Under Illinois law, simple assault is categorized as a Class C misdemeanor. Punishment for this type of crime may include up to 30 days of jail time and a fine of up to $1,500.00 or both a fine and jail time. Additionally, anyone convicted of assault in Illinois will be subject to a minimum of 30 hours of court-ordered community service, up to a maximum of 120 hours. Probation may be imposed for up to two years and restitution may be required.
Conversely, the offense of aggravated assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon which of the enumerated enhancing condition applies to the specific facts of the particular case. Punishment varies, depending on whether or not the accused has a prior criminal record. Generally, penalties for a conviction may include:
- Up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500;
- Between two and five years of imprisonment plus monetary fines;
- Between three and six years of imprisonment plus monetary fines.
The prosecution bears the burden of proving the accused knowingly committed the act of assault or aggravated assault for a successful conviction. For these reasons, there are several defenses available to someone accused of assault or aggravated assault. These include defense of property, self-defense or defense of another person, and lack of reasonable apprehension about the impending battery.
- Defense of property – depending on the laws of the state in which the case is governed, an accused may claim that he or she acted in defense of his or her property against being illegally withheld or invaded.
- Self-defense – perhaps the most common defense, an accused must establish that a threat or unlawful force or harm occurred against him or her; a real, honest and reasonable perception of harm existed; no harm or provocation occurred due to his or her actions; and there was no reasonable chance of retreating or escaping the situation.
- Defense of another – similar to self-defense, the individual must have an honest and real perception of fear or harm to another and must have reasonable grounds for this belief.
Assault Defense in Chicago
Assault cases can be extremely complicated, as the facts of each case are as unique as the individuals involved. For these reasons, if you or someone you know has been charged with assault contact an experienced Chicago assault defense attorney right away. Contact the law office of Steven Goldman today at (773) 484-3131 for your free initial consultation.