When an argument with your spouse or other family member gets out of hand, it is possible that criminal charges can be brought against one of you. A domestic battery conviction can have serious criminal penalties and life-altering consequences. If you have been charged with domestic battery, it is critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney with experience successfully handling domestic cases. A qualified lawyer can help protect your rights and work hard to defend against the allegations.
Illinois Domestic Violence Law
The term “domestic” generally refers to family members. You can be charged with domestic battery for alleged violence against a family or household member. According to Illinois law, domestic violence can occur between the following people:
- Blood-related family members;
- Family members by marriage or by prior marriage;
- Married and divorced couples;
- Individuals who share a home or common dwelling;
- People who share a child or have a blood relationship through a child;
- Presently or formerly dating and engaged couples, including same-sex couples; and
- Disabled individuals and their caregivers.
Understanding Battery Charges
According to Illinois law, a person commits domestic battery if they knowingly cause bodily harm to a household or family member, or make “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature” with a household member or family member. Domestic battery most often considered a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. A misdemeanor domestic battery conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
There are some situation in which domestic battery is a felony offense. Domestic battery will be considered a Class 4 felony offense if the defendant has a prior conviction for violating a protection order or certain prior convictions relating to family or household members. If an individual is charged with domestic battery and has previously been convicted of one of the following crimes, he or she will likely face a felony charge:
- Aggravated battery;
- Aggravated battery with a firearm;
- Aggravated battery of a child, unborn child, or senior citizen;
- First degree murder;
- Attempt to commit first degree murder;
- Stalking and aggravated stalking;
- Criminal sexual assault,
- Unlawful restraint;
- Aggravated arson; and
- Aggravated discharge of a firearm.
A Class 4 felony in Illinois is punishable by one to three years of imprisonment and fines up to $25,000.
Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing domestic battery charges, speak with a qualified Joliet Illinois domestic battery defense lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free, confidential consultation.