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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 12: Assault and Aggravated Assault

A person can be charged with assault if he or she engages in conduct that causes a victim reasonable fear of battery. In other words, if a person convincingly threatens to physically harm another, he or she can be convicted of the crime of assault. A conviction carries a Class C misdemeanor status, and Illinois law mandates at least 30 hours of community service in addition to any other sentence that may be imposed.

If certain aggravating circumstances existed during the assault, the crime can be upgraded to aggravated assault. When the victim is physically handicapped or older than 60, when the assailant uses a firearm, or when the assault occurs on a peace officer, a defendant can be convicted of this more serious crime. A conviction can carry up to a Class 3 felony status.

Assault is an ambiguous crime, and there are a multitude of legal strategies that a defendant can employ with the help of a criminal defense lawyer.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested for assault in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 12 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 12

Sec. 12-1. Assault.
    (720 ILCS 5/12-1)

(a) A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.

(b) Sentence. Assault is a Class C misdemeanor.

(c) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, a court shall order any person convicted of assault to perform community service for not less than 30 and not more than 120 hours, if community service is available in the jurisdiction and is funded and approved by the county board of the county where the offense was committed. In addition, whenever any person is placed on supervision for an alleged offense under this Section, the supervision shall be conditioned upon the performance of the community service.

This subsection does not apply when the court imposes a sentence of incarceration. (Source: P.A. 88-558, eff. 1-1-95; 89-8, eff. 3-21-95.)

Sec. 12-2. Aggravated assault.
    (720 ILCS 5/12-2)

(a) A person commits an aggravated assault, when, in committing an assault, he:

(1) Uses a deadly weapon, an air rifle as defined in the Air Rifle Act, or any device manufactured and designed to be substantially similar in appearance to a firearm, other than by discharging a firearm in the direction of another person, a peace officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer, a correctional officer, a private security officer, or a fireman or in the direction of a vehicle occupied by another person, a peace officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer, a correctional officer, a private security officer, or a fireman while the officer or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his official duties, or to prevent the officer or fireman from performing his official duties, or in retaliation for the officer or fireman performing his official duties;

(2) Is hooded, robed or masked in such manner as to conceal his identity or any device manufactured and designed to be substantially similar in appearance to a firearm;

(3) Knows the individual assaulted to be a teacher or other person employed in any school and such teacher or other employee is upon the grounds of a school or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for school purposes;

(4) Knows the individual assaulted to be a supervisor, director, instructor or other person employed in any park district and such supervisor, director, instructor or other employee is upon the grounds of the park or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for park purposes;

(5) Knows the individual assaulted to be a caseworker, investigator, or other person employed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (formerly State Department of Public Aid), a County Department of Public Aid, or the Department of Human Services (acting as successor to the Illinois Department of Public Aid under the Department of Human Services Act) and such caseworker, investigator, or other person is upon the grounds of a public aid office or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for public aid purposes, or upon the grounds of a home of a public aid applicant, recipient or any other person being interviewed or investigated in the employees' discharge of his duties, or on grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building in which the applicant, recipient, or other such person resides or is located;

(6) Knows the individual assaulted to be a peace officer, a community policing volunteer, a private security officer, or a fireman while the officer or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his official duties, or to prevent the officer, community policing volunteer, or fireman from performing his official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, community policing volunteer, or fireman performing his official duties, and the assault is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm in the direction of the officer or fireman or in the direction of a vehicle occupied by the officer or fireman;

(7) Knows the individual assaulted to be an emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver or other medical assistance or first aid personnel engaged in the execution of any of his official duties, or to prevent the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel from performing his official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel performing his official duties;

(8) Knows the individual assaulted to be the driver, operator, employee or passenger of any transportation facility or system engaged in the business of transportation of the public for hire and the individual assaulted is then performing in such capacity or then using such public transportation as a passenger or using any area of any description designated by the transportation facility or system as a vehicle boarding, departure, or transfer location;

(9) Or the individual assaulted is on or about a public way, public property, or public place of accommodation or amusement;

(9.5) Is, or the individual assaulted is, in or about a publicly or privately owned sports or entertainment arena, stadium, community or convention hall, special event center, amusement facility, or a special event center in a public park during any 24-hour period when a professional sporting event, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)-sanctioned sporting event, United States Olympic Committee-sanctioned sporting event, or International Olympic Committee-sanctioned sporting event is taking place in this venue;

