Experienced Waukegan Assault & Battery Attorney Ready To Serve You
Police, prosecutors, and judges in Illinois take violent crime very seriously. While criminal justice reform measures over the recent decade have provided non-violent offenders with many new options to resolve their cases, the prosecution’s focus has shifted to those charged with violent crimes. If the government is charging you with a violent crime, reach out to Anisa Jordan, an experienced Waukegan assault and battery attorney.
Assault & Battery Charges in Illinois
Assault and battery are commonly used terms that, for many, describe the same thing. However, under Illinois criminal law, assault and battery are two separate crimes that can be, and often are, charged together.
Battery occurs when someone knowingly causes bodily harm to another person or touches them in an “insulting and provoking” manner. However, causing physical harm to another is not illegal and does not constitute battery unless it is without lawful justification. Lawful justification may be based on consent (which is why Chicago Bears’ defensive tackles are not arrested every time they walk off the field) or self-defense.
An assault occurs when someone knowingly engages in conduct that places another in immediate fear of a battery. In other words, there does not need to be any physical contact to commit an assault. For example, pulling a gun out and pointing it at someone is an assault, not a battery, because there was no physical contact.
Punishments for Waukegan Assault and Battery Offenses
Assaults and batteries are both misdemeanor offenses. An assault is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,500. A battery is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The court can also sentence you to up to two years on probation for an assault or battery offense.
In certain situations, the prosecution may bring aggravated assault or aggravated battery charges based on the presence of one or more aggravating circumstances. An aggravating circumstance may be anything from using a gun during the commission of the offense to committing an assault or battery at a sporting event. If the alleged victim of an assault or battery is a police officer, elderly person, public transit employee, or sporting official, it can also lead to aggravated assault or battery charges. Along those lines, a battery may turn into an aggravated battery if the alleged victim suffered a serious injury.
Defenses to Assault and Battery Crimes
Before a judge or jury can find you guilty of an assault or battery charge, the prosecution must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This creates many opportunities to fight a case. A skilled Waukegan assault and battery lawyer may use any of the following defenses, depending on the facts of the case:
- Defense of others;
- Defense of property; and
Each of these defenses negates the “unlawful” element of an assault or battery offense. In other words, if you act in self-defense, you are acting lawfully. So, if the judge or jury believes you reasonably acted in self-defense, you cannot be convicted of assault or battery.
In aggravated battery cases, one common approach is to challenge the seriousness of the alleged victim’s injuries. Under state law, the prosecution must prove you caused “great bodily harm” or “permanent disability or disfigurement,” which is a fairly high bar.
In assault and battery cases that are aggravated by the victim’s status, it is a defense if you did not know the victim’s status. For example, if you assaulted someone at a bar only to find out later they were an undercover police officer, you cannot be charged with an aggravated assault based on the victim’s status as a police officer.
Contact the Jordan Law Firm for Immediate Assistance
If you have recently been arrested and charged with a violent crime, contact the skilled Waukegan assault & battery lawyer Anisa Jordan at The Jordan Law Firm. Our experienced attorney Anisa Jordan spent years working as a prosecutor, trying hundreds of cases on behalf of the government.
Our skilled lawyer Anisa Jordan also represents clients facing the following criminal charges:
- DUI Defense
- Traffic Violations
- DCFS Appeals
- Record Sealing & Expungement
- Driver’s License Suspension and Revocation
She now uses the knowledge and skills she obtained to help her clients defend their name and their freedom. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 224-340-6522. You can also reach our Waukegan assault & battery attorney at The Jordan Law Firm through the online contact form.