There are many circumstances under which a person could be accused of aggravated assault under Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/12-2. The definition of aggravated assault includes incidents of assault involving certain weapons and devices. Under 720 ILCS 5/12-2(c), a person may be charged with aggravated assault, instead of simple assault, for a crime that makes use of a firearm, vehicle, articles of clothing to conceal your identity, or certain
other devices. A conviction for aggravated assault can carry far harsher penalties than simple assault. It is important to contact a Chicago defense attorney for help if you or someone you know is facing charges for aggravated assault with a weapon.
Weapons and Devices that make an Assault Aggravated
If you are accused of assaulting someone, the crime may automatically be considered an aggravated assault if it involves using a weapon or device in one of the following ways during the incident:
- Using a deadly weapon, air rifle, or any item that is substantially similar in appearance to a firearm
- Discharging a firearm, including from a vehicle
- Wearing a hood, robe, or mask to conceal your identity
- Shining a laser gun sight on or near any person
- Operating a motor vehicle in a manner which places a person in reasonable apprehension of being struck
- Recording the offense using video or audio, with the intent to disseminate the recording
If you are unsure about whether the circumstances of the alleged assault would cause it to be considered aggravated instead of simple, you should consult with an experienced Chicago assault defense lawyer.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault
Using a firearm or something that looks like one, without discharging it, wearing identity-concealing clothing, or recording an assault with the intent to disseminate the recording, are forms of aggravated assault that are considered Class A misdemeanors. Under 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55, Class A misdemeanors carry sentences of imprisonment up to one year.
Discharging a firearm (not from a motor vehicle), shining a laser gun sight on or near someone, or using a firearm (but not discharging it) against a peace officer or other community employee, or driving a vehicle in such a way that makes a person afraid of being struck by the vehicle, are all classified as Class 4 felonies. Under 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-45, Class 4 felonies carry potential sentences of one to three years in prison.
Discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, or driving a motor vehicle in a manner which places a peace officer, community policing volunteer, fireman, private security officer, emergency management worker, emergency medical technician, or utility worker in apprehension of being struck by the motor vehicle is considered a Class 3 felony. Under 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-40, Class 3 felonies carry sentences of two to five years in prison. Fines and community service can also be added to the penalties for each type of aggravated assault.
Chicago Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you care about is accused of aggravated assault using one of the types of weapons listed above, contact Chicago criminal defense attorney Steven Goldman for a consultation on your case.