Battery of an Unborn Child in Illinois
Battery cases, in any circumstances, are judged harshly. Many of us learn as children to keep our hands to ourselves and treat others the way we would also like treated. In regards to the battery of a pregnant woman and that of an unborn child, not only is there the social stigma that coincides, but there is also double the punishment for these felony crimes. Understanding how they are different may help determine the best course of action in your case.
Illinois Assault vs. Battery
The laws surrounding assault and battery vary from state-to-state. In Illinois, assault is any behavior that causes a reasonable fear of immediate danger to themselves, someone they love, or their property. Therefore, in Illinois, no physical contact needs making to qualify for an assault charge. Battery cases involve physical contact. Legally, battery occurs when an individual knowingly and unjustifiably:
- Causes bodily harm to another person, or
- Makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature.
Escalation to Felony
Assault and battery cases are usually misdemeanor cases. However, an extensive list of exceptional victims exist. If the alleged victim is a member of this select group of individuals, the charges immediately become escalated to aggravated, traditionally a felony punishment. Members include:
- Small children,
- Adults over the age of 60,
- A teacher on school grounds,
- A public servant, or
- An individual with a disability, or
- A pregnant person.
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004
Also known as “Laci and Conner’s Law,” the Unborn Victims of Violence Act establishes that the mother and the fetus are two separate lives. Therefore, when an individual attacks one person, they are also committing battery upon the “child in utero.” Illinois specifically defines the life of the child beginning at fertilization in these cases and remain protected by this law until birth. These standards do not apply to these instances to protect other existing laws:
- Reasonable medical treatment, or
- Practices in which the mother gives consent.
With the pressure of the mounting consequences, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel to protect your future. Dependent on the circumstances surrounding the incident, defense is possible. Many of these laws encompass the knowledge of pregnancy as well as whether or not the attack was justifiable. If you would like to discuss your case with an Addison, IL battery defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today by calling 630-834-9595. We combine over 65 years of experience to defend all of our clients in Maywood, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland areas.