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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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When Two Chicago Muggers Pick the Wrong Guy

Assault is a serious crime, but it can be even more serious based on who it is that was assaulted, as two assailants in Chicago may soon find out.

A city alderman was assaulted by two men outside a late-night bar in River North recently. He is fine and said the whole altercation, which included him being knocked to the ground, punched, and kicked.

A bar employee broke up the incident and the two men fled the scene. The alderman chose not to call the police, but now an investigation is underway according to Chicago’s mayor.

Being charged with assault is one thing, but the charges can be elevated based on the identity of the victim. Here’s what you need to know about assault charges in Illinois and how the victim’s identity could spell major problems for defendants.

Assault in Illinois

Under Illinois law, assault is defined as intentional conduct that makes a person afraid of violence. Words by themselves are not considered assault in the state, but taking actions such as raising a hand to someone as if you were going to strike them can be.

Threatening to beat someone up or make someone reasonably afraid they’re going to be hurt are two instances that could result in assault charges this way.

You often hear assault paired together with a battery crime, but they are two separate things. Battery occurs when actual contact is made such as kicking, hitting, punching, or pushing someone else.

Punishment for Assault in Illinois

Simple assault in the state is considered a misdemeanor offense. But serious acts of assault are felony offenses. If convicted of assault, then you can face several possible penalties for this Class C misdemeanor such as:

  • 30 days in jail
  • Fines of as much as $1,500
  • Two years probation
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • Payment of restitution to the victims

If found guilty of battery, you can face these possible penalties for a Class A misdemeanor:

  • As much as one year in jail
  • Fines of as much as $2,500
  • Two years probation
  • Payment of restitution to the victims

Aggravated Assault

You may look at the above penalties and think they’re not that bad, but if you are found guilty of aggravated assault, then you may see things from a whole new perspective. Aggravated assault is charged when:

  • The victims is a police officer, firefighter, or government employee
  • The defendant used caustic or flammable material to cause disfigurement
  • The victim was over age 60 or was physically disabled
  • The victim is a school employee or teacher and the crime took place on school property

Aggravated assault is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year behind bars and as much as $2,500 in fines. But if a weapon was used, then it becomes a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and fines of as much as $25,000.

Aggravated battery can be elevated to a Class 1 felony if the act was intentional. However, if a firearm is used it becomes a Class X felony in Chicago, which is punishable by up to 60 years in prison if they’ve had prior violations.

Chicago Assault & Robbery Attorney

What may not seem like a big deal at the time can turn into some serious crimes in the end if someone you assault or batter turns out to be in a protected group. That should give anyone pause to think twice before they get involved in an altercation with another person.

 

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. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.

 

 

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