Domestic violence can include many different types of abuse towards family or household members, including spouses and partners. The criminal justice system is harsh toward those that have been accused of domestic violence and police officers often act fast to secure a conviction and get the alleged victim to safety.
Because of this, those accused of domestic violence often end up with severe criminal penalties and a permanent criminal record, even when the allegations are false. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your case. Domestic violence allegations alone are enough to ruin your reputation, and being convicted of domestic battery will severely affect your future.
At Hirsch Law Group, our Chicago domestic violence lawyers have worked as prosecutors, which gives them a significant advantage when defending criminal charges. Our law firm understands how the criminal legal system work, and we have witnessed far too many innocent people being convicted of crimes in Chicago.
Our lawyers focus on protecting the rights of the accused and ensuring that they do not fall victim to the criminal system. Hirsch Law Group cares about protecting your future, and we will do everything in our power to get your domestic violence case dismissed.
Call our Chicago law office today to schedule a free consultation at 312-967-0275.
Domestic Violence in Chicago
Many domestic violence cases arise from difficulties in a marriage, arguments with family members, dependant family relationships, or during difficult child custody battles. Domestic abuse can come in many different forms, including physical harm, verbal abuse, stalking, harassment, manipulative behavior, or sexual abuse.
There are different types of criminal charges for domestic violence, including domestic battery charges, harassment, stalking, attempted sexual assault, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated kidnapping, attempted murder, unlawful restraint, violating an order of protection, or murder. All of these criminal charges carry with them severe penalties upon conviction, and prosecutors are often quite tough on those accused.
Chicago domestic violence laws provide that both women and men can be convicted of domestic abuse provided that it is against a household or family member. The law does not limit domestic violence cases to solely romantic relationships and can apply to any close household relationship. It is possible for any member of your family or person that you share a household relationship with to make domestic violence allegations against you.
Laws on Domestic Battery in Chicago
Domestic battery is the legal term used for domestic violence cases involving harmful physical contact or abuse. Most instances of domestic violence that involve physical abuse will be charged as domestic battery. Domestic battery is defined as:
knowingly, without legal justification by any means causing bodily harm to any family or household member, or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature against a family member or household member.
The type of people that are considered family or household members include:
- A person that you share a home with.
- Non-marital romantic relationships.
- A person that you have a child with.
Domestic battery is regarded in Chicago as a violent criminal offense. The crime is typically prosecuted as a Class A Misdemeanor or a Class 4 Felony if the accused has a criminal record. With violent criminal offenses, the penalties can be quite severe, and the courts are tough on those that are accused of violent offenses. If a person commits domestic battery, they could face jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record.
Criminal Penalties For Domestic Violence Charges
The criminal penalties for domestic violence charges depend on the type of crime that you are convicted of. Penalties for more serious domestic violence cases, such as aggravated kidnapping or attempted sexual assault, will have more severe penalties than harassment cases, for example.
If you are facing a domestic battery charge, the penalties you could receive include:
- Class A Misdemeanor – Fines of up to $2,500 and jail time of up to one year.
- Class 4 Felony – Fines of up to $25,000 and up to three years in prison.
Aggravated domestic battery, which involves great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement, is charged as a Class 2 felony. The minimum time a person convicted of aggravated domestic battery will spend in jail is 60 days. However, Judges often impose a much higher sentence for this charge ranging from 3 to 7 years.
I’ve Been Accused of Domestic Abuse, What Should I Do?
If you have been accused of domestic abuse or had a domestic violence charge brought against you, it is vital that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. Criminal charges of this nature have the potential to ruin your reputation, your life as you know it, and your future opportunities.
Because of the high number of domestic violence cases that occur each year in Chicago, prosecutors are tough on those accused and without a domestic violence attorney, you could face serious criminal penalties and long-term consequences. If you have been arrested and charged, it is important that you know your legal rights and take steps to ensure that they are protected.
Do Not Explain Yourself
The worst thing that you can do when arrested or accused of domestic violence is to try to explain yourself to either the alleged victims or the police. Often, when you are accused of domestic violence, everyone around you finds out relatively quickly. This unfortunately often results in being excluded from friend groups, receiving abuse or threats from those in your community, or being fired from your job upon your employer finding out.
It may be the case that the alleged domestic violence victims tell their family and friends about the alleged domestic violence, and you then feel the need to explain yourself on social media. However, doing so can make your situation a lot worse. Information that you post online can be used against you in a criminal case. The best thing to do is to hire legal representation and let your attorney do the talking for you.
The same goes for when you are at the police station. You should not try to explain yourself to police officers, as they are likely trying to get you to confess to make their jobs easier. You may say something by accident that results in self-incrimination or they may try to use your statements against you to secure a conviction. The only thing you should say to the police is that you want to hire an attorney. They will then do the talking on your behalf.
Call a Chicago Domestic Violence Attorney
The only way to protect yourself from a domestic violence conviction is to have a strong criminal defense attorney by your side. By hiring an attorney, you are ensuring that your best interests are protected and that the police cannot take advantage of you.
Often, police try to coerce people into confessing or bluff to make you say something that you do not mean. Having an attorney there by your side ensures that you receive the full protection of Illinois law.
How A Chicago Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help You
A Chicago domestic violence attorney can help your case by negotiating on your behalf, speaking with the prosecutor, gathering evidence, building a strong criminal defense strategy, and fighting aggressively on your behalf. Your attorney should have a deep understanding of Illinois law on domestic violence and have experience fighting against these cases.
If you have been falsely accused, they will do everything to ensure that your name and reputation are not tarnished, that the charges get dropped, and that your future is not ruined by a criminal conviction. If there is a legal justification for the alleged domestic violence, they will do everything to get the charges reduced or penalties minimized substantially.
A lawyer from our firm will build a Mitigation Package for you to paint an image of who you truly are to the prosecution. Not all law firms offer this service, however, at Hirsch Law Group we have worked as former prosecutors, so we know how beneficial a Mitigation Packet can be to a person’s defense. We will ensure to include information on your education and work recognitions, references from family and friends, and evidence of you being a law-abiding citizen.
The principal job of an attorney is to ensure that your future is not ruined by a criminal conviction and to fight aggressively to protect you from the prejudiced criminal justice system.
Contact a Chicago IL Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer at Hirsch Law Group Today!
False allegations of domestic violence can ruin your life. The criminal legal system often cares more about securing convictions against those accused and moving their case through the system as quickly as possible, than granting justice. If you have been accused of or charged with domestic violence in Chicago, you need to take matters into your own hands and hire an experienced domestic violence attorney.
The Chicago domestic violence attorneys at Hirsch Law Group have what it takes to get your charges dismissed or reduced substantially. As a team of former prosecutors, we understand the tactics they will use against you and we have a unique insight into the minds of the justice system. Our lawyers use their prosecutorial experience to build unique defense strategies and help prevent a conviction.
We understand the serious consequences of a criminal conviction for domestic violence, and we want to do everything we can to prevent your future from being ruined. Our law firm will help you build a strong defense, create a mitigation package on your behalf to give to the prosecutor, negotiate to get your charges dropped or reduced and fight aggressively on your behalf.
Call our Chicago law firm at 312-967-0275 today to schedule a free consultation.