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Plainfield, IL violent crimes defense lawyerMurder is one of the most serious of all violent crimes. A person accused of taking the life of another person faces the possibility of life in prison. Even the accusation of an attempt to kill someone can result in serious punishments. In Illinois, there is a fine line between assault charges and attempted murder charges. However, they are very different in the severity of their punishments.

What Is the Difference Between Assault and Attempted Murder?

Assault is defined as the threat of inflicting bodily harm or offensive physical contact upon another person. This can be an action as simple as forcefully shoving someone or as serious as threatening someone else with a firearm. If convicted of simple assault, the punishment is a Class C misdemeanor resulting in a prison term of up to 30 days and a $1,500 fine.

Attempted murder is similar to assault in terms of the definitions of the two crimes. The difference in the crimes comes when a person knowingly takes a substantial step toward the killing of another person. In order to be charged with attempted murder, intent to kill must be proven beyond a doubt. If convicted, attempted murder is a Class X felony punishable by a prison term ranging from 20 to 80 years. Punishments can also be increased depending on the crime:


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There are many different ways a person can be charged with kidnapping, and contrary to how it sounds, kidnapping can happen to both children and adults alike. An individual can be taken by someone he or she knows or does not know for ransom, or worse, to be tortured or killed. This is why kidnapping is considered a violent crime.

Illinois law defines kidnapping as a person knowingly doing any of the following acts:

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