Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges in Illinois

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Illinois Criminal Law » Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges in Illinois

In the State of Illinois, the crime of Assault is defined by law (720 ILCS 5/12 et seq.) to be conduct that “without lawful authority . . . places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.”  Essentially, this means that assault in Illinois consists of causing a person to believe that they are about to be hit or otherwise struck.  To commit the crime of assault, a person need not actually touch the victim.  Merely making the victim believe they are about to be hit, or trying to him them but missing, is enough.


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In Illinois, Simple Assault is a Class C misdemeanor, with up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.00 for those who are convicted.

Aggravated Assault is a more serious crime in Illinois. A person commits Assault in Illinois when they do any of the following while committing Assault:

  • Uses a deadly weapon or any device manufactured and designed to be substantially similar in appearance to a firearm, other than by discharging a firearm in the direction of another person, a peace officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer, a correctional officer or fireman or in the direction of a vehicle occupied by another person, a peace officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer, a correctional officer or a fireman while the officer or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his official duties, or to prevent the officer or fireman from performing his official duties, or in retaliation for the officer or fireman performing his official duties;
  • Is hooded, robed or masked in such manner as to conceal his identity or any device manufactured and designed to be substantially similar in appearance to a firearm;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be a teacher or other person employed in any school and such teacher or other employee is upon the ground of a school or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for school purposes;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be a supervisor, director, instructor or other person employed in any park district and such supervisor, director, instructor or other employee is upon the grounds of the park or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for park purposes;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be a caseworker, investigator, or other person employed by the State Department of Public Aid or a County Department of Public Aid and such caseworker, investigator, or other person is upon the grounds of a Public Aid office or grounds adjacent thereto, or is an any part of a building used for Public Aid purposes, or upon the grounds of a home of a public aid applicant, recipient or any other person interviewed or investigated in the employee’s discharge of his duties, or on ground adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building in which the applicant, recipient, or other such person resides or is located;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be a peace officer, or a person summoned and directed by him or a correctional officer, or a fireman while the officer or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his official duties, or to prevent the officer or fireman from performing his official duties, or in retaliation for the officer or fireman performing his official duties, and the assault is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm in the direction of the officer or fireman or in the direction of a vehicle occupied by the officer or fireman;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be a paramedic, ambulance driver or other medical assistance or first aid personnel employed by a municipality or other governmental unit engaged in the execution of any of his official duties, or to prevent the paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel from performing his official duties, or in retaliation for the paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel performing his official duties;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be the driver, operator, employee or passenger of any transportation facility or system engaged in the business of transportation of the public for hire and the individual assaulted is then performing in such capacity or then using such public transportation as a passenger or using any area of any description designed by the transportation facility or system as a vehicle boarding, departure, or transfer location;
  • Or the individual assaulted is on or about a public way, public property, or public place of accommodation or amusement;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be an employee of the State of Illinois, a municipal corporation therein or a political subdivision thereof, engaged in the performance of his authorized duties as such employee;
  • Knowingly and without legal justification, commits an assault on a physically handicapped person;
  • Knowingly and without legal justification, commits an assault on a person 60 years of age or older; or
  • Discharges a firearm;
  • Knows the individual assaulted to be a correctional employee, while the employee is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the employee from performing his or her official duties, and the assault is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm in the direction of the employee or in the direction of a vehicle occupied by the employee.

Aggravated assault is often a Class A misdemeanor, meaning the maximum penalty is up to a year in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00.  In certain cases, Aggravated Assault may be a Class 4 Felony, with a penalty of up to 3 years in an Illinois state prison.


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Anyone who is facing assault charges is wise to seek an attorney at once.  In assault cases in Illinois, having the right attorney who understands the facts and the law can be the difference between winning the case and potentially spending years in prison.


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