private security officers, emergency management workers, EMTs, or utility workers under certain circumstances;
  5. Correctional officers or probation officers who are performing their official duties;
  6. Employees of jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers or treatment centers for sexually dangerous or sexually violent persons who are doing their official duties;
  7. State or local employees and officials doing their official duties;
  8. Transit employees performing their duties and transit passengers;
  9. Sports officials or coaches who are involved in any level of athletic competition; and
  10. Process servers who are engaged in their official duties.

The severity of each type of offense based on victim status depends upon the exact victim status in question. Most of them are Class A misdemeanors, but some of them are class 4 felonies.

Aggravated Assault Based on Use of a Firearm, Device, or Motor Vehicle

There are nine types of aggravated assault that fit into this category. It includes assaults where the assailant is:

  1. Using a deadly weapon, air rifle, or item that looks like a firearm;
  2. Discharging a firearm other than from a motor vehicle;
  3. Discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle;
  4. Wearing a hood, robe, or mask to conceal the assailant’s identity;
  5. Flashing a laser sight near a person;
  6. Using a firearm but not discharging it when the victim is some sort of law enforcement or first responder doing their job;
  7. Operating a motor vehicle in a manner where someone would reasonably fear they could be hit;
  8. Operating a motor vehicle in a manner where a law enforcement-type or first responder would reasonably fear being hit; or
  9. Recording the assault with the intent of disseminating the recording.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with assault, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney on your side. Christopher Cosley has represented many people in your very position and he wants to fight for you. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M . Cosley today at (847)394-3200.

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