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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Domestic Violence Allegations in Illinois: What You Need to Know

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Diane'sBeing accused of a domestic violence crime is a severe allegation that can have a lasting impact on your personal, family, and professional life. Domestic violence has been at the forefront of media attention recently due to the fact that October was National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and that the Illinois State Legislature passed a new domestic violence law that will be effective January 1, 2015. The law is intended to protect victims of domestic violence and to emphasize enforcement of probation conditions after bail is set and a criminal defendant is released.

Named Diane’s Law after a controversial murder-suicide that occurred after a series of physical abuse, this new Illinois law seeks to ensure Orders of Protections are enforced by courts and aim to protecting victims from future abuse. Orders of Protection are often entered against an accused defendant to prevent him or her from contacting the victim when there is a reasonable fear of physical, emotional, or mental abuse. If you have domestic violence charges pending against you, it is critical to understand what your rights and responsibilities are under this and other relevant domestic violence laws.

What You Need to Understand About Domestic Violence Allegations

The first thing you need to remember is that you may be prosecuted even if the victim of the alleged abuse does not want to prosecute. Similar to rape, murder, and other violent crimes, the decision to prosecute is not made by the victims or the victims’ families. A criminal prosecutor can bring charges against a suspect even if the victim is not interested in pursuing action. Many criminal defendants think that just because they share a special relationship with the victim, they will not be prosecuted. It is critical to understand that this is not necessarily the case.

Second, being convicted of a domestic violence charge and even just being accused can have a significant impact on your life. It may affect your freedom, your financial stability, or even your ability and rights to see your children and family. Domestic violence allegations are serious and should be dealt with as soon as possible after charges are filed against you to ensure the best possible outcome. Often, domestic violence charges can be lessened to a less severe crime which may be eligible for expungement, or removal from your criminal record, in the future.

Due to the severity of domestic violence charges, however, the accused loses some of the privileges he or she may otherwise be entitled to if he or she was charged with lesser crimes. For example, many “minor” crimes may result in a sentence of court supervision, something that is not a possibility with more severe domestic violence crimes. The severity of the sentence upon being convicted of a domestic violence crime may also depend on the injuries the victim sustained, whether the defendant has been convicted of similar crimes before, and what his or her other criminal history consists of.

Illinois Domestic Violence Lawyers

If you or anyone you know has been accused of a domestic violence or domestic battery offense, you need experienced DuPage County domestic violence defense attorneys to help you navigate the criminal justice system. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we represent clients in the greater Chicago area, including DuPage, Will, Kane, and Cook Counties. Domestic violence cases can be difficult and emotional, but we can help. We will explain your rights and responsibilities in a way you will understand and work with you to ensure the most favorable possible outcome. Contact us today at 630-472-9700.

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