Domestic Battery / Violence Lawyer - Joliet, Will County IL
Battery in itself is a serious crime, but when the victim of the battery is a family or household member, the allegations can be even more serious. Aside from the relationship to the victim, the elements of domestic battery are the same as the elements of battery. Domestic battery occurs when a person, without legal justification; causes bodily harm to any family or household member; or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.
Consequences of a Domestic Battery Conviction
Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, a second offense is a Class 4 felony. The crime will also be charges as a Class 4 felony if the defendant has previously been convicted of any of a wide range of violent crimes, including various battery-related crimes, sex crimes, arson, and firearms charges.
Certain domestic battery convictions may carry a mandatory minimum sentence if committed in the presence of a child of the victim or the defendant, or who lives with or is visiting the home of either of them.
In addition to potential jail time, fines and conditions of probation, the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the possession of firearms by any person who has been convicted of domestic battery. Possessing, transporting, shipping or receiving a firearm or ammunition after conviction of domestic battery may result in federal criminal charges.
Aggravated Domestic Battery
Aggravated domestic battery occurs when a person, in the commission of a domestic battery, knowingly causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement. Strangulation of the victim in the course of a domestic battery will also result in aggravated domestic battery charges.
Aggravated domestic battery carries very serious penalties. As a Class 2 felony, aggravated domestic battery is punishable by 3-7 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If the defendant is placed on probation or granted a conditional discharge, he or she must serve at least 60 consecutive days in jail.
Any subsequent conviction for aggravated domestic battery requires a term of imprisonment of no less than three years. Where extended sentencing is warranted, the penalty may be up to 14 years in prison.
Defending Against Domestic Battery Charges
Domestic battery charges can be even more serious than general battery charges. In addition to minimum jail sentences in many circumstances, a conviction for domestic battery also creates a risk of more serious penalties if subsequently charged. In addition, even a misdemeanor domestic battery conviction results in the loss of your right to possess firearms under federal law.