Domestic battery is a criminal offense established under Illinois law defined as an individual knowingly causing bodily harm or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature to a family or household member. A key thing to understand about domestic battery charges is that a person does not have to physically injure another party to face this type of charge.
Facing charges or a conviction of domestic battery can significantly impact someone’s life. Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide the legal guidance needed to protect your rights and avoid penalties.
To be charged with domestic battery, the alleged victim has to be a family or household member or former family or household member. Family or household members may include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, other people related by blood or prior marriage, people who share or formerly shared common dwellings, people who have a child in common, and caregivers.
Actions that may qualify as domestic battery are wide-ranging. Alleged stalking, threatening, hitting, unlawful restraint, and forcing someone to do something against their will may all be considered domestic battery in a court of law.
When someone is facing domestic battery charges for the first time, it will typically be classified as a Class A misdemeanor. Someone convicted of a Class A misdemeanor may be required to spend one year in jail and face fines of up to $2,500.
In more severe cases, domestic battery may be charged as a Class 4 felony. This includes instances of the accused having violated protection orders or been convicted of similar violent offenses such as aggravated stalking or criminal sexual assault. If convicted, repeat offenders may face1 to 3 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. Repeat offenders will also face mandatory imprisonment of a 72-hour minimum.
Penalties for domestic battery will worsen depending on circumstances. For example, individuals who have been convicted more than twice will face even more severe penalties than those listed above. Additionally, if the battery was committed in the presence of the child, harsher consequences will be applied. Probation alternatives are not available to individuals convicted of felony domestic battery.
The state of Illinois takes domestic battery incredibly seriously. Because of this, even a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery can stay on someone’s criminal record for the rest of their life.
If you are dealing with a domestic battery charge in Illinois, do not wait to seek legal help for your case. The Naperville, IL domestic battery defense lawyers at J. Aldrich Law, P.C. will know how to be of assistance to you.
Our firm boasts more than three decades of experience handling these types of cases. You can call 630-953-3000 for a free consultation.