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Illinois Domestic Violence Laws

Illinois defense lawyerUnfortunately, one of the most abundant crimes in the United States is domestic violence. An estimated 12 million people are affected by domestic violence in the U.S. each year, according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Facing domestic violence charges can be a complicated and emotional process, but a good place to start is to understand the laws and consequences concerning domestic violence.

Illinois Definitions of Domestic Violence

In the state of Illinois, an event is deemed domestic violence if the act of abuse is perpetrated against a family or household member.

According to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, a family or household member is defined as:

  • Spouses;
  • Former spouses;
  • Parents;
  • Children;
  • Stepchildren;
  • Other people related by blood or by present or prior marriage;
  • People who share or formerly shared a residence;
  • People who have a child in common;
  • People who share a blood relationship through a child;
  • People who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship; and
  • People with disabilities and their caregivers.

Any type of abuse - whether it is physical, emotional or verbal - is considered domestic abuse. Examples of abuse include:

  • Pushing;
  • Hitting;
  • Forced sex;
  • Not allowing you to leave your residence;
  • Harassment, which can be creating a disturbance at your place of work, repeatedly calling you, following you, or watching you;
  • Forcing a child or other person to watch abuse;
  • Forcing you to do something you do not want to do; and
  • Denying a disabled person access to care.

Consequences for Breaking Domestic Violence Law

A domestic violence offense is charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, largely depending on the type of act committed, the severity of the injury to the victim and whether or not the perpetrator has a criminal history.

Domestic Battery

A person is usually charged with domestic battery if they have been found to cause bodily harm to a family or household member, or if they have made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. The sentence for domestic battery can vary from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 2 felony, depending on the perpetrator’s prior criminal record. If a person is charged with a Class A misdemeanor for domestic battery, the sentence can carry up to one year of jail time, probation, a fine and possible required counseling, if the judge chooses.

Aggravated Domestic Battery

A person who is charged with aggravated domestic battery if the person is found to have committed domestic battery that resulted in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement. Aggravated domestic battery is charged as a Class 2 felony and carries a sentence of at least 60 days in prison, but can be up to 14 years for second offenses.

Seek Counsel from an Illinois Domestic Violence Attorney

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it’s important to understand that you need the help of a skilled Arlington Heights domestic violence defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, can help you decide the best course of action for your situation. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-253-3400.

 

Sources:

http://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+12&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=21000000&SeqEnd=30700000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

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