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What is Assault?

Assault is one of the most common criminal charges. It is also one of the most misunderstood. If you have been charged with the crime of assault in Illinois, here is what you need to know:

Legal definition

In Illinois, assault is when one person intentionally causes another person to be in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery, e.g., the fear of being hit. A battery is defined as the intentional infliction of bodily harm or certain types of unwarranted contact. The crime of assault, therefore, does not require physical contact. Rather, only the reasonable fear of imminent and harmful physical contact. For example, the following circumstances may constitute assault:

  • Waving a closed fist as if to strike someone
  • Telling someone you are going to hit them
  • Brandishing an object in a intimidating manner

Penalties – Assault is defined under Illinois law as a Class C misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to one month of incarceration and a $1,500 fine.

Aggravating circumstances – In many circumstances, a simple assault can be upgraded to the felony charge of aggravated assault. Factors that may upgrade the legal severity of the assault may include:

  • If the assault takes place on a public way or public property
  • If the assault involves a firearm or motor vehicle
  • If the defendant knows that the victim of the assault is over the age of 60 or physically handicapped
  • If the defendant knows that the victim of the assault is a government employee in the course of their official duties

If you have been charged with assault, you need to consult with an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney. An experienced and skillful attorney can present a legal defense that could result in the dismissal of the charges. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.

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Paul Chatzky
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About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

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Deborah E. Chatzky
Paralegal

About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

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