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Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Assault and Battery in Illinois: How Do the Laws Work?

Chicago officers were recently called to a Citgo gas station in Joliet on reports of a domestic disturbance between a man and a woman. When the police arrived, the woman was no longer on the scene. They approached the man, asking for information about the incident. The man then reportedly refused to cooperate with the police by not moving when they requested it and verbally threatened the police while taking a fighting stance.


When the officers told the man that he was under arrest and attempted to place handcuffs on him, he physically fought them. According to reports, the man even punched one officer’s head.


He was taken to jail when the officers regained control of the situation and has been charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.


Why aggravated charges instead of regular charges? What’s the difference?


In this post, we’re going to break down our state’s assault and battery laws to help you understand your charges and what actions need to occur to go from a simple assault or battery to an aggravated charge.


Illinois Assault and Battery Laws


Assault and battery are two different charges under Illinois laws. Here are the definitions.



An individual who intentionally causes another person to feel reasonably fearful by threats of imminent violence can be charged with assault.


For a charge to apply, the threats must be made in an angry or menacing manner and the alleged offender’s conduct must match the threat. If the words and conduct cause the victim to fear imminent injury, charges of assault can be filed.


Assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor.


Aggravated Assault

Assault can be charged as aggravated assault if any of these situations apply.


  • Use of a deadly weapon
  • Use of an object designed or manufactured to look like an actual firearm
  • Concealment of identity, such as being robed or hooded
  • Operation of a vehicle in a way that causes the victim imminent fear of violence
  • Recording the assault on audio or video with knowledge and intent to disseminate the information
  • Occurrence in a public place, on school property, on a public roadway or highway, or in a public facility such as an amusement park or sports arena

Aggravated assault charges also apply if the victim is in a special class under the statute. These special classes include the following types of people:


  • Adults at least 60 years old
  • Correctional officers
  • Peace officers
  • Emergency medical personnel
  • Firefighters
  • Individuals with physical handicaps
  • Public employees
  • School employees
  • Teachers

Aggravated assault can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor or at the felony level.



The charge of battery involves physical contact that the victim reasonably believes to be provocative or insulting, including pushing, shoving, or intentionally causing bodily harm.


Battery is normally charged as a Class A misdemeanor.


Aggravated Battery

Battery can be charged as aggravated battery if situations like these apply.


  • Knowingly committing acts of violence which cause great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability to the victim
  • Strangulation of the victim
  • Impeding of the victim’s mouth or nose during the assault
  • Occurrence in a public place, on school property, on a public roadway or highway, or in a public facility such as an amusement park or sports arena
  • Use of a firearm, or a firearm equipped with a laser and the laser’s light touches the victim
  • Discharge of a firearm that causes injury to the victim
  • Use of a deadly weapon
  • Concealment of identity, such as being robed or hooded
  • Recording the assault on audio or video with knowledge and intent to disseminate the information
  • Providing a controlled substance to the victim, which then causes great bodily harm when the victim consumes it
  • Causing a victim to digest an intoxicating or harmful substance such as a narcotic, controlled substance, or poison
  • Use of bodily fluids or substances in an act against a facility employee when the offender is an inmate in a custodial or correctional facility

Aggravated battery charges also apply if the victim is in a special class under the statute.


Charges for aggravated battery start as a Class C felony and can move upward.


Fighting Someone in a Protected Class and Your Charges Automatically Become Aggravated


So, why did the guy in the story get aggravated assault and battery charges? Simple. He fought with cops. Do not fight with cops. Ever.


It can be tough to let cops take you in – especially if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong — but the time to fight back is not at the scene. Cooperate, try to keep a level head, and demand that you be allowed to get in touch with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.





About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.

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