Is Battery a Felony in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, battery occurs if you have physical contact with another individual with the intent to injure, provoke, or insult that person. Battery may consist of contact such as pushing another person, or intentionally causing bodily harm by hitting and injuring someone with an object.
While a simple battery is usually charged as a misdemeanor, there are circumstances when battery can become a felony offense. The charge may be elevated to aggravated battery if the person made physical contact with the intent to do grievous bodily harm or if the victim was a senior citizen or a pregnant woman or in other special classes of victims.
Battery and aggravated battery are taken seriously in Illinois, and prosecutors will attempt to impose the harshest punishment possible, including prison time, fines, probation, and restitution. If convicted, you will have a criminal record that will follow you the rest of your life and negatively affect your employment, your relationships, and your education and housing opportunities.
If you are facing battery charges, you need to be represented by a defense lawyer who has experience handling battery 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 battery and 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 or contact us online today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Is Battery a Felony in Illinois?
Under Illinois Statutes Chapter 720, a simple battery is a Class A misdemeanor. However, you may be charged with or have a simple battery charge upgraded to felony aggravated battery if certain conditions are met. These include:
- The intent to cause great bodily harm when making contact with the victim
- The use of a deadly weapon during the commission of a battery
- Committing a battery against specific classes of people, including:
- Teachers or other school employees
- Peace officers, firefighters and other personnel rendering medical aid
- Drivers or operators of vehicles engaging in public transportation for hire
- Employees of the State or County Department of Public Aid
- State of Illinois employees
- Pregnant women
- Individuals sixty (60) years of age and older.
What are Punishments for Battery?
Possible penalties for simple class A misdemeanor battery are:
- up to one year of imprisonment,
- a fine up to $2,500, or both
- probation for up to two years, and
Aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony and may be elevated to a Class 2, Class 1, or Class X felony. A Class 3 felony may bring imprisonment for two to five years, plus fines. A Class 2, Class 1, or Class X felony may bring imprisonment of up to 30 years, plus fines. If there are prior convictions, imprisonment may increase to a maximum of 60 years, plus fines.
You may also be required to pay restitution, which involves reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime.
There are also two specific cases of battery that could mean additional charges if battery took place to the below classes of people:
1. Battery of an Unborn Child
Knowingly causing harm to an unborn child also is a battery in Illinois. Causing minor harm to a fetus or embryo at any stage of a pregnancy is a Class A misdemeanor. If harm is more serious, the charge becomes an aggravated battery and a Class 2 felony. This statute does not apply to abortion or reasonable medical treatment to which the mother has consented.
2. Domestic Battery
A simple battery against a family or household member is a misdemeanor battery.
The offense becomes a felony if there are prior convictions for this crime, or a prior conviction for violating a protection order, or for felony domestic violence. Aggravated domestic battery is charged when the injury results in disability or disfigurement.
What are Defenses for Battery?
For a charge of battery, the prosecutor is required to show that you knowingly committed the act. Your attorney will refute this and look for evidence or witnesses that can help substantiate your side of what happened. Your attorney will investigate the case and see if you were wrongfully charged or if there are other reasons why your case should be dismissed. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor or, if necessary, defend you at trial.
Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may argue that the alleged battery was due to:
- Self-defense, defense of another person, or defense of property
- A discredited complaining party
- Consent for contact from the victim
- Fear of impending battery from the other person.
Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for a Free Consultation.
If you or a loved one is charged with battery, you need sound advice from a defense attorney who can reduce or eliminate your charges and lessen the punishments.
The experienced and compassionate battery criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances; we will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process. We explain all elements and processes of the case and come up with an effective defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
We offer a free consultation, so don’t delay. Contact us online or call today to set up your free initial consultation.