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Rolling Meadows assault defense attorney

The words “assault” and “battery” are often used together when discussing criminal charges – so much so that it is understandable if you do not know the difference between the two. You may think that both of them involve causing physical harm to another person, but you can assault a person without ever touching them. There can also be a difference between assault and battery when it comes to the level of charge. A battery charge is potentially more serious than if you are charged with assault.

Understanding Assault

Illinois defines assault as causing someone to reasonably believe that you may physically harm them. A conviction is a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of as much as $1,500 and either as long as 30 days in jail or 30 to 120 hours of community service. You can be charged with aggravated assault if you:

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How to Contest a Criminal Assault ChargeA criminal assault charge is often accompanied by a battery charge. Assault is the non-physical act of threatening someone to the point that they fear for their safety, while battery is actually using violence against that person. You can be charged with assault alone if the alleged victim accuses you of threatening harm without the incident resulting in physical contact. If you have been charged with assault, you should remember that the prosecution bears the burden of proving that a crime occurred. By examining details of your case, a criminal defense attorney can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument against you.

Reasonable Belief

To establish that an assault occurred, the prosecution must show that you intentionally acted in a manner that caused the victim to reasonably believe that he or she was at risk of immediate physical violence. The prosecution will need to describe how your language or physical gestures established a threat of violence. There are several ways that you can dispute that an assault actually occurred, such as claiming:

  • Your allegedly threatening behavior was unintentional or misinterpreted;
  • The alleged victim was unreasonable in believing that your actions constituted a threat; or
  • The alleged threats should not have caused the victim to fear imminent danger.

People may show irrational fear towards you based on your appearance and their own anxieties. Providing a clear and reasonable explanation of the incident can show that you never intended to threaten or harm the alleged victim. Witness testimony can support your account of the incident.

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