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What Should I Know About Aggravated Assault in Illinois?

What you may have assumed was an insignificant altercation at a local bar can lead to criminal charges. Unfortunately, many who are charged with aggravated assault do not understand what warrants these charges or what penalties they can face if charged. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced Peoria violent crime lawyer if you have been charged to discuss your circumstances. Additionally, you’ll want to keep reading to learn more about the charges you face.

What Warrants Aggravated Assault in Illinois?

It’s necessary to understand the differences between assault and battery and assault and aggravated assault. Unfortunately, many people assume these all refer to the same crime, but, in reality, there are drastic differences between these offenses.

Generally, assault is charged when someone attempts or threatens to cause harm to another person without actual physical contact occurring. Battery, on the other hand, occurs when you have actual, physical contact with the other person. As such, you can face an assault charge if you throw a punch but miss contact with the other party involved. Additionally, if you threaten to hit someone while approaching them with a closed fist, you can face assault charges because there was a real and present threat of violence toward the other person.

Aggravated assault is a more intense charge. Again, physical contact does not need to occur, but this charge is warranted when someone commits assault while wearing a mask or obstructing their face, using a deadly weapon, or attacking a person of a protected class.

What Penalties Can I Face if Convicted?

If you are charged with aggravated assault, you will face a Class A misdemeanor, which is the most severe of these offenses. As such, you can face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

However, it is also possible for the prosecutor to elevate this charge to a Class 4 felony. If this occurs, you will face between one and three years in prison and an increased fine of up to $25,000. If you’ve been charged with this offense before, your sentence may increase to three to six years in jail.

What Are the Potential Defenses for This Offense?

If you have been charged with aggravated assault, it’s essential to understand that generally, the most common defense is that you were defending yourself. If you can prove that the other person instigated the attack by touching you in a provoking manner or approaching you in a threatening way, you may be able to demonstrate that the actions you took were an attempt to protect yourself.

Regardless, you should connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with this crime. At Giraudo Law, our team understands how overwhelming the criminal justice system can be, which is why we are here to guide you every step along the way. Connect with our team today to learn how we can help you through these complex matters.

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