You can be guilty of a Domestic Battery if you:
- Cause bodily harm to any family or household member; or
- Make physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.
“Family or household members” are spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons.
Domestic Battery as a Class A Misdemeanor which can include up to 364 days in County Jail if you are convicted. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(b). It can also be charged as a Class 4 felony if you have been convicted of a prior Domestic Battery, (Section 12-3.2) violated an Order of Protection, (Section 12-3.4 or 12-30) and other serious charges. Class 4 felonies can carry a prison sentence of between 1 to 3 years in jail. However, Probation or Conditional Discharge are alternatives to jail in Domestic Battery cases.
You can be charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery in 2 ways. First is if great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement is caused by the Domestic Battery. A second way you can be charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery is if you “strangle” someone during the Domestic Battery. “Strangle” is defined as intentionally impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of an individual by applying pressure on the throat or neck of that individual or by blocking the nose or mouth of that individual.
Aggravated Domestic Battery is a Class 2 felony which carries a possible prison sentence of between 3 to 7 years. Probation is possible for an Aggravated Domestic Battery, however, in addition to any sentence imposed by the Court, if you are convicted of an Aggravated Domestic Battery you must serve a minimum of 60 continuous days in jail. If this is your second or subsequent conviction for Aggravated Domestic Battery, you will not be eligible for probation and must serve between 3 to 7 years in prison. Aggravated Domestic Battery is a very serious charge because a conviction for this offense carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Avoiding a conviction for a Domestic Battery is very important because a Domestic Battery conviction can never be expunged or sealed. It becomes a permanent public record that can only be cleared by a Governor’s pardon. It can be viewed by the public, employers, credit agencies, schools, government, landlords, etc. A Domestic Battery conviction may also affect custody and visitation rights and your ability to be allowed in the family home and to see your kids. Many employers will not hire people with criminal convictions. Colleges may deny admission or expel a student who gets convicted of a crime. Landlords are allowed to not rent to people with criminal convictions.
Prosecutors are mostly concerned with getting a conviction and sending people to jail. They often fail to see the broader consequences of a criminal conviction on the defendant and his family. The need for highly effective legal representation is paramount when the stakes are so high and winning is everything. You cannot afford to lose your Domestic Battery case!
We have represented thousands of clients over the last 20 years with great success. When we appear in Court, our clients can rest assured that they are being represented by a highly skilled criminal defense trial attorney with one goal in mind: To Win!
On the first Court date, we immediately file with the Court a Motion for Discovery which requires the Prosecutor to give us all of the evidence that they have against you, including police reports, statements, the accuser’s criminal background, pictures and video and audio tapes of 911 calls. We have to make sure there are no surprises. Upon reviewing all of the evidence, we will then typically file a Motion to Dismiss, Motion to Quash Arrest and Suppress Evidence, Motion to Suppress Statement and any other motions that are required by the facts and the law. The idea is to win the case before it goes to trial.
When your freedom and reputation is at stake, trust us to fight the State and its hired prosecutors to win your case. We have a proven track record of winning criminal cases with thousands of grateful and satisfied clients.
If you are being charged with Domestic Battery in Illinois, give us a call. We can help.