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

Understanding Domestic Violence Law in Illinois

Posted on in Assault & Battery

illinois domestic violence lawIllinois recognizes two types of domestic violence: domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery. Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor and may result in up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Aggravated domestic battery is a Class two felony, which carries a possible sentence of one to five years of incarceration and fines of up to $10,000, or more depending on the offense.

Domestic Battery

Under Illinois law, a person commits domestic battery when he or she causes bodily harm to a household or family member. Likewise, domestic battery may be charged against a person who merely makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a family or household member. A person may commit the broadly-defined crime of domestic battery by committing a variety of acts such as perpetrating physical abuse, harassing or intimidating a family member, interfering with a family member’s liberty or willfully depriving a dependent family member of necessary goods or supplies (such as in a case of elder abuse).

Aggravated Domestic Violence

A person may be guilty of aggravated domestic battery when circumstances are present that increase the power imbalance between parties or increase the amount of potential harm at stake. For example, domestic violence penalties can be increased for an individual who has a prior record of domestic or other violent crimes or who is in violation of a protective order at the time of the incident. Penalties may also be increased when the accused individual uses a weapon capable of inflicting extreme or deadly force or for an individual who causes substantial or permanent injury during the incident.

Since domestic violence crimes are so broadly defined, police officers and criminal prosecutors have leeway in choosing to bring charges for an accusation. Along similar lines, criminal law judges have significant discretion in choosing what sentence to impose upon a defendant.

The role of police officers is especially crucial in developing a domestic violence case. When a police officer is called to the residence on a domestic violence complaint, the officer will usually attempt to take party statements after an initial investigation. It is helpful for accused individuals to keep in mind how statements will be perceived and memorialized in police reports by the officers.

For more information on how to combat a domestic or aggravated domestic battery charge both during and after the police investigation, contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. Our Oak Brook criminal defense lawyers carefully examine our cases to identify contradictions in accusers’ stories, and use legal and procedural knowledge to exclude evidence that may be harmful to our client’s case. Contact us at 630-472-9700 for immediate assistance.

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