Aggravated assault is a crime that derives from a less serious offense, simple assault. Simple assault under Illinois law occurs when a person knowingly does something, without legal authority, that puts another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. 720 ILCS 5/12-1. If someone lifts a fist at another person, and the other person is afraid that they are about to be hit, the person with the raised fist is considered to have committed an assault. Aggravated assault is defined as committing a simple assault in a certain location, under certain conditions, or against certain groups of people. 720 ILCS 5/12-2. In all cases it is important to contact a Chicago aggravated assault lawyer to protect your rights after an arrest.
Aggravated Assault based Upon Certain Locations
Committing an assault in a particular location can change the simple assault charge into an aggravated assault charge. This can happen if the assault is committed in the following public places; places of accommodation, amusement parks, sports venues or a public street. 720 ILCS 5/12-2(a).
Against Certain Groups of People
Simple assaults that are committed against certain people can be characterized as aggravated assaults if the person committing the assault is aware of the victim’s status as one of the following people. 720 ILCS 5/12-2(b):
- Physically handicapped people or a people over 60 years old.
- Teachers or other school employees while on school property, or on property that is used for school.
- Park district employees.
- A peace officer, correctional officer, probation officer, fireman, private security officer, emergency medical technician, or certain employees of a correctional institution and the Department of Human Resources while these employees are:
(i) Performing official duties;
(ii) Assaulted to prevent performance of official duties; or
(iii) Assaulted in retaliation for performing official duties.
- Employees of the State of Illinois or certain city employees within the State, while the employee is performing his or her official duties.
- Transit employees, such as a CTA bus driver, performing his or her official duties, or a transit passenger.
- A sports official or coach while he or she is participating in competition.
- A process server while he or she is serving papers.
Use of Weapons or Objects
In the final definition, a person who commits an assault using a weapon or in any of the following ways may be charged with aggravated assault. 720 ILCS 5/12-2(c):
- Uses a deadly weapon, including a gun or anything that is designed or manufactured to look like a firearm, without firing it.
- Fires a gun, including from a car, as in a drive by shooting.
- Conceals his or her identity by wearing a hood, robe, or mask.
- Uses a gun, without firing it, against law enforcement or emergency medical personnel, while he or she is:
(i) performing his or her official duties;
(ii) assaulted to prevent performance of his or her official duties; or
(iii) assaulted in retaliation for performing his or her official duties.
- Drives a car in a way that causes another person to think they are about to be hit by the car.
Aggravated assault can be a misdemeanor, or in some cases, a felony, depending on which of the above definition a person’s conduct falls under. The penalties for misdemeanors and felonies vary. In addition to terms of imprisonment, a person charged with aggravated assault may also have to pay fines and complete community service.
Chicago Assault Lawyer
If you or someone you know is charged with aggravated assault, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact attorney Steven Goldman for representation.