Best Schaumburg Criminal Defense Lawyer Handles Assault & Battery Charges
The terms “assault” and “battery” are often used together in police dramas and news reports. It can be easy to confuse the two or assume that they are two halves of one type of offense. But they are actually two distinct offenses, both of which can be charged independently or with the other, depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you have been charged with any type of criminal offense, it is important that you educate yourself about the exact language of the law you allegedly broke and the potential penalties you face. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you with this.
Examples of Assault
An assault is a threat directed as another individual that causes him or her to fear for his or her safety. It is the act of intentionally causing a victim to fear that he or she will suffer bodily harm through pointed words and threatening gestures. A few examples of assault include:
- Pointing a gun, loaded or not, at a victim;
- Pointing any other type of weapon at a victim and threatening harm;
- Making verbal threats against the victim in a believable manner, such as raising a closed fist while threatening the victim; and
- Charging at a victim or touching him or her in a way that suggests the offender will harm him or her.
An individual does not have to suffer actual bodily harm to be considered a victim of assault. As long as the victim had a legitimate fear of being harmed because of the offender’s threat, the offender may be convicted of assault.
Examples of Battery
Battery is the act of following through on one’s threat to harm him or her. Examples of battery include:
- Punching, shoving, kicking, or slapping a victim;
- Grabbing a victim’s clothing and tearing it in anger; and
- Using a weapon to harm a victim.
Any time an individual intentionally harms another, he or she has committed battery.
Why are Assault and Battery Often Charged Together?
Because in many cases, they occur together. For example, an individual who threatens to attack another individual while waving a knife around, then stabs the victim in the moments that follow may be charged with both assault and battery. The act of threatening the victim with the knife was one of assault and the act of following through on the threat and actually stabbing the victim was an act of battery.
Being charged with both does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of both. There are defenses to assault and battery charges that you may use, such as the following:
- You acted in self defense following a threat or attack by the other individual involved;
- The other individual consented to the act of battery;
- You acted in the defense of another individual or personal property; and
- The threat was not strong enough to cause the victim to reasonably fear for his or her safety in the case of an assault.
Work with an Experienced Orland Park Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with assault, battery, or both in Orland Park or elsewhere in Illinois, start working on your legal defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. To get started, contact one of our three offices to schedule your initial consultation with Shannon P. O’Malley, Attorney at Law. During your consultation, Mr. O’Malley will discuss your rights and options with you and answer any questions you have.