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While all assault and battery charges are serious, charges and punishments can become even harsher when the alleged assault and/or battery occurs between people in a domestic relationship. Being accused of domestic battery is extremely serious and can result in extensive jail time and expensive fines. It is also often used to leverage favorable decisions in child custody or other matters in contentious divorce proceedings.

Domestic Battery Laws in Illinois

The Illinois Penal Code states domestic battery occurs when a person knowingly and unlawfully causes bodily harm or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature to a family or household member. It is important to note that the crime must be committed against a family or household member, or it cannot be considered domestic battery. According to the state of Illinois, family or household members include:

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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.

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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyDomestic battery is considered a serious offense in the state of Illinois. This is due, in part, to the awareness and movements associated with domestic violence prevention. What do you do, though, when the allegations against you are completely false? Are you even at risk if you are truly innocent? It may seem that the obvious answer is no, you are not at risk if you have not done anything wrong. Yet this is not always the case. The following information explains further.

Divorce and Child-Related Matters Often a Catalyst for False Allegations

While not always the case, child-related matters and divorce often serve as a catalyst for false allegations of domestic battery. It may be a ploy to increase the accusing party’s portion of the divorce settlement, or it could be an attempt to gain more rights to a shared child. Alternatively, there may be no reason outside of wanting to make the other person “pay” for wanting a divorce. Such acts of retribution, revenge, or manipulation might seem easy to disprove, but this can be a slippery slope for the wrongly accused.

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domestic abuse, spousal abuse, Illinois Criminal Defense attorneyFacing domestic violence charges can be a frightening ordeal. In addition to the potential legal penalties, people who face these charges often endure scrutiny from friends and family. The truth, though, is that you still have rights, and an attorney can help protect them. Besides contacting a criminal lawyer, you should also familiarize yourself with the Illinois laws that relate to domestic violence.

Legal Definitions of Domestic Violence

Any amount of abuse against a family member or other member of the household—whether it is physical, verbal, or mental—may be considered domestic violence.  Examples include:

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