Se Habla Español | Available 24/7
Multilingual Staff | Available 24/7

Your Guide to Simple Battery Illinois

What Is a Simple Battery?

Simple battery is a Class A misdemeanor that refers to instances of intentionally causing bodily harm to someone else without legal justification.

Simple battery charges can lead to a fine and jail sentence. The assailant can also be given probation or requested to make restitution. A conviction for this crime can give you a criminal record which would affect your life negatively.

Getting representation from criminal defense attorneys may be essential when you face battery charges. A seasoned defense attorney understands the court system and will know how to defend your case. Criminal defense lawyers from the Hirsch Law Group can help you develop a strong defense strategy as per the Illinois statute.

Simple Assault and Battery Under Illinois Law

Under Illinois law, assault and battery are two different crimes. Assault is defined under 720 ILCS 5/12-1 as a situation where a person “knowingly engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” Simply put, a simple assault is said to occur when a person feels threatened and fears being hit.

Battery is defined under 720 ILCS 5/12-3 and occurs when the assailant makes physical contact and causes bodily harm. It also covers instances of making physical contact with a person with the intention to insult or provoke them.

Unlike a simple battery, the individual does not have to make physical contact to be charged with an assault. A simple assault is categorized as a Class C misdemeanor, whereas a simple battery is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor.

An individual can also be charged with assault and battery jointly when they threaten assault and go ahead to make physical contact. This combined criminal offense can lead to imprisonment based on the injuries sustained. A good defense attorney can help you if you find yourself wrapped up in such circumstances.

Penalties for Simple Battery

The possible penalties for a simple battery are:

  • Imprisonment for up to one year

  • A minimum fine of $75 and a maximum fine of up to $2,500

  • Probation for up to two years

  • Restitution

Is Simple Battery a Felony Offense?

Simple batteries are not as severe as other classes of battery charges. As noted above, a simple battery is a Class A misdemeanor and a not felony.

When anything of an insulting or provoking nature occurs, a battery charge can be made. It involves some form of touching in a threatening manner. For instance, you can press battery charges if the assailant grabs your cloth or knowingly spits on you.

However, other kinds of battery cases can qualify as felonies. Aggravated battery and domestic battery can be categorized as felonies under certain conditions.

When Can Simple Batteries Be Upgraded?

Aggravated Battery

Under Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05, a simple battery charge can be upgraded to aggravated battery if it causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to the other party or involves the use of a deadly weapon. A single incident can also be charged as aggravated battery.

An aggravated battery is also said to occur if any of the following people are battered:

  • Teachers or other school employees

  • Firefighters, peace officers, correction officers, or medical aid personnel

  • Hired public transportation drivers or operators

  • Employees of the State of Illinois

  • Pregnant women

  • Individuals sixty years old or older (senior citizen)

Penalty: If you are charged with aggravated battery, the penalties are higher, with more jail time and fines. Aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony and can be upgraded to a Class 2, Class 1, or Class X felony. The term of imprisonment for different classes of felonies is as follows:

Class 3 felony: 2 to 5 years

Class 2 felony: 3 to 7 years

Class 1 felony: 4 to 15 years

Class X felony: 6 to 30 years

Aggravated Domestic Battery

According to Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/12-3.3), an aggravated domestic battery occurs when:

  • A person willfully or knowingly causes another person to suffer great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement when engaging in domestic battery or

  • A person strangles another while committing a domestic battery offense.

Penalty: Aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony in Illinois and is generally punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison. However, the sentence could be extended to up to 14 years in prison (720 ILCS 5/12-3.3(b)). Probation is available for first offenses.

How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help You?

As noted above, a battery charge can lead to prison time and create a criminal record. However, you can fight criminal charges with the aid of a good criminal defense lawyer.

Battery charges usually result from a fight between two people. The prosecutor would have to find evidence to prove that you knowingly committed the act. Your attorney will try to find witnesses and evidence that prove the contrary.

It may be a good idea not to plead guilty without consulting a criminal defense attorney first. A guilty plea gives the prosecution ammunition against you and puts you at risk of gaining a criminal record. A criminal defense lawyer can fight the charge on your behalf by using the following defense strategies:

  • Using evidence to prove that no battery was committed.

  • Proving that the battery was in self-defense. Illinois law permits a person to use reasonable force to prevent imminent harm.

  • Proving that the complaining party has a history of making false accusations.

Illinois crime lawyers can also negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf to reduce the severity of the penalties that may apply to you.

Trust Your Defense Attorneys: Consult Hirsch Law Group

At Hirsch Law Group, our professional lawyers know how to defend your simple battery case. With over 100+ years of combined experience in criminal law, you can trust us to be well-equipped to handle all types of criminal cases, from defending simple battery to expunging a drug conviction.

At Hirsch Law Group, we understand what it takes to handle a case with care and empathy. We have compassionate attorneys who will pursue your case to the full extent permissible under the law. Contact us for a Free Initial Meeting today!