Understanding Illinois Domestic Battery Charges
In recent years, states across the country have placed an increased focus on domestic violence and how it is prosecuted. Because of the serious and often secretive nature of domestic violence, there has been much effort put into preventing domestic violence from occurring and appropriately punishing offenders. In the state of Illinois, domestic violence is a serious crime that can affect you for the rest of your life. Even just being accused of domestic battery can cause people to look at you differently and can create a criminal record for you or add to an existing one. Understanding domestic battery charges and their consequences in Illinois is crucial if you have been charged with domestic violence.
When is Battery Considered “Domestic”?
Battery and domestic battery are technically two different crimes. For a crime to be considered domestic, the person you perpetrate a crime against must be a “family or household member.” In the state of Illinois, a family or household members include:
- Spouses and former spouses;
- Parents, children, and stepchildren;
- People who currently share or used to share a residence;
- People in a dating or engaged relationship;
- People who have a child in common; and
- People who are related by blood or marriage.
The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that a person commits domestic battery if he or she knowingly causes bodily harm to any family or household member or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. Domestic battery is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which means an offender can expect to face up to one year in prison and fines of up to $2,500. Domestic battery is a misdemeanor, though it can be increased to a felony charge if the offender has a prior history of violent crime.
Aggravated Domestic Battery
There are certain situations in which domestic battery can be considered an aggravated crime. Aggravated domestic battery occurs when a person commits domestic battery that causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement. A person can also be charged with aggravated domestic battery if that person strangles another person while committing domestic battery. Aggravated domestic battery is classified as a Class 2 felony, which carries a sentence of not less than three years in prison, but no more than seven years.
Contact a Joliet Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Being accused of domestic violence is something that you do not want on your record. Nobody looks favorably at a person who is charged or convicted with domestic violence. If you have been accused of domestic battery or related charges, you need a knowledgeable Will County domestic violence defense lawyer by your side. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you keep your name clear. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to set up a free consultation.