When can a heated argument lead to criminal charges?

Sometimes our emotions get the best of us. Oftentimes, heated disagreements between two people in the St. Charles area amount to no more than an exchange of words, and hopefully, is followed by a resolution. However, if things get physical or threaten to get physical, a person in Illinois may be charged with assault and battery.

Assault and battery are two separate crimes in Illinois although it is possible to be charged with both based on the same incident. Assault takes place when one person knowingly does something to put another person in reasonable apprehension of battery. If a person is charged solely with assault in Illinois, generally no physical contact or injury has taken place. In some situations, it is possible to be charged with the elevated crime of aggravated assault.

Battery takes place when a person knowingly does something that causes another person to suffer bodily harm or when a person physically contacts another person in a way that is insulting, provocative or unwanted. A charge of battery in Illinois can be elevated to aggravated battery if: the alleged victim was seriously physically harmed, disfigured or made permanently disabled; if a firearm or deadly weapon was used; or if the alleged victim was a child or peace officer.

Ultimately, it is possible for a person in Illinois to be charged with assault, battery or both if they are involved in a quarrel that turns or threatens to turn physical. This post only provides a brief overview of these crimes and does not contain legal advice. Those who are concerned about being charged with assault and/or battery will want to seek the legal assistance necessary to better understand their situation and options moving forward.