(10) Knows the individual assaulted to be an employee of the State of Illinois, a municipal corporation therein or a political subdivision thereof, engaged in the performance of his authorized duties as such employee;

(11) Knowingly and without legal justification, commits an assault on a physically handicapped person;

(12) Knowingly and without legal justification, commits an assault on a person 60 years of age or older;

(13) Discharges a firearm, other than from a motor vehicle;

(13.5) Discharges a firearm from a motor vehicle;

(14) Knows the individual assaulted to be a correctional officer, while the officer is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the officer from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the officer performing his or her official duties;

(15) Knows the individual assaulted to be a correctional employee or an employee of the Department of Human Services supervising or controlling sexually dangerous persons or sexually violent persons, while the employee is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the employee from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the employee performing his or her official duties, and the assault is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm in the direction of the employee or in the direction of a vehicle occupied by the employee;

(16) Knows the individual assaulted to be an employee of a police or sheriff's department, or a person who is employed by a municipality and whose duties include traffic control, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties as such employee;

(17) Knows the individual assaulted to be a sports official or coach at any level of competition and the act causing the assault to the sports official or coach occurred within an athletic facility or an indoor or outdoor playing field or within the immediate vicinity of the athletic facility or an indoor or outdoor playing field at which the sports official or coach was an active participant in the athletic contest held at the athletic facility. For the purposes of this paragraph (17), "sports official" means a person at an athletic contest who enforces the rules of the contest, such as an umpire or referee; and "coach" means a person recognized as a coach by the sanctioning authority that conducted the athletic contest;

(18) Knows the individual assaulted to be an emergency management worker, while the emergency management worker is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency management worker from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency management worker performing his or her official duties, and the assault is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm in the direction of the emergency management worker or in the direction of a vehicle occupied by the emergency management worker; or

(19) Knows the individual assaulted to be a utility worker, while the utility worker is engaged in the execution of his or her duties, or to prevent the utility worker from performing his or her duties, or in retaliation for the utility worker performing his or her duties. In this paragraph (19), "utility worker" means a person employed by a public utility as defined in Section 3-105 of the Public Utilities Act and also includes an employee of a municipally owned utility, an employee of a cable television company, an employee of an electric cooperative as defined in Section 3-119 of the Public Utilities Act, an independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor working on behalf of a cable television company, public utility, municipally owned utility, or an electric cooperative, or an employee of a telecommunications carrier as defined in Section 13-202 of the Public Utilities Act, an independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor working on behalf of a telecommunications carrier, or an employee of a telephone or telecommunications cooperative as defined in Section 13-212 of the Public Utilities Act, or an independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor working on behalf of a telephone or telecommunications cooperative.

(a-5) A person commits an aggravated assault when he or she knowingly and without lawful justification shines or flashes a laser gunsight or other laser device that is attached or affixed to a firearm, or used in concert with a firearm, so that the laser beam strikes near or in the immediate vicinity of any person.

(b) Sentence.

Aggravated assault as defined in paragraphs (1) through (5) and (8) through (12) and (17) and (19) of subsection (a) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor. Aggravated assault as defined in paragraphs (13), (14), and (15) of subsection (a) of this Section and as defined in subsection (a-5) of this Section is a Class 4 felony. Aggravated assault as defined in paragraphs (6), (7), (16), and (18) of subsection (a) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor if a firearm is not used in the commission of the assault. Aggravated assault as defined in paragraphs (6), (7), (16), and (18) of subsection (a) of this Section is a Class 4 felony if a firearm is used in the commission of the assault. Aggravated assault as defined in paragraph (13.5) of subsection (a) is a Class 3 felony.

(c) For the purposes of paragraphs (1) and (6) of subsection (a), "private security officer" means a registered employee of a private security contractor agency under the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004.(Source: P.A. 95-236, eff. 1-1-08; 95-292, eff. 8-20-07; 95-331, eff. 8-21-07; 95-429, eff. 1-1-08; 95-591, eff. 9-10-07; 95-876, eff. 8-21-08; 96-201, eff. 8-10-09.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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