IL Domestic Battery vs. Aggravated Battery: What’s the Difference?
In the state of Illinois, there are certain actions one can take against household or family members that can land them in legal trouble – namely, domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery charges.
A conviction for either one of these crimes is serious, but what many people don’t understand is the difference is between the two.
What constitutes domestic battery and how is different than aggravated domestic battery? Read on to find out, as well as the consequences that can be faced if you are found guilty of these domestic violence crimes.
What Makes a Crime Domestic Violence?
The first important thing to understand is what renders an offense one of domestic violence. After all, battery and aggravated battery are charged all by themselves – so what has to happen for one of these crimes to be elevated to domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery?
The answer is straightforward: For a crime to be considered one in the domestic violence wheelhouse, it must be perpetrated against someone who qualifies as a member of your household or family. More specifically, this includes:
- Someone you’ve been married to or current are married to
- Your children, stepchildren, parents, or anyone else related to you by marriage or blood
- Those with whom you have shared or currently share a home
- Anyone you have a child with
- Anyone you are engaged to or dating
- Those with disabilities as well as their caregivers
If you commit the crime of battery or aggravated battery against one of the above groups of people, then it is elevated to domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery.
Domestic Battery: What Is It?
Domestic battery occurs when someone causes bodily harm intentionally to a person who is a member of their household or family. It can also be perpetrated when physical contact is made in a provocative or insulting way with someone considered a member of the household or family.
In some cases, domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor, but it can be elevated to a Class 4 felony if the defendant has a prior history of domestic battery convictions or a history of violating orders for protection. It can also be considered a Class 4 felony if the defendant has a record that includes other violent crimes against members of the household or family, such as
- Unlawful restraint
- Aggravated domestic battery
Penalties for Domestic Battery
If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, a person can face up to one year in jail and fines of as much as $2,500. Class 4 felony charges can result in up to six years behind bars and fines of up to $25,000 if found guilty.
Aggravated Domestic Battery: What Is It?
Aggravated domestic battery is committed if, during an incident of domestic battery, the defendant causes permanent disfigurement, disability, or great bodily harm to the victim. It can also happen if the victim is strangled during the incidence of domestic battery.
This is a Class 2 felony.
Penalties for Aggravated Domestic Battery
If found guilty of aggravated domestic battery, a person can be sentenced to probation in lieu of jail time for the most part, but a sentence is required by law to include a minimum sentence of 60-day incarceration. If there is one or more prior conviction for aggravated domestic battery on the defendant’s record, then they will spend a minimum of three years incarcerated.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.