Various kinds of assault are all perceived as a criminal infliction, but certain types like aggravated assault can lead to some severe penalties. While every state penalizes aggravated assault at different levels, it is commonly declared as a felony.
It can either charge you for a long prison term or record you as a convicted felon, which can severely affect your personal and professional life. Speaking of aggravated assault in states like Illinois, today we’re reviewing and sharing a few facts.
What Exactly Is Aggravated Assault?
When a person harms another with no regard or value to human life, the assault becomes heinous and dangerous. The aim is to cause serious body damage, probably with the help of a weapon and the intention of killing, robbing or raping the victim. Often confused with simple assault, aggravated assault is much more than just a threat and can lead to loss of life.
When a simple assault is accompanied by a few factors like threatening government servers in public places, it gets converted into an aggravated assault crime. As we mentioned, aggravated assault is recognized as a felony in most states and can conclude with grave repercussions.
Conditions that Define an Aggravated Assault
These conditions are defined within the occurrence of the following scenarios that form the aggravating factors:
- When the person hides and conceals his identity in a mask or a hood.
- When the person uses a deadly weapon like a gun or a knife to cause the threat.
- When he commits the crime in a public place like school premises, sports arena, park grounds or any other public place.
- When the assault is committed on any government employee like a police officer, peace officer, emergency responder, or firefighter.
- When the assault is committed on a person who is above 60 years old or is physically handicapped.
- When a motor vehicle is harshly operated to induce fear in the victim.
- When the person records the incident in order to spread the misconduct.
Aggravated Assault in Illinois
Aggravated assault is classified according to different levels of harm caused to the victim and is, accordingly, divided into classes, depending on the state. While a simple assault is recognized as a Class C misdemeanor, it isn’t penalized as heavily as an aggravated assault. The maximum punishment level involves either a fine or a few days in jail.
The perpetrator has to spend around 30 days in prison on average and pay approximately a fine of $1500, whereas aggravated assault involves spending a year in jail or a fine of $2500 as punishment. Certain types of penalization might also include community service for a fixed number of hours. Depending on the type of aggravating factor and assault circumstances, this crime is usually classified as a Class A misdemeanor, or a Class 3 or Class 4 felony.
Class 3 felony is based on the use or discharge of a weapon like a firearm. In the occurrence of more than one aggravating factor at a time, the penalties are classified as a Class 1, Class 2, or Class X felony.
The following punishments are categorized as various classes for aggravated assault under Illinois assault law.
- As mentioned, Class A misdemeanors include spending a year in jail or a payable fine up to $2500.
- A Class 3 felony includes imprisonment from two to five years, a community service of around 300 hours, or a payable fine up to $25,000, depending on the circumstances of the assault and the use of firearms.
- A Class 4 felony includes imprisonment from one to three years or a payable fine up to $25,000, again depending on the circumstances and level of the assault.
Defense Attorney for Aggravated Assault in Illinois
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer for the charge of aggravated assault can diminish the chances of being proven guilty. As stated in the blog article is aggravated assault a felony in Illinois, the defense attorney clarifies that, by definition ‘in an assault, the defendant’s conduct generally does not include physical contact or physical injury caused to the victim, as it does in a battery.
You could be charged with assault by actions such as pointing a gun or knife at someone if this is done in a threatening way.’ It’s extremely important to actually know the details of what passes as assault and the best way to do that is to consult with professionals that specialize in this area so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with.
These experienced professionals can lead your way towards justice through lawful proceedings and by substantiating witness proof. Also, depending on the jurisdiction, your defense can vary. Your defense attorney can take the following steps or consider these factors on your behalf.
- Whether you’re charged with simple assault or aggravated assault, your defense attorney will investigate the matter thoroughly and prove that the accusations are overstated.
- Using the point of self-defense can also work. With evident proof, your defense attorney can claim that you needed to protect yourself against harmful circumstances that led you to exert more force. Since you were trying to defend yourself, the use of a weapon might be taken into consideration. Depending on the level of threat like physical harm or rape, you can be excused in terms of trying to protect yourself.
- Another way that defense attorneys work for aggravated assault is coming up with a plea agreement. In this, you convince the prosecution to sign a deal that eliminates trial. It requests the prosecution to agree on admitting to a lower crime. It’s an absolute win-win situation.
- Going personal on health issues can avoid trial as well. Your attorney can prove that you’re facing anger management or mental health issues and that you require counseling. The chances of winning your case can increase if it’s your first offense.
- In case property is involved, the assailant can prove to the court that the assault was caused to protect the property and its premises. With adequate proof, the jury might consider that the assault or force was required to protect the property from damage like fire or theft.
Having an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney can prove any of these or more factors in your favor. Defense lawyers in Illinois hold all legal details and plausible options to turn the case on its head on your behalf, giving you a clear picture and advising you on a future plan to be safe.