Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.


Defining assault and battery

In the state of Illinois, a prosecutor may charge a person with both assault and battery despite the fact that the two crimes may be closely related. The state defines assault as conduct that could cause fear of being subject to physical harm. To prove a charge of battery, a prosecutor must show that there was contact that resulted in bodily harm. It may also be established that unwanted physical contact took place.

Finally, a prosecutor must show that a defendant knowingly committed battery. If a physical encounter results in severe bodily harm or a permanent disability, a battery charge may be upgraded to an aggravated battery charge. A charge may be upgraded if the victim was a child or a peace officer. It may also automatically be upgraded if a firearm or other deadly weapon was used in the commission of the crime.

It may be possible to claim that battery occurred in self-defense or in defense of personal property. It may also be a reasonable defense to claim that the victim consented to physical contact. If convicted of assault or battery, an individual may be sentenced to anywhere from 30 days for a misdemeanor assault charge up to 60 years for a felony battery charge.

Those who are charged with assault or battery could face many different penalties including jail or prison time as well as community service or probation. An attorney may be able to help create a defense to the charge that may result in a plea bargain or acquittal. It may be possible to argue that no assault occurred because the supposed victim was not under threat of possible being battered. It may also be possible to argue that no battery occurred because physical contact with another person was consensual.

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