In Illinois, the definition of aggravated battery is divided into seven categories, mainly based on the commission of a battery. A battery is a crime under Illinois law that is defined as knowingly causing bodily harm to another person, or physically touching another person in a provoking or insulting way. 720 ILCS 5/12-3(a). Aggravated battery occurs based on different conduct by the potential defendant, towards different victims, or using weapons or other devices.
A person may be charged with aggravated battery based on the following:
- The injuries sustained – great bodily harm – The victim suffering great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or disability as a result of a battery. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(a)). This category of aggravated battery also includes the use of an explosive device, gas or chemical agent, or a deadly biological agent to cause the victim’s injuries. The particular victims included under this definition include law enforcement officials who are attacked while working, to prevent them from performing, or in retaliation of their performing official duties.
- Injuries to a child under the age of 13 years, or a severely mentally disabled person, if the person committing crime is at least 18 years old. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(b).)
- Location – Committing a battery in a public street or other public areas such as, entertainment areas, sports arenas, or domestic violence shelters. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(c)).
- Victim status – The commission of a battery, without using a weapon, on a person over the age of 60, a pregnant woman, teachers, certain law enforcement and state employees while they are performing official duties, and some medical personnel. There are additional qualifying groups of people under the law. The person committing the battery has to be aware that the victim satisfies one or more of the listed categories. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(d)).
- Use of a firearm – Discharging a firearm while committing a battery, especially against certain groups of people listed in the statute. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(e)).
- Use of firearms and other devices – Use of firearms, use of hoods and other coverings to conceal identity, shining a light or laser so it touches another person, and recording the battery with the intent to disseminate the recording. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(f)).
- Certain conduct – Forcing or assisting a victim to take controlled substances, and as a result, the victim suffers great bodily harm, or becomes permanently disabled. In addition, forcing, by threats or otherwise, the victim to use controlled substances, or eat poisonous food that causes him or her to be physically injured can lead to a charge of aggravated battery. Finally it is aggravated battery for a prisoner, a sexually violent person or a sexually dangerous person, to throw or toss bodily fluids, such as blood and urine, at correctional employees or employees of the Department of Human Services. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(g)).
Penalty for Aggravated Battery in Illinois
Generally, aggravated batteries are charged as class 3 felonies, carrying a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment. Some of the conduct detailed above can sometimes lead to the aggravated battery being charged as a class 1 or 2 felonies, with much longer prison sentences.
Chicago Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know is arrested for battery or aggravated battery, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately due to the serious nature of the charges, and the potentially lengthy prison terms. Contact Chicago aggravated battery defense attorney Steven Goldman for a consultation on your case.