A charge of domestic battery in Illinois is an accusation that should not be taken lightly. If found guilty of domestic violence crimes, you could face jail and/or time and fines, along with other penalties that will negatively affect your future.
If you face domestic violence charges in Illinois, you need a defense lawyer who will listen to you and work to understand your case. Prosecutors and Judges will seek harsh penalties with cases of violence if found guilty, making it very difficult for those accused of these crimes.
You need an advocate who will stand by your side, contact a domestic violence defense attorney at Goldman & Associates today to explore your options and fight for your freedom and legal rights. Our law offices are located in Chicago IL. We serve clients throughout Cook County and the greater Illinois area.
Can Domestic Battery Charges Be Dropped In Illinois?
Once the police takes and files the report of domestic violence, the case would be transferred to the court. Therefore, the victim can’t drop the battery charges and say they were not valid. Once the charges are filed and the accusation is out there, one could not take it back. The only person who has the authority to drop the case is the official State Attorney unless your Chicago domestic violence lawyer can beat the case.
Domestic battery occurs under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2) when a person knowingly and without legal justification:
- Causes bodily harm to a family or household member; or
- Makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Verbal harassment
- Child abuse/ neglect
One way to define domestic violence is a family member of a household causing harm to a victim who is another member of the household. Parties in these types of cases do not have to be blood related or married; a domestic violence charge can be filed between roommates, unmarried couples, and adopted or foster children.
You can hire domestic violence lawyers if you are experiencing any of these scenarios and get a free consultation about your specific case. Getting charged with domestic battery is a serious matter, and a conviction can put you behind bars, ruin your reputation and damage the ability to find work in Chicago IL. Hiring an experienced Chicago domestic violence lawyer is the best way to make most of your Chicago domestic violence case and get the outcome you wish for.
What Happens In A Domestic Battery Case?
The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (750 ILCS 60/101) defines a family or household member is anyone who shares one or more of the following relationships with the person committing the domestic battery:
- Spouse, or a former spouse;
- Parents and people who share a common child;
- Children or stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage;
- People who share or formerly shared a common dwelling;
- Persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child;
- Currently and previously dating or engaged couples (casual acquaintances and similar relationships do not qualify as dating for the purposes of this definition); and
- Persons with disabilities and their personal assistants, and caregivers.
The precise definition of a family or household member is important during prosecution. A court can interpret the relationship depending on the facts of a case to determine if it fits in the above definition.
For example, Illinois courts held that a woman was living with her boyfriend for a matter of weeks before the domestic battery incident was sharing a dwelling. On the other hand, a couple who lived in a homeless shelter were not “sharing a dwelling” for domestic violence law purposes. (People v. Young, 362 Ill. App. 3d 843, 844 (2005).)
A Word About False Domestic Violence Charges
It is common for false domestic violence charges to be filed, especially during a divorce or separation of a couple. They are often submitted by clients who are trying to gain custody of children in a divorce or get a “revenge” for infidelity.
The majority of domestic violence cases have charged the man as the “aggressor” and the woman as the “victim.” However, in recent years, more and more men have been coming forward as victims of violence. Due to increased awareness, it is becoming evident that men are just as likely to be victims as women.
Therefore, hiring a Chicago domestic violence attorney is the only way to protect your side of the story and get a strong defense for your case in an Illinois court. A domestic violence law firm specializing in this matter can give you a free consultation and legal advice to move the case forward.
Orders of Protection
Domestic violence victims can ask a court for an order of protection against the person accused of domestic violence. Domestic battery can qualify as domestic violence. Once issued against a particular person, that person has to follow the requirements of the order of protection, or risk arrest. Violating an order of protection is a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. However, there are defenses to violating an Order of Protection. Orders of protection are processed under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.4 .
Recent amendments to the Domestic Violence Statutes now allow for the automatic issuance of an Order of Protection based upon the mere fact that someone has been arrested for a Domestic Battery. The issuance of the Order or Protection will occur even before the judge hears any evidence, and before you can defend yourself. The Illinois Statute allows for the immediate issuance during the pendency of the criminal case.
Domestic Battery Penalties
Domestic battery is usually a class A misdemeanor, which carries up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $2,500. The minimum sentence for this charge is a conviction, which cannot be expunged or sealed. In other words, a misdemeanor conviction of domestic battery remains on a person’s permanent criminal record. Unlike other misdemeanors, a defendant charged with a domestic battery is not eligible for court supervision.
However, if you are a second time offender or there is some “aggravation” (meaning more serious facts) regarding your actions, you will be charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery is considered a felony instead of a misdemeanor. This felony could be a class 4 felony and up to a class 2 felony.
If a defendant is convicted of a second or subsequent domestic battery charge, he or she has to serve a mandatory 72 hours in jail, in addition to other sentences that the court may order. 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(b).
Suppose someone does domestic battery to their significant other in the presence of a child. In that case, the person would face additional penalties, including being ordered to pay for any counseling the child may need, as determined by the court. The defendant may also be required to serve 300 hours of community service, or ten (10) days in jail, or both. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(c)).
Suspects with prior convictions or arrests for domestic violence are noted by arresting officers. If there is an active domestic violence restraining order, suspects are arrested and charged with a new offense for violating the order, even if there was no violence or physical contact.
Anyone with a prior domestic violence conviction(s) should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A battery attorney who understands these cases and knows how to defend people charged with domestic violence effectively is the best way to handle your case.
Can You Fight A Domestic Violence Charge?
If you are charged with domestic battery or have been arrested for violating an order of protection, you need an experienced criminal attorney representing you. Charges like these are registered as criminal defense, and battery attorneys are your best chance for a solid defense strategy.
Punishment for any domestic violence offense has become increasingly severe over the last few years, and judges do not usually let offenders get off easily for domestic abuse charges. Don’t let accusations of domestic violence determine your future.
We Handle All Domestic Violence Cases
If you browse through our website, you will see that we are a well-known battery law firm in Chicago IL. With plenty of practice areas and specialization in criminal defense, our Cook County domestic violence attorneys can help you prove your version of events beyond a reasonable doubt – and escape a guilty verdict with the best evidence on your side.
Our criminal defense attorneys give clients the best chance possible as they face the criminal justice system in Chicago, and ensure that their rights are respected.
Contact Our Domestic Battery Lawyers To Get A Free Consultation
For more information about battery cases, spousal abuse, as well as details on battery conviction, contact our law offices. We are located in Cook County and proudly serve the Illinois (IL) area.
Get in touch with a domestic violence defense attorney from Goldman & Associates today. Contact us at 773.484.3131 or fill out the form on our website to get a free consultation from our experienced defense lawyers.