Under Illinois law, an individual commits “assault” when, “without lawful authority, he or she knowingly engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.”
That means that assault is committed when physical contact is made, but also when the threat of physical contact is made. This could include actions such as throwing objects or breaking glasses. These are intimidating actions which may be perceived as threats to another person, without physical contact being made.
There are also instances in which physical contact is attempted but not made, such as swinging and missing with a punch, which are also considered assault under the law. If contact is made, this charge can be escalated to Aggravated Assault.
Assault is a Class C misdemeanor in Illinois. Convicted individuals will be ordered to perform no less than 30 and no more than 120 hours of community service. The court may also place an individual on supervision. Combined with other charges, an assault charge can stiffen the penalties a defendant may face.
The defense strategy for cases involving assault will include examining the actions taken that the opposing party considered threatening or intimidating. A defense attorney will question if an average, reasonable person would take these actions to mean that the situation could have escalated to violence. Some actions can indicate a person is frustrated, but not necessarily mean that that person was intending to intimidate or harm another individual. Additionally, self-defense may be a plausible way to defend against charges of this nature.
If you are charged with assault in the state of Illinois, it is important to speak to an experienced defense attorney who can review the details of your case and develop the most effective strategy to defend you. Contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.