What is the Difference Between Battery and Domestic Battery Charges in Illinois

joliet domestic battery lawyer

According to the CDC, approximately one in four women and one in seven men will be the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Many U.S states have increased penalties for crimes committed against intimate partners or family members. In Illinois, domestic violence domestic violence is prosecuted heavily. Those convicted of a domestic violence-related crime can face years behind bars and a lifetime of stigma. If you have been charged with domestic battery or another domestic offense, it is crucial that you understand the charges placed against you and the possible penalties you face.

When is Battery Considered “Domestic Battery”?

Although they are two different crimes, we often hear the term “battery” along with “assault.” This is because Illinois law defines assault as "conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” Battery is defined as “conduct causing bodily harm to another person” or physical contact with another which is “insulting, provocative, or unwanted.” In order for a battery to be considered domestic battery, the alleged offense must be perpetrated against a family member or household member. In Illinois, domestic violence includes violence against a

• Spouse or former spouse;

• Parent;

• Child or stepchild;

• Roommate or former roommate;

• Boyfriend or girlfriend;

• Fiancé

• Person with whom the alleged offender shares a child; and

• Other relatives through blood or marriage.

According to the Illinois Criminal Code , a person is guilty of domestic battery if he or she intentionally causes physical injury or makes physical contact of an offensive or provoking manner to a person listed above. Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. This charge may be enhanced to an aggravated domestic battery charge if the alleged battery causes significant bodily harm, permanent disability, disfigurement, or if the offense included actual or attempted strangling. Aggravated domestic battery is considered a much more heinous crime than regular domestic battery. It is a Class 2 felony offense punishable by a prison term of up to seven years.

Contact a Will County Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, or another violent crime, contact an experienced Joliet domestic violence defense lawyer for help. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

Who Qualifies for Criminal Record Expungement in Illinois

joliet expungement lawyer

It can be incredibly rewarding for those with a criminal past to leave their life of crime behind them – both literally and figuratively. One way to move on from past mistakes or false allegations is to have your criminal history cleared through an expungement . Even if your case was dismissed, the only way to officially remove the record of your arrest is through an expungement. Not all offenses, however, nor is everyone eligible for an expungement. Only those who meet certain state qualifications can have their records expunged. When the expungement process is complete, your criminal records are either physically destroyed or returned to you. The Expungement process also removes the defendant’s name from public criminal records.

Criteria for Potential Expungement

To request an expungement in Illinois , the arrest or the offense in question must meet certain criteria. Typically, only offenses that did not result in a conviction are eligible for expungement. Items that can be expunged include:

• Some traffic violations;

• Court supervision for reckless driving, in some cases;

• Arrests without convictions;

• Certain probations upon successful completion and completion of the waiting period; and

• Court supervision two years after completion (five years for some specific offenses).

It is important to note that certain crimes, including DUIs and sexual crimes, are not eligible for expungement. If you have a criminal record which includes items not eligible for expungement and those that are, you can request to expunge only those items that specifically qualify.

Record Sealing Versus Expungement

If you have been convicted of a crime and are not eligible for expungement, you may be able to have your records sealed instead. Sealed records, unlike expunged records, are not destroyed. Instead, sealed records are kept confidential from the general public. Most employers cannot access a criminal history which has been sealed. However, law enforcement agencies can still view a sealed record. Felony arrests and convictions are generally not able to be expunged or sealed. However, there are a few exceptions including certain Class 3 and Class 4 felonies and certain probation offenses.

Contact a Will County Record Sealing and Expungement Attorney

If you wish to clear your criminal history through expungement or record sealing, contact an experienced expungement lawyer in Joliet Illinois . Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at (815) 740-4025 to schedule a free consultation. We will help you determine your eligibility for either process and work with you every step of the way.

Is it Legal for Police to Use a Drug-Sniffing Dog During a Traffic Stop

joliet drug lawyer

It is widely known that dogs have a much more sophisticated olfactory system that humans do. Their sense of smell is anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 times better than that of humans, so it makes sense that dogs are used in a variety of different professions. Some of the most well-known working dogs are those that are used to help police officers detect and locate illicit drugs. It is not uncommon for police to use a drug-sniffing dog , during traffic stops but does that mean it is legal?

Fourth Amendment Rights

The biggest concern with the use of drug-sniffing dogs is infringing on individual’s rights given by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution . The Fourth Amendment states that U.S. citizens have the right to be secure against “unreasonable searches and seizures” of their “persons, houses, papers and effects.” The Amendment also states that a warrant brought about by probable cause should be used to justify any search or seizure of their assets.

Supreme Court Decisions

With the use of drug-sniffing dogs, the U.S. Supreme Court and Illinois Supreme Court have examined many cases. In Illinois v. Caballes, the Illinois Supreme Court determined that Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when police use drug-sniffing dogs during a legal traffic stop. This is because drug-sniffing dogs are only trained to detect the presence of illegal items, which citizens have no legitimate privacy interest.

The court also ruled that the use of a drug-sniffing dog during a traffic stop is only legal if the dog can complete his or her duty in a reasonable amount of time. The police officer is not permitted to detain a person for any longer than it is needed to complete normal traffic stop procedures, such as running verifications on the validity of the driver’s license and insurance information. The officer must have additional probable cause to detain until a drug-sniffing dog arrives, or the evidence obtained as the result of the sniff could be dismissed by the court.

A Joliet, IL Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Can Answer Your Questions

Police have been using drug-sniffing dogs for decades, and the dogs have proven to be useful companions, but there are concerns that can arise when dogs are used during a traffic stop. If you are facing drug charges as a result of a drug-sniffing dog, you should immediately contact a Will County drug crimes defense lawyer . At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you determine whether or not your traffic stop was warranted and whether or not the use of the police dog was illegal or not. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation.


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