What is battery? Simply put, it is the unlawful touching of another person.
While it can easily be confused with assault, battery is in fact completely different. Battery requires actual physical contact, such as pushing or intentionally causing bodily harm. A punch or a shove is clearly a battery, but in some situations it is less clear. For example, a court has held that spitting on another person is a battery, despite no direct physical contact. Also, taking a box of matches away from the hands of another in anger is also a battery. Likewise a person suffers a battery if the contact alters the victim’s body in any way, even if the alteration appears to be physically beneficial, such as a surgeon’s unconsented removal of a wart.
720 ILCS 5/12-3
(a) A person commits battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means
(1) causes bodily harm to an individual or
(2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.
Battery is a Class A misdemeanor.
There are several defense. The first is simply, “I did not do it.” For example, a person might claim you pushed him or her and you say it never happened. The second defense is that the other person was either about to strike you or did strike you and you were defending yourself, (self defense). Although self defense is often cited, however, you can only defend yourself with similar force. An example is if someone punches you with his or her fist, you cannot use a gun to defend yourself. The force you use has to be similar to the force that was used against you.
Strategies to Win your Case:
The first step is obtaining all of the evidence, police reports, witness statements. The second is to obtain actual testimony from your accuser. Testimony is obtained by filing pre-trial motions and require the person claiming to be victim to have to testify. Once his or her testimony is on the record, he or she cannot change their story without seriously damaging their case. A trial will likely be required to prove to the judge that a person is not guilty.
Like assault, simple battery is a misdemeanor in Illinois. When certain factors are present, the charge can be aggravated. if a battery is committed using a firearm, it is considered a Class X felony and is subject to the sentencing guidelines for such a classification, explained above.
For more specific information call Attorney Young for a no-obligatyion consultation.