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Facing Domestic Battery Charges in Illinois – What You Need to Know

DuPage County domestic battery defense lawyerThose who are arrested on domestic battery charges are often stigmatized by the outside world. They are seen as abusers – monsters who harm those that love them. Yet this is not always the case. In fact, there are many situations that can lead to a charge for domestic battery. Some may not even include actual harm to a victim. If you are facing criminal charges for domestic battery in Illinois, learn what your rights are, and how you can fight back to protect your future, and your family.

What is Domestic Battery?

Domestic battery is defined as the commission of bodily harm, or the physical contact, insulting, or provoking of a family member in a way that leads them to believe they may be at risk for bodily harm. This applies to more than just live-in family, such as a sibling, parent, intimate partner, spouse, or child. It can also be considered applicable to threats or harm to an ex-spouse, ex-partner, or other close person. It can also apply in situations involving a caregiver and an elderly, disabled, or otherwise vulnerable person with which no relational ties exist.

Potential Consequences of a Domestic Battery Charge

If an individual has no prior convictions for domestic battery and no other aggravating factors, it is most likely that they will be facing a Class A misdemeanor charge. If convicted, this comes a consequence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Aggravating factors, such as the presence of children at the time of the alleged crime, a previous conviction of domestic battery, or the violation of a restraining order can increase the charge to a Class 4 felony, and it can lead to up to 7 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000. A conviction also remains on your criminal record, which can significantly impact your ability to find employment and housing once you are released.

Understanding the Problematic Nature of Domestic Battery Charges

Whereas most crimes are reliant upon real or tangible evidence, domestic battery charges are often based upon the testimony of an alleged victim. There may be scratch marks, witness statements (who may or may not be impartial), or other marks on the victim that were allegedly placed there by the defendant. However, there have been cases in which an alleged victim has intentionally caused harm to themselves to win a domestic battery case. Further, testimony is not always reliable. An alleged victim may play the story up to make the fight seem bigger than it really was.

Why do this? Some are seeking a settlement in divorce, others custody of children, and still others revenge. The reasons are varied, but the results are potentially devastating for the accused. Thankfully, there are skilled advocates who can help. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, is one such advocate. Backed by more than 25 years of experience, our DuPage County criminal defense lawyer will pursue the most favorable outcome possible. To schedule your consultation, call 630-260-9647.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.2

http://www.saveservices.org/camp/faam-2011/false-accusations-of-domestic-violence-by-the-numbers/

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