Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Illinois

Updated on 08/11/2023 / Under

A deadly weapon is an instrument that can cause death or serious bodily harm. Penalties for this crime in Illinois can be severe, ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class X felony, depending on the circumstances. These penalties may include jail time, hours of community service, and/or fines. Those convicted may also face civil consequences, such as being held financially responsible for the victim's medical bills and other damages. The severity of charges and penalties will depend on the circumstances of each case.

Chicago assault lawyer Alex Ktenas

It is important to contact an experienced assault attorney from Ktenas Law to understand your legal options and protect your interests. Call today at 312-756-8652 to schedule your FREE consultation!

What is Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

According to Illinois statute, 720 ILCS 5/12-2, assault with a deadly weapon is defined as the reasonable apprehension use or threat of a deadly weapon against another person without legal justification, causing them to feel reasonably afraid of being physically harmed.

The crime of assault with a deadly weapon is a serious offense that can result in serious penalties if convicted. In the state of Illinois, an assault with a deadly weapon is considered an aggravated assault. The use of a deadly weapon during an alleged offense results in more severe penalties than a regular assault. Put simply, someone charged with aggravated assault must prove to a court their action did not involve wielding or attempting to use a deadly weapon and their intent was not to attempt to kill or physically harm someone else.

a person coming at someone with a knife

The precise definition of “deadly weapon” under Illinois law varies somewhat depending on the jurisdiction. Generally speaking, though, it encompasses any item that could realistically be used to cause substantial physical harm such as knives, guns, cars, and other potentially hazardous items.

It's important to note that just having one or more of these weapons present during an altercation isn't necessarily enough for prosecutors to charge you with aggravated assault. The perpetrator still has to have engaged in threatening behavior or made it seem like they were about to strike for it to truly be considered aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The Definition of a Deadly Weapon According to Illinois Laws

According to Illinois law, the classification of assault with a deadly weapon is the use of a firearm or any object used to harm or cause death to another person. Illinois law defines a deadly weapon as any object used in an attack, including but not limited to handguns, knives, clubs, and vehicles. Assault with a deadly weapon is considered aggravated assault and carries more severe penalties than regular assault charges.

For example, if someone has a criminal record and uses a gun while committing a violent crime or severe offense, they may face Class X felony charges. This means that the accused could face up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000 if convicted.

In contrast, regular charges for assault would only lead to a Class A misdemeanor felony aggravated assault with a maximum penalty of one year in county jail and/or fines of up to $2,500.

Charges and Penalties

Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious criminal offense in Illinois and can lead to severe criminal penalties. In the state, assault with a deadly weapon is usually charged as aggravated battery, which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

Aggravated battery is defined as when someone knowingly assaults another person causing great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement with a deadly weapon. This can include using a gun, knife, car, or any other object that could be used to cause serious injury or death.

two criminals planning an assault with a deadly weapon after breaking in to a person's home

Using a firearm in a domestic battery assault can result in additional criminal assault charges. These charges can be more severe than regular forms of assault charges. The penalties can vary depending on the circumstances and the defendant's criminal history. Prior aggravated battery charges can lead to harsher penalties.

A conviction for the crime of battery with a deadly weapon can have long-lasting consequences. A charge of battery may result in loss of employee position, difficulty finding housing, and social stigmas that can last for years.

What Evidence Must the Prosecutor Present to Establish Their Case?

In Illinois, a prosecutor must prove several elements to successfully convict someone with assault and deadly weapon charges. First, they must prove that the defendant intended to cause either bodily injury or great bodily harm. This means that the prosecutor must show that the defendant had knowledge of their actions and specifically desired to hurt another person.

Second, the prosecutor must show that the defendant used a deadly weapon in the commission of the assault. This means that the defendant must have used some type of weapon that had the potential to cause serious physical injury or death.

a man holding a rifle with the intent to assault someone

Lastly, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was not acting in self-defense for fear of an impending battery, in defense of property, or in defense of another person.

The penalties for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction can be severe, so it is important to understand your rights and prepare a defense with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can help you navigate the court system and ensure that your rights are properly represented.

Contact Ktenas Law Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon in Illinois, it is important to seek legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Ktenas Law is a Chicago-based firm that specializes in representing clients in such cases. Our lawyers have years of experience in providing skilled legal representation for serious offenses. We understand that being charged with assault with a deadly weapon can be a stressful and frightening experience.

At Ktenas Law, we provide personalized legal services tailored to your individual needs and aggressive representation in court. Contact our firm today at 312-756-8652 for a free consultation to learn how we can help you with your case.