Allegations of domestic violence can have a serious impact on your reputation and your future. Police and prosecutors in Cook County take a tough approach toward those accused of domestic violence and are often instructed to crack down on domestic violence cases. Because of this, it is difficult to defend against a domestic violence charge, particularly without the help of an experienced attorney.
The best way to prevent a criminal conviction for domestic violence and to avoid a permanent criminal record and a ruined reputation is to hire legal representation from an experienced domestic violence attorney. The attorneys at Hirsch Law Group have been helping clients defend against domestic violence and domestic battery charges for many years, and we have seen first-hand how the system is built against the accused.
The prosecutor does not care about the implications of a permanent criminal for your life, and their top priority is getting your case through the system as quickly as possible to secure a conviction. Our law firm wants to do everything we can to protect your future by ensuring that you do not face criminal penalties.
Our domestic violence lawyers have worked as former prosecutors and they know how to build a powerful defense strategy to support your case.
Call our domestic violence law firm today at 312-967-0275 to schedule a free consultation.
Domestic Violence Cases in Cook County
Domestic violence cases come in different shapes and forms. Often, domestic abuse charges arise from disputes with a family member, a deteriorating marriage, or a difficult family situation. There are different types of criminal offenses in Cook County that can be regarded as domestic violence, including domestic battery, stalking, spousal abuse, violation of a protection order, or harassment.
Domestic battery is defined under Illinois criminal law as “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation…” of a family or household member. A family or household member could include:
- Spouse or ex-spouse.
- A blood relation, such as a parent, child, grandparent, uncle, aunt, sibling, or cousin.
- A roommate or any other person living in the home, including a live-in partner.
- A person who you have a child with.
- A romantic partner that you do not live with.
Under Illinois law, domestic violence is classified as a violent criminal offense. If you are arrested for conduct or an incident involving domestic violence, you may be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor or even a Class 4 Felony if you have a criminal history that includes prior convictions for domestic violence.
With domestic battery, the alleged victim can be male or female and can vary in age. Often, people believe that domestic violence cases only involve women as victims. However, sometimes, men accused of domestic violence have suffered some level of violence themselves in the relationship. If this applies to you, it is important that you seek help from an experienced domestic violence lawyer to ensure that you are not treated unfairly by the system and you are given the full protection of the law.
Examples of Domestic Violence
To qualify as a domestic violence charge in Cook County, the alleged victim must prove that they suffered bodily harm or physical contact with an insulting or provoking nature either intentionally or knowingly, without legal justification, by a family or household member. The type of harm they suffered can vary from a minor verbal abuse dispute to a more serious allegation of bodily harm.
Some common examples of incidents that give rise to domestic violence cases include:
- Violating a protection or restraining order.
- Aggravated battery.
- Aggravated stalking.
- Unlawful restraint.
- Violating a no-stalking order.
- Aggravated kidnapping.
- Attempted murder.
- Attempted sexual assault.
- First-degree murder.
A domestic violence case can also arise when there is no physical contact and only verbal abuse, such as telephone harassment. However, the charges will not be brought as battery charges and will be brought as harassment charges, with less severe penalties. Regardless of what type of domestic violence charge you are facing, it is vital that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. The consequences of a criminal conviction for domestic abuse are severe.
Penalties For Domestic Violence Cases in Cook County
The law in Cook County classes domestic violence, including domestic battery and related charges, as a serious violent criminal offense. A charge of domestic battery can be a misdemeanor or Class 4 felony, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. Some penalties for a domestic violence conviction could include:
- Class A Misdemeanor – Jail time of up to a year and fines of up to $2,500.
- Class 4 Felony – One to three years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
Subsequent domestic violence convictions will cause more serious penalties, and you could be faced with a lengthy prison sentence and massive fines. If you are charged with a more serious domestic violence-related charge, such as aggravated stalking, aggravated battery, aggravated kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, or first-degree murder, the penalties could be far more severe.
Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges
In addition to serious criminal penalties for a conviction of domestic violence or domestic battery, there are added consequences of a permanent criminal record. With a criminal record, you will face difficulties applying for jobs, applying to education institutes, getting a loan from a bank, applying for public housing, and much more. If you are convicted of a felony, you could lose some constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and to bear arms.
You could also be subject to a criminal protective order against the person who accused you of domestic violence. This would place huge limits on your ability to see this person and if there are children involved, it could affect whether you can see them. A domestic violence charge could also affect child custody arrangements that you have with a spouse or ex-spouse.
Further, being convicted of a domestic violence-related charge has a serious negative stigma in society. Even an accusation of domestic violence alone can be enough to ruin your reputation. If you violate a restraining order or protection order against another person, this will also appear on a criminal record search and will be available on public records. Anyone who has access to a criminal database will see that you have been convicted of domestic violence.
How a Cook County Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help
Coming up against a domestic violence charge can be a difficult task. Prosecutors and police officers are tough on those accused of domestic violence and are often under political pressure to secure convictions. It is easy to think that because you did not actually engage in domestic abuse you will not be convicted. However, in reality, unless you have a strong domestic violence attorney by your side, there is a high chance that you will be convicted.
To fight against these charges, you will need a vigorous criminal defense to prove your innocence. The best way to do this is by hiring a skilled domestic violence defense attorney that has significant experience dealing with domestic violence statutes and fighting against charges. A domestic violence attorney can help your case by building a strong defense strategy on your behalf.
Some criminal defense strategies they could use for your case include:
- Lack of proof that you caused actual physical harm to the alleged victim.
- Intentional false accusations brought against you.
- Wrong suspect.
- You acted in self-defense and you were the person who was suffering from domestic violence.
- Consensual physical contact.
- The victim is not a household or family member by definition.
Your domestic violence attorney should investigate your case thoroughly, speak with witnesses, examine the evidence against you, read through police reports, and build up a sufficient defense to prove that you are innocent of the charges. Without a powerful lawyer, you are at a major risk of being convicted by the criminal justice system.
Domestic Violence Lawyers at Hirsch Law Group
The Cook County criminal defense attorneys at Hirsch Law Group have what it takes to defend against domestic abuse charges brought against you. Many domestic violence cases result in a conviction because the defendant does not hire adequate legal counsel.
At Hirsch Law Group, however, we have helped clients win many domestic violence cases because we have the experience and skills necessary to fight against these charges. Our law firm is a team of former prosecutors that are now aggressive criminal defense lawyers. Our legal services focus on defending clients against the biases and harshness of the criminal justice system.
We have seen firsthand how unfairly defendants are treated by prosecutors and police officers, and our job focuses on protecting them against a criminal conviction and a damaged future. Our lawyers will investigate your case, build a mitigation packet proving that you are a law-abiding citizen, fight to get your sentence reduced or charges dropped completely, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Our attorneys have been helping clients in Cook County and throughout Illinois for over 15 years and we know what it takes to win domestic violence cases.
Contact a Cook County Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer at Hirsch Law Group Today!
Domestic violence allegations can have a serious impact on your life. Prosecutors and police officers are quick to react in domestic violence matters and are often aggressive when applying the law. Criminal charges of this nature can have a huge effect on your future and result in serious criminal penalties if convicted. Without strong legal counsel, you will face difficulties coming up against tough police and prosecutors.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, which could include domestic battery, violating an order of protection, stalking, harassment, attempted sexual assault, aggravated battery, or any domestic abuse-related charge, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Hirsch Law Group, we know how serious a charge of domestic violence is and we will do anything we can to protect you from a conviction.
As a team of former prosecutors, our criminal defense attorneys understand what is necessary to build a strong defense strategy against domestic battery charges. When you schedule a free consultation with our law firm, we will assign a domestic violence defense attorney to your case, who will explore all potential avenues for your defense. Our priority is to protect your future against the criminal justice system and fight aggressively to protect your legal rights.
Call us today at 312-967-0275 to schedule a free consultation.