What is Aggravated Assault:
An assault becomes Aggravated Assault based upon certain factors. These include the location where the action takes place and the conduct that the victim alleges.
The location of where the act takes place is important. For example, the state might charge the defendant with Aggravated Assault if the action occurs on a public way, public property, or public place. A public way is considered a highway (where incidents like road rage can occur). Also included is a public property, such as city hall. Finally, “public place” is a very general term that encompasses any place that is open to the public.
An assault can become aggravated based upon the status of the “victim.”
I do not like the word “victim”, as oftentimes the “victim” is actually the aggressor, so instead I will use the term “complaining witness” (“CW” for short). The state will charge the defendant with Aggravated Assault if the alleged assault occurs against any type of complaining witness from the following list: a teacher, school employee, park district employee, community police individual, utility worker, or police officer. This also includes correctional officers, employees of the State of Illinois, pubic transit workers, sports officials (coaches or umpires), or special process servers.
If the defendant uses an air gun that is similar in appearance to a deadly weapon, the state might charge him or her with Aggravated Assault. Likewise, if someone uses a laser beam sight or discharges a firearm from a motor vehicle, the state might charge him or her with Aggravated Assault. Finally, the state might charge someone with Aggravated Assault if he or she uses a hood or mask to conceal his or her identity.
Examples of Aggravated Assault:
An example of Aggravated Assault includes pointing a gun at another person. However, telling a person that you have a gun (or a receipt for a gun) is not.
Prosecutors will most likely file Assault cases as a Class A misdemeanors. However, prosecutors can also charge these offenses as a Class 3 or 4 felonies depending on facts of the case.