Domestic violence isn’t an actual charge in the state of Illinois—but it does refer to a specific set of crimes that have extremely serious (and long-lasting) consequences. Most people who are accused of this type of crime find that it’s helpful to talk to a Chicago domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect their rights and prevent the most unfavorable outcomes.

What is Domestic Violence in Illinois?

The term domestic violence typically refers to the individual crimes of domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery. The majority of cases include spousal abuse and child abuse, although domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery can be applied to other household members, as well.

Domestic Battery in Illinois

Domestic battery, which is “simple” battery against a family member, a roommate, a cohabitant or someone with whom you’re in (or were in) a relationship.

Domestic battery is governed by 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2, which says, “A person commits domestic battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means (1) causes bodily harm to any family or household member; (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.”

Aggravated Domestic Battery in Illinois

Aggravated domestic battery, which is governed by 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3, is domestic battery that results in great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement.

Relationships That Turn Battery Into Domestic Battery

Domestic battery can occur across several types of relationships, such as:

  • Spouses
  • Ex-spouses
  • Blood-related family members
  • Co-parents
  • Current roommates
  • Elderly adults and caregivers
  • Disabled adults and caregivers
  • Former roommates
  • Individuals related by blood through a child
  • Parents and children
  • Stepparents and children

Why Domestic Battery Cases Require a Skilled Attorney

In some cases, when two people who live together (or who have a relationship with one another) are in the middle of a fight, things spiral out of control. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system often views men as the aggressors in domestic disputes—even if they’re actually the victims. It can be difficult to convince police that you’re the victim when you’re bigger, stronger, and aren’t showing any visible signs of battery.

Domestic violence cases often involve exaggeration, or worse, outright lies. Many domestic violence cases arise from messy divorces or custody battles; one party is trying to get leverage in a child custody proceeding and feels that by accusing a former partner of domestic battery, they’ll get an “edge” in court.

Orders of protection are often issued in domestic battery cases. An order of protection can bar you from going home, seeing your children, or a number of other things—and for most people, it’s a good idea to have a skilled domestic battery defense lawyer fight it. (Violation of an order of protection carries its own penalties, which can even result in jail time.)

What Can a Domestic Battery Defense Lawyer Do for You?

Your Chicago domestic battery defense lawyer will examine all the facts in your case and help bring the truth to light. At the same time, he’ll protect your rights and help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Why Choose The Law Offices of Matt Fakhoury?

Attorney Matt Fakhoury is an adjunct professor in DePaul University’s Sociology Department, and he understands the social stigma that’s often associated with domestic battery accusations and convictions.

This type of offense can hurt your chances of getting a job, getting custody of your children, or worse—and because a domestic battery conviction is not eligible for supervision under Illinois law, you can’t expunge it from your record later.

Mr. Fakhoury is a former Cook County Prosecutor, and he’ll examine every angle of your case to make sure the truth comes out. You deserve tough, aggressive representation in your corner—and The Law Offices of Matt Fakhoury can provide it.

Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free DV defense consultation. One of the best choices you can make after a domestic violence arrest is getting the right lawyer on your side, so call us now.