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What should you know about domestic battery charges in Illinois?

It is a rare couple who goes their entire relationship without having a fight. In some cases, arguments can get a bit out of hand with loud yelling and door slamming, but this does not necessarily mean that anyone was immediately at risk of physical harm. Of course, an outside party may not know what is going on and could contact police if that person suspects a domestic battery situation taking place.

Unfortunately, this type of situation recently resulted in your arrest. You and your spouse may have gotten into an argument, and while your neighbor may have had good intentions by contacting the authorities out of concern, it was a situation blown way out of proportion, and you ended up under arrest. Now what?

Domestic battery in Illinois

Even if you know that you did not intend to cause any physical harm and that no harm resulted from the incident, you still must now deal with the repercussions of the ordeal, including defending against criminal charges in an Illinois court. States have differing laws on how they handle domestic violence or domestic battery scenarios, so it is important that you understand what you will face in the coming weeks and months as your case proceeds.

Some information that may be of use to you includes:

  • Class A domestic battery charges are a misdemeanor.
  • For a Class A conviction, you could face one year in jail, monetary penalties, a term of probation or counseling.
  • If you have a conviction for domestic battery on your criminal record already, you could face a Class 4 felony charge.
  • A Class 4 felony could also apply if the incident involved a child, sexual assault or a firearm.
  • A Class 2 felony charge for aggravated domestic battery could apply if the incident caused great bodily harm, disfigurement or disability to the victim.

Class 4 and Class 2 felony charges could result in years in jail and other serious consequences if a court convicts someone of such allegations.

Your defense

The exact defense route you take will depend on the specific details of the incident and your arrest. Just as an example, it may be possible to argue that you were acting in self-defense or in defense of another individual. It could also be possible to argue that the other person was just as much at fault or involved in a physical altercation as you, which is known as mutual combat.

You undoubtedly want to defend your good name and avoid a conviction, and fully understanding your legal rights and options may help you do so.

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