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New Illinois Law Makes It a Felony To Assault Workers Enforcing Social Distancing Guidelines

Posted on behalf of Donahue & Walsh, P.C. | August 20, 2020

Videos and stories of patrons assaulting employees for enforcing mask mandates and social distancing guidelines have been steadily grazing national news outlets. In response, a new Illinois law elevates the consequences of such assaults from a misdemeanor battery charge to a felony aggravated battery charge.

Battery vs. aggravated battery in Illinois

An aggravated battery charge is a felony in Illinois, as it is committed against a protected class of individuals, which now includes Illinois retail workers. Simple misdemeanor battery can be committed against anyone, and can be charged a lesser included offense of aggravated battery.

What are the consequences of an aggravated battery charge in the state of Illinois?

Penalties of aggravated battery include:

· Up to 2-5 years in Illinois Department of Corrections
· Fines of up to $25,000 or both
It is also probation eligible

These penalties may become stiffer if other relevant factors are present, such as the use of a weapon in commission of the crime or a similar conviction on the offender’s record. The existence of these possible factors could lead to a sentencing of up to 10 years in prison and heavier fines.

What are the consequences of a battery charge in Illinois?

Penalties of battery include:

· Up to 1 year in the county jail
· Fines of up to $2,500 or both
Battery charges are also eligible for court supervision

Gov. J.B. Pritzker states that the new provision “sends the message that it’s vitally important for workers to be both respected and protected while serving on the front lines.”

With the consequences of upgraded charges being more severe than ever before, it is important to contact an experienced legal team in the face of these types of accusations. For help with your aggravated battery charge or other criminal defense, contact Northern Illinois Trial Lawyers to achieve your desired outcome.

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