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What Is Aggravated Battery?
Everything You Need To Know

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

Schmidt & Clark, LLP is not currently accepting these types of cases and has posted this content for information purposes only. We encourage you to seek a qualified attorney, if you feel you might have a case.

The intended contact of another in an abusive manner or the intentional use of violence and force against another constitutes the crime of battery. The battery is a criminal offense and aggravated battery is one of its most dangerous forms. 

Schmidt & Clark attorneys have dealt with numerous aggravated battery cases so they helped us define and explain what aggravated battery is. Keep reading for more details. 

Quick Summary 

  • An aggravated battery usually implies the use of a deadly weapon or brutal force that causes various degrees of injury to the victim
  • Proving an aggravated battery case usually entails presenting evidence at trial and establishing all aspects of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Aggravated battery penalties vary depending on the severity of the case in question

Aggravated and Simple Battery

A person wielding a hammer ready to strike

Aggravated battery is a violent crime punishable by up to five years in state prison and a $5,000 fine if it is committed with the intent to cause significant bodily injury or the use of a deadly weapon. It is usually charged as a high-level misdemeanor and it is classified as a second-degree felony. If the accused was in possession of a firearm, the minimum punishment is ten years in jail.

The Examples of Aggravated Battery

  • Using a deadly weapon or a dangerous object to attack someone
  • Causing great bodily harm to someone
  • Gun battery resulting in minor injury requiring surgery

When an individual unlawfully contacts another person with violence or aggression, this is known as a simple battery. The contact that is classified as "simple battery" does not have to result in any bodily harm or serious injury. It's also crucial to understand that touching another person must be done with consent.

The Examples of Simple Battery

  • Threats
  • Intentional touching without consent
  • When a doctor conducts a non-emergency medical treatment on a patient without his or her permission

An aggravated battery is serious, if you've been charged with either, you will have a felony conviction on your record.

Assault with Serious Physical Injury

A beat up woman looking down

Permanent scarring, severe injuries, such as permanent disability or disfigurement, or serious bodily injury are normally involved when it comes to aggravated battery related to physical injury.

Serious physical injury is usually referred to as severe bodily harm or considerable bodily harm, and it is described as a serious risk of death, the loss of or serious impairment to a limb or bodily organ, or an injury that necessitates surgery or a lengthy rehabilitation period.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon 

A deadly weapon in a crime sceneIn some states, battery involving a "deadly weapon" is considered aggravated battery [1]. The prosecutor must show that the offender used a dangerous weapon in the conduct of the crime in order to win a conviction.

If an object has the potential to cause death or permanent disfigurement, it is considered a lethal weapon.

By definition, a pistol, machine gun, and a huge knife are deadly weapons since they are intrinsically harmful and even designed to injure others. Other items, such as rocks, stones, or even a boot, can be used as lethal weapons if they are employed in a way that is likely to cause great bodily harm or death.

"A person commits aggravated battery when, in committing a battery: 1) Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement; 2) Use of a deadly weapon; 3) Are hooded, robed or masked, in such manner as to conceal their identity..” Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/12-4

Proving a Complex Aggravated Battery Case

A lawyer looking at paperwork

To convict a person of aggravated battery, the prosecution or district criminal defense attorney must present evidence at trial and establish all aspects of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

The evidence must demonstrate:

  • That the defendant used physical force on the victim with the goal of causing temporary disfigurement or great bodily harm, or that the attack was carried out with a deadly weapon
  • The prosecutor must offer precise evidence of the harm and its severity if the battery was worsened by serious injury
  • Photographs showing transitory injuries such as bruises or scratches could be used as evidence in the instance of temporary deformity. In the case of more serious bodily harm, the prosecutor may call a doctor to testify about the injuries and necessary treatment or the alleged victim to testify about the agony and healing process
  • The aggravated battery-based case must include detailed information concerning the weapon and how it was "deadly" if the battery was aggravated by the use of a deadly weapon

Evidence of the object used and caused great bodily harm may be sufficient to demonstrate the use of a deadly weapon if it is not a deadly weapon by definition—for example, evidence that an assault by a defendant wearing heavy work boots resulted in major internal abdominal trauma would establish the boots as a deadly weapon.

What is the Penalty for Aggravated Battery?

A person in handcuffsThe penalty for aggravated battery is 1 to 15 years in prison, depending on the severity of the case.

Aggravated battery involving temporary disfigurement can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in imprisonment, criminal record, or as a lower-level felony, punishable by one to three years in jail or prison. 

Charged with aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon or substantial physical injury is a felony with more severe penalties, depending on the specific requirements of each state's sentencing statute or guidelines. Repeat offenders who commit violent crimes like battery or sexual assault may face harsher penalties, fines, or sentences.

Aggravated battery is punished as a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4 to 15 years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines if the victim was a police officer doing his or her responsibilities.

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What's the difference between an aggravated battery and an assault?

The difference between an aggravated battery and assault is that aggravated battery is committed by physical violence and assault implies that threats and intimidation occurred.

Do you need to look for a criminal defense lawyer in case of an aggravated battery charge?

Yes, you do need to look for a criminal defense lawyer in case of an aggravated battery charge. An experienced attorney can help you fight a conviction and present specific evidence.

Get an Evaluation for Your Aggravated Battery Case

Consult an experienced criminal attorney if you've been arrested or charged with aggravated battery. A skilled attorney can thoroughly present the case in your state and guide you on your options. 

Schmidt & Clark, LLP has been named one of the nation's top plaintiff's legal firms year after year and handles lawsuits in all 50 states. Click here to discover more and get a free evaluation for your aggravated battery case.