While many violent actions against others are crimes, Illinois law allows the use of force in cases where someone is protecting themselves, another person or even their property -- specifically their home. These are known as self-defense laws.
Self-defense is one of the potential defenses to an assault charge. Someone may accuse you of assaulting them, but you may claim that they actually threw the first punch and you were just protecting yourself.
If you're facing assault and battery charges in Illinois, you may be considering a self-defense claim to show why you should not be convicted. It's one of the most common tactics, as many people feel they were honestly just trying to protect themselves, not trying to start a fight.