New Year, New Domestic Violence Charges in IL?
As far as the state of Illinois is concerned, the family unit needs to be protected. Therefore, when violence erupts between people who share a particular relationship in the state, it’s a crime that is taken very seriously.
Domestic violence is an issue that the state of Illinois has enacted laws in an attempt to curb its occurrence. Being found guilty once of a crime of domestic violence can cause you legal problems, but continuing to have issues in the domestic violence arena can get you labeled as a repeat offender and make the penalties much more serious.
If you’re looking at new domestic violence charges in Illinois this year, then there are a few things you need to understand. After all, your future is on the line.
What Is Domestic Violence in Illinois?
It may seem as if domestic violence is easy to define, but the truth is that it’s a crime that differs legally depending on where you live. In Illinois, domestic violence occurs when a specific type of crime is perpetrated against someone who is a member of your household or family member.
Who counts as a member of your household or family? The state clearly defines those members as:
- Someone you have been married to or are currently married to
- Someone you are related to by marriage or by blood, such as a stepchild, parent, or child
- Someone you have shared or currently share a home with
- Someone you share a child with
- Someone you have dated or are currently dating
- Someone with a disability and the person who cares for them
Any crime can be categorized as domestic violence if the victim of that crime is in one of the above categories.
Domestic Battery in Illinois
One of the most common crimes of domestic violence is domestic battery. It occurs when perpetrated when one person causes bodily harm intentionally to a person in the household or family. It includes making physical contact with someone in a way that is provoking or insulting.
Repeat Domestic Violence Offenses
Domestic battery is an excellent example of how repeat offenses of the crime can result in a harsher sentence. The first time someone gets convicted of domestic battery, they face penalties for a Class A misdemeanor, which includes a sentence of no more than a year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
However, in cases where the perpetrator has been previously convicted of domestic battery or violating an order of protection in the state, they face a Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony can result in a sentence of up to six years and fines of as much as $25,000.
It is why anyone facing charges for a crime of domestic violence in the state needs to take it seriously. A previous conviction for a domestic violence crime on your record can set you up for more severe charges and penalties.
If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Illinois, you need an attorney to help you defend yourself against these charges. Don’t delay finding someone to represent you and ensure your rights are upheld now and in the future.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor serving as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all 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.