Assault and Battery are two different charges. Assault occurs when a victim feels physically threatened or reasonably believes themselves to be in danger. Battery, on the other hand, is the additional charge that ensues when the victim actually suffers bodily harm. For that reason, if you have been charged with battery, there is a strong chance you are also liable to assault charges.
Battery is found in the Illinois criminal code under 720 ILCS 5/12-3, which states:
“A person commits battery if he (or she) intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means causes bodily harm to an individual or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.”
In addition to aggravated battery charges, an individual can also be liable for the related crimes of aggravated assault on a police officer, domestic battery, and breaking restraining orders.
Usually a simple battery charge is elevated when the incident results in serious injuries, such as broken bones, internal injuries, loss of teeth, or serious lacerations. If the victim required hospitalization or other serious medical attention, the expectation is an aggravated battery charge.
Serious injury is not the only means for raising the charge. If the offender masks their identity, makes a video recording of the attack, possesses a dangerous weapon or firearm, then the charge will be aggravated assault. Even if the offender simply uses a device that appears like a dangerous weapon, the charge will be raised.
While simple battery results in a misdemeanor charge, aggravated battery is always a felony charge. Depending on the circumstances and aggravating factors, it can be classified a Class 3, Class 2, Class 1, or even Class X felony.
While an aggravated battery conviction can land you in serious, life-changing trouble, an aggressive defense lawyer can provide the best possible case to reduce or avoid a sentence. Unless you have been charged with a Class X felony, it is possible to receive probation instead of a prison sentence.
An aggressive criminal defense lawyer has a range of tactics available to defend against a conviction. The principal defenses include defense of self, property, or others.
It should be noted, however, that there are limitations to each of these defenses. A defendant may have been authentically acting in defense of themselves or another, but that must be demonstrated in court. Additionally, even if you were clearly acting in defense, that does not justify any amount of force used against an assailant. Similarly, in the case of defending property, not all property is treated alike. It is one thing to use mace on an intruder in your home or to trip a pickpocket who is running away with your wallet. That does not mean that you will necessarily be justified for shooting an unarmed person in your yard or beating a thief senseless.
Contact Michael Schmiege's nationally recognized boutique law firm for a consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who will fight charges aggressively for you. We dedicate the time and resources necessary to give our clients the best possible opportunity for a favorable outcome. Aggressive, skilled legal counsel is always your best chance for a favorable outcome when your future is in jeopardy. Call a qualified defense attorney at our firm immediately to ensure you have strong legal representation in your case.
We serve DuPage County, including the cities of Wheaton, Naperville, Aurora, Westmont, Oak Brook, and Lombard. Give your future the best chance with our highly skilled defense strategies and understanding of prosecutor tactics.
Michael Schmiege has experience with aggravated battery cases and our award-winning criminal defense attorneys deliver unparalleled results. Read more about our recent verdicts and case victories in DuPage County.