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.
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).
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):
(i) Performing official duties;
(ii) Assaulted to prevent performance of official duties; or
(iii) Assaulted in retaliation for performing official duties.
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):
(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.
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.
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.