Is Aggravated Assault a Felony in Illinois?

Illinois law considers assault to be intentional conduct that reasonably causes a person to feel afraid of impending violence. Threatening to hit someone, when said in a menacing or angry manner and accompanied by conduct consistent with the threat, is an assault if the words and conduct cause victims to reasonably fear being injured in an immediate attack.

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.

Assault is often charged as a misdemeanor, but assault can be elevated to “aggravated assault” under certain conditions, and aggravated assault may be charged as a felony in Illinois. If you are facing these charges, prosecutors will try to get the harshest punishment possible, so you should be represented by a criminal defense lawyer who has experience handling assault cases and knows what’s at stake.

The seasoned Illinois criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. have extensive experience in defending clients charged with assault, aggravated assault, and battery, as well as other criminal charges.  We know the courts, the judges, and the system and are aware that there are defenses that may lead to a dismissal of your charges or result in a lesser penalty. We take a team-oriented approach to handling criminal cases and are aggressive in the courtroom.  We offer a free consultation to examine the issues in your case and determine what we can do to help fight for your rights and freedom.

Call our offices or contact us online to set up your free consultation.

What is Aggravated Assault?

Assault charges can become elevated to aggravated assault under conditions that include when individuals knowingly …

1) Commits assault at certain locations such as a public way, public property, a public place of accommodation or amusement, or a sports venue

2) Commits assault on certain types of victims, including:

  • A person with a physical disability or 60 years of age or older
  • A teacher or school employee upon school buildings or grounds
  • A park district employee upon park buildings or grounds
  • A community policing volunteer, private security officer, utility worker, peace officer or fireman.

3) Use a deadly weapon or any device substantially similar in appearance to a firearm

4) Are hooded or robed to conceal identity

5) Operate a motor vehicle in a manner that causes the victim to fear being struck

6) Knowingly records the assault with the intent to disseminate the recording.

Is Aggravated Assault a Felony in Illinois?

The above circumstances will determine whether the state prosecutor charges an aggravated assault as a Class A misdemeanor or as a Class 3 or 4 felony. For example, an aggravated assault involving the use of a firearm usually is categorized as a Class 3 felony.

Punishments for the charges listed above include:

  • A Class A misdemeanor may result in imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine in an amount up to $2,500.
  • A Class 4 felony may result in imprisonment for one to three years and/or a fine of up to $25,000. With prior convictions for the same crime, imprisonment may increase to three to six years.

      A Class 3 felony may result in:

  • two to five years’ imprisonment (five to ten years for aggravating factors)
  • mandatory minimum of ten days’ imprisonment or 300 hours of community service
  • a fine of up to $25,000
  • probation for up to thirty months or more, and
  • restitution for any expenses resulting from the crime.

Defense Options

If you are facing a charge of aggravated assault, an experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate the case and determine if you were wrongfully charged, whether there are witnesses that can substantiate your side of what happened, or if there are other reasons why the case should be dismissed before trial, such as:

  • Self-defense, defense of another person, or defense of property
  • Consent for contact from the victim
  • Fear of impending battery
  • Arrest was made without a valid warrant
  • Evidence was unlawfully obtained.

Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf or defend you at trial if you believe you have been wrongly accused or if there are no reasonable plea options.

Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for a Free Consultation.

If you or a loved one is charged with aggravated assault or any violent crime, you need legal assistance to reduce or eliminate your charges and lessen the punishments. The experienced and compassionate defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances.  We know the judges and the court system and will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense.  Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.

Don’t delay — contact us online or call our offices to schedule your free consultation today.