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Simple Battery vs Aggravated Battery

 Posted on January 16, 2024 in Violent Crimes

DuPage County criminal defense lawyerIllinois sees battery as two different crimes, each with its own set of charges. Both versions of battery include bodily harm or physical contact with intent to harm. The differences emerge when factors such as injury severity, location of the battery, and if the plaintiff held a protective status or occupation. Understanding the full breadth of the differences between battery crimes can help you further understand what you are up against when charged. An attorney with defense experience in such situations can offer invaluable advice and work hard to defend your rights.

Simple Battery

Simple battery is the lesser of the two crimes. When a person causes bodily harm or attempts to provoke or insult another individual through physical contact, this is considered simple battery. The act must be intentional, and the prosecution will need to prove that the act was deliberate for there to be a battery case.

Simple Battery Penalties

The penalties for simple battery are minor, but that does not mean they should be taken lightly. Simple battery brings with it a Class A misdemeanor charge. A conviction of such a charge can result in the defendant serving up to 264 days in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. A judge can award probation if the defendant is willing to comply with the terms. Failure to comply could see the defendant facing the maximum consequences for the act.

Aggravated Battery

An aggravated battery is an elevated charge with much steeper penalties than its primary counterpart. The same principles of a simple battery charge remain in an aggravated battery charge in that it still requires physical contact or bodily harm. The difference lies in the severity of the situation and who is allegedly receiving the harm.

For a simple battery charge to become an aggravated battery charge, the defendant would have had to cause great bodily harm, disfigurement, or permanent disability to the plaintiff. Choking or strangling is considered an act of aggravated battery.

Who the battery is done to can also enhance the charges. The following alleged recipients of aggravated battery can increase the penalties a convicted defendant may face:

  • Peace officer
  • Firefighter
  • Nurse
  • Teacher
  • Child
  • Other authorized official personnel
  • Individuals from a protected class (pregnant persons, elderly, taxi drivers)

The alleged perpetrator must have known that the individuals were personnel performing their official duties, and the act must have been intentional.

Aggravated Battery Penalties

The penalties for aggravated battery can vary widely depending on the charge's circumstances. Charges for aggravated battery are all felonies and can range from Class 3 to Class X.

  • Class 3 felonies are the baseline for aggravated battery, where the act only involves one aggravating factor. A Class 3 felony carries a two to five-year prison sentence and up to $25,000 in fines.
  • Class 2 felonies involve a minimum of two aggravated factors unless the act is done against a firefighter, police officer, private security guard, correctional employee, person over the age of 60 years old, or an individual engaged in religious activity. It only takes one aggravating factor for these individuals to become a Class 2 felony charge. The penalties for a Class 2 felony charge include three to seven years imprisonment and the possibility of a $25,000 fine.
  • A Class 1 felony for aggravated battery consists of the same acts and individuals as a Class felony charge. Still, it adds torture or strangulation to the list of acts allegedly committed by the defendant. For this, the defendant could face four to fifteen years in prison with up to $25,000 worth of fines if convicted.
  • Class X felonies for aggravated battery often involve the use and discharge of firearms. Firearms that are not machine guns or using silencers, discharged against the individuals listed above, can result in a Class X felony charge. Using machine guns or guns with silencers against anyone will result in a Class X felony charge. Using poisons or caustic bombs to cause great bodily harm or disfigurement against anyone can also carry a Class X felony charge. Great physical harm or disfigurement to a minor child less than 13 years of age or an individual who suffers a cognitive handicap also falls under Class X. These felonies carry a six to thirty-year prison sentence if convicted with possible extensions that could see a defendant in prison for forty-five to sixty years.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

As you can see, understanding the differences between battery charges can help you know what to expect. The burden is on the prosecution to prove intent in all battery cases. Therefore, it is a great idea to consult a Wheaton, IL battery defense lawyer when facing such charges. The Davi Law Group, LLC can help defend your rights and work with you to create a defense for all charges involved. Contact the office for a free consultation today at 630-580-6373.

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