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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyDomestic violence charges are not something to ignore. Able to affect your job, housing, and upend your life in numerous ways, such charges can be used in custody and other family law cases, which could keep you from your family. Conviction can also impact your right to own or use a firearm. The following explains more about this prohibition, and provides details on how to ensure your rights are protected, right from the very start.

Federal Gun Ban Extended

Originally the law only barred those convicted of violent felonies from owning a gun, but Congress extended the ban in 1996 to also cover misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence. Such offenses are the most common charge of physical assault occurring in homes across the United States. 

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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 battery, gun rights, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, domestic battery (a domestic violence charge) is a serious offense that can have a permanent and damaging effect on your life. You could spend time in jail and face fines, you may be denied employment in certain settings because of your record, and a new law now restricts your ability to own, purchase, carry, or use a firearm. It is important to understand the details of a domestic violence charge, and how this new law may impact your life if you are convicted.  

What Constitutes Domestic Battery in Illinois?

To be convicted of domestic battery in the state of Illinois, you must be found guilty of causing bodily harm to a family member or household member, or making physical contact in a provoking or insulting way with a family member or household member. This extends much further than simply the people you are in a relationship with or natural family members. It also includes ex-spouses, stepchildren, people you live with, someone you share a common child with (or alleged common child with), have had a dating or engagement relationship with in the past, caregivers, and even personal assistants.

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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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