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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 12: Battery and Aggravated Battery

These sections discuss the crime of battery, which occurs when a person causes bodily harm to someone else or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. However, if serious or permanent bodily harm is caused, or if the battery occurred in a public place, the charges can be upgraded to aggravated battery. It should be noted that are many additional circumstances under which a defendant can be convicted of aggravated battery, all of which are explained in this section of Illinois Criminal Code. Aggravated battery is classified up to a Class X felony, and a conviction can carry a serious sentence.

Lastly, this section of Illinois law makes it a crime to batter an unborn child. If a person knows that a woman is pregnant and causes physical harm to her unborn child, he can be convicted of this crime. In this section, an unborn child is defined as any individual from fertilization to birth. This crime can carry up to a Class 2 felony status.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested for battery 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.

Sec. 12-3. Battery.
    (720 ILCS 5/12-3)

(a) A person commits battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means, (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.

(b) Sentence.

Battery is a Class A misdemeanor. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)

Sec. 12-3.1. Battery of an Unborn Child.
    (720 ILCS 5/12-3.1)

(a) A person commits battery of an unborn child if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means causes bodily harm to an unborn child.

(b) For purposes of this Section, (1) "unborn child" shall mean any individual of the human species from fertilization until birth, and (2) "person" shall not include the pregnant woman whose unborn child is harmed.

(c) Sentence. Battery of an unborn child is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) This Section shall not apply to acts which cause bodily harm to an unborn child if those acts were committed during any abortion, as defined in Section 2 of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, as amended, to which the pregnant woman has consented. This Section shall not apply to acts which were committed pursuant to usual and customary standards of medical practice during diagnostic testing or therapeutic treatment. (Source: P.A. 84-1414.)

Sec. 12-4. Aggravated Battery.

(a) A person who, in committing a battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement commits aggravated battery.

(b) In committing a battery, a person commits aggravated battery if he or she:

(1) Uses a deadly weapon other than by the discharge of a firearm, or uses an air rifle as defined in the Air Rifle Act;

(2) Is hooded, robed or masked, in such manner as to conceal his identity;

(3) Knows the individual harmed 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) (Blank);

(5) (Blank);

(6) Knows the individual harmed to be a community policing volunteer while such volunteer is engaged in the execution of any official duties, or to prevent the volunteer from performing official duties, or in retaliation for the volunteer performing official duties, and the battery is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm;

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

(8) Is, or the person battered is, on or about a public way, public property or public place of accommodation or amusement;

(8.5) Is, or the person battered is, on 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;

(9) Knows the individual harmed 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;

(10) Knows the individual harmed to be an individual of 60 years of age or older;

(11) Knows the individual harmed is pregnant;

(12) Knows the individual harmed to be a judge whom the person intended to harm as a result of the judge's performance of his or her official duties as a judge;

(13) (Blank);

(14) Knows the individual harmed to be a person who is physically handicapped;

(15) Knowingly and without legal justification and by any means causes bodily harm to a merchant who detains the person for an alleged commission of retail theft under Section 16A-5 of this Code. In this item (15), "merchant" has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 16A-2.4 of this Code;

(16) Is, or the person battered is, in any building or other structure used to provide shelter or other services to victims or to the dependent children of victims of domestic violence pursuant to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 or the Domestic Violence Shelters Act, or the person battered is within 500 feet of such a building or other structure while going to or from such a building or other structure. "Domestic violence" has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. "Building or other structure used to provide shelter" has the meaning ascribed to "shelter" in Section 1 of the Domestic Violence Shelters Act;

(17) (Blank);

(18) Knows the individual harmed to be an officer or employee of the State of Illinois, a unit of local government, or school district engaged in the performance of his or her authorized duties as such officer or employee;

(19) Knows the individual harmed to be an emergency management worker engaged in the performance of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency management worker from performing official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency management worker performing official duties;

(20) Knows the individual harmed to be a private security officer engaged in the performance of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the private security officer from performing official duties, or in retaliation for the private security officer performing official duties; or

(21) Knows the individual harmed to be a taxi driver and the battery is committed while the taxi driver is on duty; or

(22) Knows the individual harmed 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 (22), "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.

For the purpose of paragraph (14) of subsection (b) of this Section, a physically handicapped person is a person who suffers from a permanent and disabling physical characteristic, resulting from disease, injury, functional disorder or congenital condition.

For the purpose of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) and subsection (e) of this Section, "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. (c) A person who administers to an individual or causes him to take, without his consent or by threat or deception, and for other than medical purposes, any intoxicating, poisonous, stupefying, narcotic, anesthetic, or controlled substance commits aggravated battery.

(d) A person who knowingly gives to another person any food that contains any substance or object that is intended to cause physical injury if eaten, commits aggravated battery.

(d-3) A person commits aggravated battery 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 upon or against the person of another.

(d-5) An inmate of a penal institution or a sexually dangerous person or a sexually violent person in the custody of the Department of Human Services who causes or attempts to cause a correctional employee of the penal institution or an employee of the Department of Human Services to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, or feces, by throwing, tossing, or expelling that fluid or material commits aggravated battery. For purposes of this subsection (d-5), "correctional employee" means a person who is employed by a penal institution.

(e) Sentence.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (2),

(3), and (4) aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony.

(2) Aggravated battery that does not cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement is a Class 2 felony when the person knows the individual harmed to be a peace officer, a community policing volunteer, a private security officer, a correctional institution employee, an employee of the Department of Human Services supervising or controlling sexually dangerous persons or sexually violent persons, or a fireman while such officer, volunteer, employee, or fireman is engaged in the execution of any official duties including arrest or attempted arrest, or to prevent the officer, volunteer, employee, or fireman from performing official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, volunteer, employee, or fireman performing official duties, and the battery is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm.

(3) Aggravated battery that causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement in violation of subsection (a) is a Class 1 felony when the person knows the individual harmed to be a peace officer, a community policing volunteer, a private security officer, a correctional institution employee, an employee of the Department of Human Services supervising or controlling sexually dangerous persons or sexually violent persons, or a fireman while such officer, volunteer, employee, or fireman is engaged in the execution of any official duties including arrest or attempted arrest, or to prevent the officer, volunteer, employee, or fireman from performing official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, volunteer, employee, or fireman performing official duties, and the battery is committed other than by the discharge of a firearm.

(4) Aggravated battery under subsection (d-5) is a Class 2 felony.

(5) For purposes of this subsection (e), the term

"firearm" shall have the meaning provided under Section 1.1 of the Firearms Owners Identification Card Act, and shall not include an air rifle as defined by Section 1 of the Air Rifle Act. (Source: P.A. 95-236, eff. 1-1-08; 95-256, eff. 1-1-08; 95-331, eff. 8-21-07; 95-429, eff. 1-1-08; 95-748, eff. 1-1-09; 95-876, eff. 8-21-08; 96-201, eff. 8-10-09.)

(Text of Section from P.A. 96-363)

Sec. 12-4.1. Heinous Battery.
    (720 ILCS 5/12-4.1)

(a) A person who, in committing a battery, knowingly causes severe and permanent disability, great bodily harm or disfigurement by means of a caustic or flammable substance, a poisonous gas, a deadly biological or chemical contaminant or agent, a radioactive substance, or a bomb or explosive compound commits heinous battery.

(b) Sentence. Heinous battery is a Class X felony for which a person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of no less than 6 years and no more than 45 years. (Source: P.A. 91-121, eff. 7-15-99.)

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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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