Problems and disagreements between family members are fairly common occurrences and are nothing new. However, when disagreements start becoming abusive, threatening, or physical, you might be faced with serious legal issues.
Domestic disputes, more often than not, evolve into something more serious, such as a domestic battery. The state of Illinois has strict laws on domestic abuse laws and is punished quite severely.
Being charged with domestic battery in Illinois will have serious consequences when you are convicted. Furthermore, domestic battery is one of the few charges where a mandatory conviction is required if you are found guilty. That is why it is important to have a good domestic violence lawyer to fight on your behalf against domestic battery charges made against you.
Domestic Violence Laws in Illinois
Laws covering domestic violence in the state of Illinois are quite stringent and quite broad, depending on the individuals covered by the statutes as well as the nature of the case. Criminal charges are filed for domestic violence cases when physical harm is involved and are prosecuted heavily, which can result in extended jail time and some hefty fines. Meanwhile, civil domestic laws cover physical, emotional, and sexual harm.
Illinois Domestic Violence Act
The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) outlines various provisions that protect victims of domestic violence and The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) recognizes domestic violence as a serious crime. It creates a legal remedy for domestic violence victims called an Order of Protection, and it requires that law enforcement officers provide specific types of assistance to victims. The following are the domestic battery charges in Illinois.
A person commits domestic battery by intentionally causing bodily harm to a family or household member or by making physical contact in an insulting or provocative way with a family or household member. Domestic battery is punished as a Class A misdemeanor; however, domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the defendant has a prior conviction for domestic battery or for violating an order of protection. Domestic battery is also a Class 4 felony if the defendant has a prior conviction for committing any one of a number of violent crimes against a family or household members, such as murder, aggravated domestic battery, kidnapping, or unlawful restraint.
While a Class A misdemeanor carries a possible maximum sentence of less than a year and a $2,500 fine, a Class 4 felony carries up to six years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
(720 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/12-3.2; 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. § § 5/5-4.5-45, 5/5-4.5-50, 5/5-4.5-55)
Aggravated Domestic Battery
Aggravated Domestic Battery is a Class 4 Felony which means that you are looking at 3 to 7 years of prison time in the Illinois Department of Corrections and Fines and a Cost of $25,000.00 or both. If you are convicted, you can’t expunge the offense from your criminal record.
According to the law, an aggravated domestic battery is committed when an individual knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement. Furthermore, a domestic battery offense can turn into an aggravated domestic battery if a person, in committing a domestic battery, strangles another individual.
Aggravated Domestic Battery can only happen between people with certain types of relationships which includes spouses, ex-spouses, co-parents, parents and children, stepparents and children, blood-related family members, people related by blood through a child, elderly or disabled adults and caregivers and current and former roommates.
Aggravated Domestic Battery is a serious offense and if you are accused of committing it, you need to get in touch with a domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible.
Interfering with the Reporting of Domestic Violence
According to the law, an individual who knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent the victim of or a witness to the act of domestic violence from calling a 911 emergency telephone system, obtaining medical assistance or making a report to any law enforcement official can be charged with Interfering With the Reporting of Domestic Violence which is a Class A misdemeanor offense. If that person is found guilty, he or she can be punished by up to a year in jail, two years of probation, and a fine of up to $2,500.
This is a common charge and the most common example of this is when someone takes the victim’s cell phone and hides it from them to prevent the reporting of the Domestic Violence or Aggravated Domestic Battery incident.
In cases like this, the domestic violence defense lawyer will usually build a case around the defendant’s intent not to prevent the reporting of a domestic battery but something less than what the opposition is claiming. Domestic violence, as well as Aggravated Domestic Battery cases, are chaotic and it will be hard to prove that the defendant really intended to Interfere with the Reporting of a Domestic Battery. This is why getting a knowledgeable and experienced domestic violence attorney is imperative.
Orders of Protection
An Order of Protection is more complicated than it appears at first glance. It is a court order that stops an individual, usually a person charged with Domestic Battery, to stop violent and harassing behavior.
The act protects any person abused by a family or household member, any high-risk adult with disabilities who is. abused, neglected, or exploited by a family or household member, any minor child or dependent adult in the care of such person, and any person residing or employed at a private home or public shelter which is housing an abused family or household member.
Furthermore, the Orders of Protection act also protects any person who is abused by a family or household member of a child. He or she can do the following:
- a foster parent of that child if the child has been placed in the foster parent’s home by the Department of Children and Family Services or by another state’s public child welfare agency;
- a legally appointed guardian or legally appointed custodian of that child;
- an adoptive parent of that child; or
- a prospective adoptive parent of that child if the child has been placed in the prospective adoptive parent’s home pursuant to the Adoption Act or pursuant to another state’s law.
If an Order of Protection is filed against you, there are certain rules that you need to follow which may include how physically far away you must be from the person who filed and other rules for no contact.
Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself against an order of protection:
Prepare the documents – In order for you to fight the order of protection filed against you, you need to know exactly what is being said about you. These documents are public records and are available at the courthouse.
Know the law – There are certain timelines that need to be followed if you want to contest these orders. It is important that you know them so you can take action immediately.
Do not violate the order – Read the order carefully and follow it even if you feel like it was wrongfully entered. It is still an order from the court and violation of it could result in criminal charges and jail time.
Go to court – Dress nicely when you are due to appear in court. Be calm and respectful the entire time. If you are asked to testify, do not be afraid to do so.
Hire an attorney – These orders can significantly impact the respondent, such as requiring them to surrender any and all firearms and FOID card, it is imperative that you retain competent counsel for these hearings. Get an order of protection attorney to avoid any more charges. Having a good lawyer at your side will make the entire ordeal a lot easier.
Attorney for Domestic Violence Cases in Chicago
Domestic violence is a broad term that encompasses many different forms of abuse, and being charged with domestic violence can result in serious legal consequences and a lifelong stigma, even if no physical violence ever actually took place. Individuals convicted in a domestic violence case can not only face jail time and fines but also lose the ability to find gainful employment, own a handgun, or rent an apartment.
If you find yourself being accused of domestic violence, you have to build a solid domestic violence defense and a good domestic battery lawyer is the only way to accomplish this.
Fortunately, Adesina Law Firm, PC has experience at both defending and prosecuting these types of cases. The attorneys at Adesina Law Firm, PC have performed countless hearings and have been successful in the majority of these cases. Our attorneys have the knowledge of both civil law and the rules of evidence, which allows them to outperform the opposing party. If you need a domestic violence attorney in Chicago, call Adesina Law Firm, PC at 312-363-9661 so that we can increase your ability to win!