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Aggravated Battery of a Child

There are two Illinois laws that deal with the aggravated battery of a child. The first, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(b), deals with children under the age of 13 years, and the other, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.1(a-5), deals with the aggravated battery of an unborn child.

Child Under 13 Years of Age

A person commits aggravated battery of a child when, in committing a battery, he or she knowingly and without legal justification causes bodily harm, great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to any child under the age of 13 years. The accused has to be at least 18 years of age at the time of the offense. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(b)).

Your Chicago defense lawyer can explain how, generally, a definition of aggravated battery requires a person do something to another person that causes great bodily harm to that other person. However, for aggravated battery in which the victim is a child, bodily harm, a lesser degree of injuries, are sufficient for the aggravated battery charge.

Unborn Child

Aggravated battery of an unborn child occurs when a person commits a battery of an unborn child, and in so doing, he or she knowingly causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to the unborn child. 720 ILCS 5/12-3.1(a-5).

The unborn child this law seeks to protect is defined as a human being from fertilization until birth. Committing a battery or an aggravated battery on a pregnant woman is a separate crime, and would not be charged under this law. Additionally, a pregnant woman cannot be charged under this statute for battery or aggravated battery against her unborn child. 720 ILCS 5/12-3.1(b)(2). The law also does not apply to medical procedures used for diagnostic testing or therapeutic treatment, or to acts committed during a legal abortion under the Illinois Abortion Law to which a woman has consented. 720 ILCS 5/12-3.1(d).


Aggravated battery of a child under the age of 13 is a class X felony in Illinois, carrying a term of imprisonment of between 6 and 30 years. However, if the person accused of the aggravated battery:

  1. was armed with a gun while committing the crime, 15 years can be added to the sentence imposed by the court;
  2. personally discharged the gun, 20 years must be added to the sentence; or
  3. personally discharged the gun and proximately caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person, 25 years to life imprisonment must be added to the sentence.

Aggravated battery of an unborn child is a class 2 felony, eligible for a term of imprisonment of between 3 to 7 years, and a potential sentence enhancement of up to 14 years. Unlike a class X felony, a class 2 felony is eligible for up to 4 years’ probation at the court’s discretion. Sentencing for both felonies may include fines of up to $25,000.

Chicago Defense Lawyer

Aggravated battery of a child is a serious crime in Illinois; if you are accused of aggravated battery of a child, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you. Contact Chicago defense attorney Steven Goldman for a consultation on your case.

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