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Assault Defense Attorneys in Illinois
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An assault is the threat of physical harm or battery that puts a person in fear of immediate harm or injury. An assault can occur without actually touching or hurting the victim. However, the victim must be aware of the possible harm.
For example, pointing a toy gun to someone’s head could be assault if they reasonably believed it was a real gun. The fact that there fear was reasonable is enough. On the other hand, if you waived a toy gun or pretend gun at them, but they didn’t see it, that would not be assault because they would have no reasonable fear of harm.
Words alone are enough to be considered an assault. Telling someone that you are going to “kick their ass” and doing so in a menacing manner would be an example. You can also have an assault when words are coupled with some action that indicates an ability to carry out the threat. For example a threat to harm combined with raising your fists in a threatening manner may be sufficient if it causes reasonable apprehension of harm in the victim.
Aggravated assault is an assault with a deadly weapon, or against a selected class of person and is treated more severely than regular assault. Examples of aggravated assault are assault with a mask or a weapon, or assault against a person the offender knows is a person with a disability, a police officer, or a senior citizen.
In Illinois, assault is classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the seriousness and severity of the incident. Assault is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a $1,500 fine. Illinois assault law also includes an additional sentence of 30-120 hours of community service if you are convicted of assault.
Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault can be a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony. Felony aggravated assault has a penalty of up to 1-3 years in prison, and a $25,000 fine. Misdemeanor aggravated assault has a penalty of up to 1 year in jail, and a fine up to $2,500.
The best defense to assault is either that no one could have reasonably feared harm (e.g. pointing a toy water gun at someone and saying you’ll blow their head off) or that it was justified as a matter of self defense.
If you are charged with an assault in Illinois it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success to help defend you and advise you of your rights. If the police arrest you or want to talk to you about assault charges we advise you to say nothing until a lawyer is present. Often when people try to explain away what happened they give the police enough evidence to have you convicted.
If you have any questions about assault in Illinois or would like a lawyer referral, please do not hesitate to contact us. All inquiries are free and confidential and we will do whatever we can to help you.