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Domestic Violence in Illinois

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Domestic violence, also referred to as domestic assault or domestic battery, involves the use of physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment or stalking by spouses, intimate partners, family members or dates. Regardless of the relationship between two people, using physical violence against someone is a crime.

What is aggravated domestic battery?

Aggravated domestic battery is when there is great physical harm causing disability or disfigurement. This includes acts such as strangling. If you are charged with this it is a class 2 felony with a sentencing range if convicted between three and seven years.

What is the punishment for domestic violence?

If you are convicted of domestic violence, you could face jail time, a criminal record that cannot be expunged or sealed and can be viewed by potential employers and landlords as well as limited or no access to your family if an order of protection is entered. If you are a non-US citizen, you could face deportation. Unlike other criminal offenses, domestic battery cases either result in a dismissal or a guilty finding. Court supervision is not an option.

How long is the possible jail term?

Depending on the circumstances of your case and the level of charges against you, you could either face up to 1 year in prison if you are charged with a Class A misdemeanor or 1 to 3 years in prison if you are charged with a Class 4 felony. Aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony that carries a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison. Other circumstances affecting the level of charges include whether there was already a restraining order in place and if this is your first conviction for domestic violence and if children were present.

What are possible defenses to a domestic violence charge?

Defenses include, among other things, whether you were acting in self-defense, if the accuser ever battered or threatened you in the past, the quality of the evidence (police reports, witness statements, photos, videos, medical records) as well as the circumstances of the arrest and whether your constitutional rights were violated.

If you are charged with domestic violence in Illinois whether in the Chicago area, Central Illinois or anywhere else in Illinois, it is important that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help defend you and advise you of your rights. If you have any questions about Illinois criminal defense laws or would like a referral to an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer please do not hesitate to contact us. All inquiries are free and confidential.