Schaumburg Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Domestic violence is defined as the act of intentionally harming a member of one’s household. Although it is often used to describe violence between intimate partners, domestic violence can be committed against one’s parent, child, sibling, or housemate. It can also take many forms beyond physical abuse, such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse.
A domestic violence charge is a serious criminal charge. In Illinois, individuals who are found guilty of domestic violence can face jail time and fines. First time offenses are charged as Class A misdemeanors, which carry a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail. If the victim suffers severe bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or was strangled during an act of domestic battery, the offender may be charged with aggravated domestic battery, which has steeper penalties. Subsequent domestic violence charges and those committed with the violation of an order of protection are charged as Class 4 felonies, which have penalties of fines up to $25,000 and up to six years in jail.
Examples of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a broad subject that can refer to many different acts. These acts are defined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 and include the following:
- Intentionally depriving a victim of food, water, or medical care;
- Using physical force against a victim;
- Harassing a victim or manipulating him or her into complying with the offender’s demands;
- Restraining the victim against his or her will; and
- Acting in any reckless manner that could result in bodily harm to the victim.
Defenses Against a Domestic Violence Charge
There are many valid defenses against a domestic violence charge. A few examples include:
- You acted in self defense or the defense of another party. For example, if your spouse suffered bodily harm because of your actions defending your child from him or her, you may be able to defend your case from a domestic violence charge on this ground;
- The allegations are false. If you were fraudulently accused of domestic violence, you may be able to defend your case through the lack of proof or through your own proof that your accuser’s evidence is fabricated; and
- Consent to the act. Sometimes, individuals who consensually engage in certain acts later change their minds and accuse their partners of domestic violence. Proving that the original incident was consensual can be a way to defend your case against an accusation of abuse.
Work with an Experienced Schaumburg Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with domestic violence, now is the time to be proactive and start working with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Domestic violence is a serious crime. Even if you feel that your actions were minor or that your accuser has no grounds to have you found guilty of domestic violence, invest in your future liberty and social standing by working with a defense attorney to have the charge lowered or dismissed. Contact Shannon O’Malley, Attorney at Law today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.