Domestic Battery

CENTRAL ILLINOIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWYER

Domestic Battery is defined as “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation” of another member of the household or family as defined under 750 ILCS 60. Under Illinois law, domestic violence is classified as a violent criminal offense. If you are arrested for conduct or an incident involving domestic violence, you may be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor or even a Class 4 Felony if you have a criminal history that includes prior convictions for domestic violence. Further, if there is an allegation of chocking or strangulation, a person could find themselves charged with a Class 2 Felony. The sentence associated with a conviction of misdemeanor domestic violence involves serious penalties that include up to one year incarceration in county jail and a maximum fine of up to $2,500. If you have prior convictions resulting in a Class 4 Felony charge you may be sentenced from one to three years in state prison and a maximum fine as high as $25,000. A Class 2 Felony carries a sentence of three years to seven years in state prison. Other penalties may include mandatory counseling, anger management classes and probation. If you have been charged with this type of criminal offense, make sure you contact Peoria domestic violence lawyer C. Matthew Miller to determine the best course of action for your case.

These formal penalties are compounded by the long-term consequences of a domestic violence conviction, including but not limited to the following:

  • Difficulty obtaining jobs or occupational and professional licenses
  • Removal or exclusion from entry to the U.S. for non-citizens along with other immigration consequences
  • Disqualification for admission to colleges, suspension or expulsion
  • Restrictions on where you can live
  • Presumption against joint custody of your minor children
  • Potential limits on gun ownership
  • Loss of certain Constitutional rights if convicted of a felony
  • Visitation of your children potentially limited to supervised (monitored) visitation

While domestic violence is a serious issue, the broad scope of the statute places an enormous amount of discretion with the prosecutor so it is imperative to retain an experienced Central Illinois domestic violence defense attorney as soon as you are aware that you may be charged. Because lawyer Matt Miller has handled many domestic violence cases, he recognizes the value of early intervention which may prevent formal charges from being filed. There are strong presumptions in favor of spouses and parents in family law cases in Illinois that create an enormous incentive to “trump up” false claims of domestic abuse. While violence against a family member or significant other is a serious issue, it is also one of the most common allegations to be fabricated or exaggerated for improper purposes. Peoria criminal defense attorney Matt Miller investigates such motivations and aggressively conducts cross-examination to expose improper motivations and false testimony.

Because of federal grants, political pressure along with increasing media coverage of incidents of domestic violence, prosecutors and law enforcement have become very aggressive about pursuing charges of Domestic Battery in Illinois.

Domestic abuse charges may arise out of a wide range of situations even when there is no actual contact and the alleged victims suffer no actual injury. Acts that may constitute domestic violence include but are not limited to the following:

  • Punching
  • Acts of intimidation or threats of harm
  • An open handed slap
  • Marital rape
  • Punching, shoving or kicking
  • Sexual abuse
  • Biting
  • Choking
  • Strangling

There are three common forms of domestic violence cases in Illinois:

  • Domestic Battery: This type of offense involves conduct by the alleged perpetrator that amounts to intentionally or knowingly inflicting bodily harm or imposing physical contact in a provoking or insulting way without legal justification. 750 ILCS 60
  • Telephone Harassment: Harassment using the telephone is the most common form of domestic violence harassment case in Illinois. The prosecutor may charge you with telephone harassment if you use the phone to threaten, express obscene comments, inflict verbal abuse, repeatedly call or engage in other forms of harassment using the telephone. This type of charge is not limited to the telephone but extends to other forms of electronic communication like email, Facebook messages and text messages. 720 ILCS 5/26.5-2
  • Stalking: While there are instances of stalking that involve serious threats to the safety of others, the Illinois stalking statute is so broad it applies to many innocent situations that represent common interactions between dating couples. A boyfriend trying to reconcile with a girlfriend may face a stalking charge simply because he is “persistent” in trying to reconcile. 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3

If you or a loved one have found yourself having been arrested or charged due to an allegation of domestic violence do not wait until you have found yourself facing a conviction, jail, loss of your job or children. Act now and contact Miller Law Offices and ask to speak with criminal defense attorney Matt Miller.