Assault is a criminal offense in Illinois that can result in imprisonment.
The offense is codified at 720 ILCS 5/12-1 in Illinois criminal code. The statute provides that assault is a Class C misdemeanor offense.
All Class C misdemeanor offenses in Illinois have a punishment of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,500. The court is permitted to sentence the defendant to probation rather than jail.
Class C misdemeanors are the lowest form of criminal offenses in Illinois. In fact, they are regarded as one step above traffic tickets (which are petty offenses punishable by fine only).
Nonetheless, judges treat these offenses very seriously because of their violent nature. While other Class C misdemeanor offenses such as possession of cannabis generally do not result in a jail sentence, assault is an offense that could result in imprisonment.
The offense is defined as ‘engaging in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.’ Examples of assault include balling a hand into a fist and threatening to punch someone, standing in someone’s face and threatening to attack, etc.
Assault does not require physical contact. In fact, it is just the opposite. When physical contact occurs, that is a battery. Assault is making someone believe they are about to become a victim of battery.
The minimum sentence for assault involves 30 hours of community service. This is mandatory and the court cannot sentence the defendant without imposing 30 hours of community service.
In all assault and battery cases, self-defense is available to the defendant. It is a question for the jury whether the defendant was entitled to defend himself.
Supervision, which is a sentence resulting in dismissal of the charge without a conviction, is available for assault. But the 30 hours community service are still mandatory. Supervision generally can be expunged.