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(773) 908-9811



Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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What Behaviors Can Be Linked to IL Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a crime taken very seriously in Illinois, yet it’s a topic that many people don’t know much about – especially what types of actions and behaviors are considered domestic violence.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act clearly spells out what types of things are considered to be domestic violence in the state. It delineates actions or behaviors that can be prosecuted. A very important step to stop domestic violence is to educate people about it. This includes clarifying what qualifies as domestic violence – what they may be doing and who they may be doing it against that can end in arrest.

Here are some of the behaviors and actions that are associated with domestic violence under Illinois’ Domestic violence Act and the consequences that can be faced if you are found guilty.

What Is Domestic Violence?

In order for actions or behaviors to be considered domestic violence, they must be perpetrated against a certain person – namely, someone who is a member of your household or family.

Illinois law defines those who are household or family members as:

  • Anyone to whom you are currently or have been married
  • Anyone you are related to by marriage or blood, including children, parents, and stepchildren
  • Anyone with whom you currently share or formerly shared a dwelling
  • Anyone with whom you have a child
  • Anyone you are dating or engaged to
  • Anyone with a disability and their caregivers

Actions and Behaviors Considered to Be Domestic Violence

So you understand how it constitutes domestic violence if you perpetuate certain acts against people in your intimate relationship circle. Now it’s time to dig into what types of actions and behaviors the law considers domestic violence.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can occur when someone:

  • Commits sexual abuse
  • Uses restraint, physical force, or confinement against another person
  • Purposefully deprives them of sleep or does so repeatedly and unnecessarily
  • Any behavior that creates a situation where the victim is at risk of physical harm


This occurs when there is conduct that causes emotional distress in the victim. Under the law, several types of behaviors are considered harassment, such as:

  • Disturbing someone at their place of work or at school
  • Repeatedly calling someone at work or at school
  • Routinely following someone into public places
  • Keeping a person habitually under surveillance by taking up residence outside their home, where they work, at school, or anywhere else they may be – this includes staying in your car and watching them at these locations
  • Threatening to confine, restrain, or use physical force against them
  • Hiding your child improperly from the other parent or threatening to do so – or an actual attempt to remove, hide, or kidnap a child

Willful Deprivation

This occurs when you purposefully deny a disabled or elderly person medication, shelter, food, or medical care that they need, and it puts them at risk of mental, emotional, or physical harm.

Intimidation of a Dependent

This occurs when someone makes another person witness or participate in physical force, confinement, or restrains against another.

Interference with Personal Liberty

Chicago Domestic Violence Lawyer

This occurs when someone commits or threatens to commit harassment, deprivation, intimidation, or physical abuse as a way of forcing a victim to do something they don’t want to do.

If you are found guilty of crimes of domestic violence, then you can be sentenced to jail or probation. The length of your sentence will depend on what was perpetrated, but you may also be subject to an order of protection that can limit your rights to go near the victim. Note: This can infringe on parenting time.

If you are facing domestic violence charges in Illinois, then make sure to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to help protect your rights.

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.

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