Chicago Domestic Violence Charges – Prosecution Will Happen
Being charged with domestic violence is not like most other charges that you might face in Illinois. Due to the fact that allegations of spousal abuse and reports of violence against family members have been ignored and underreported for decades, it is a state policy to prosecute every domestic violence charge – even if the alleged victim of the crime decides that the whole thing is being overblown and does not want to press charges anymore.
It makes sense why this law is on the books. Many victims of domestic violence fear for their lives and are too scared to press charges because they worry about reprisal from their abuser. However, making it a blanket regulation to automatically prosecute anyone even charged with this crime has opened the door to lots of false accusations and made it necessary for anyone who faces this charge to prepare the strongest case they can in order to avoid conviction.
What that means is that you need to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Neil Adams has worked with a number of clients just like you and helped them to build a strong defense to fight their domestic violence charges. Don’t think that this is something that’s just going to blow over and you can just ignore it because you and your spouse were having a spat. You’re going to need to prove your innocence with evidence, and for that you need expert legal advice.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges in Illinois
There are quite a few crimes in our state that fall under the blanket definition of domestic violence or domestic battery, and it’s important that you know them so that you can understand your charges and make sure that you prepare your case with that in mind.
- Domestic battery. Being charged with this crime means that the victim is saying that you caused them bodily harm or otherwise touched them in a manner that was “insulting or provoking.”
- Aggravated battery. This crime is the same as the one listed about except that it also involves “aggravating” factors such as the use of a deadly weapon or the fact that the alleged victim was pregnant when the incident occurred.
- Domestic assault. For someone to be charged with this crime, there doesn’t even need to have been actual physical contact. The only thing that the victim needs to allege is that they were afraid that you were going to hurt them. Essentially, this is the charge levied when someone threatens domestic violence against another person.
- Aggravated assault. Much like aggravated battery, aggravated assault involves the use of a weapon or other “aggravating” factors. An example of aggravated assault is when someone threatens to harm another person with a gun or knife. They don’t need to actually carry out the threat to be charged with this crime.
- Violation of an Illinois Order of Protection. The state of Illinois allows someone to file an Order of Protection when someone has allegedly committed an act of domestic violence against them. These orders not only state that the person named in the order is legally prevented from engaging in any more such acts, but also prevents them from going within a specified distance of their accuser for a stated length of time. Ignore one of these orders and you will face charges.
- Violation of a restraining order. The difference between an Order of Protection and a restraining order is that restraining orders aren’t limited just to those who have committed an act of domestic violence. If someone places a restraining order on you, it is vital that you follow the requirements it lays out. Violate them and charges are sure to be brought against you.
- Stalking. This is an interesting charge because popular culture has taken a broad definition of stalking and presented it as fact so that many people now complain of being “stalked” long before the legal definition comes into play. If someone alleges that you have been stalking them, they need to prove not only that such an incident occurred on at least two occasions, but also that you have made physical threats to them.
- Aggravated stalking. Beyond the requirements listed above, someone making accusations of aggravated stalking must find a way to show that you actually caused them harm or injured them in some way.
- Unlawful restraint. It is against the law to tie anyone up or otherwise restrain them against their will. When this kind of action is taken against a family member, romantic partner, or someone who lives with you, it falls under the umbrella of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Charges Can Ruin Your Life
If you are charged with domestic violence, you’re going to be looking at some harsh penalties. Our state takes these kinds of accusations very seriously because officials want to curb domestic violence in all of its forms, so you need to know what you’re up against. Depending on the actual crime you’re accused of committing, you are likely to face the possibility of:
- Time in jail or even prison
- Exorbitant fines
- Required anger management classes
- Orders for separation
- A criminal record that will impact your ability to find gainful employment
- An inability to get a FOID card (Firearm Owner Identification card), which would prevent you from hunting or owning firearms
- Probation or conditional discharge
- A negative impact to any child custody cases or reduced visitation rights
- A reduction of your rights in your divorce case
- Deportation – if you aren’t a legal citizen of the United States
And these are only the listed penalties. As someone who has dealt with a wide variety of domestic violence cases, Neil Adams knows that one of the worst results that can come from these kinds of charges is the negative impact on familial relationships they almost always carry with them.
It’s important to remember that we all do things in anger that we regret, and if a loved one accuses you of domestic violence in anger and only later realizes that they can’t keep you from being prosecuted, you need to not only forgive them, but work with them to aggressively build a defense.
Joliet Attorney Neil Adams Specializes in Spousal Abuse Defense
The best way to fight your charges is to get a legal expert like Neil Adams on your side as soon as possible and tell him everything that happened. Often you might not realize that something will work out as evidence in your favor, so it’s important to be as forthright and honest as possible, down to the smallest details.
In order to get everything down while it’s still clear in your mind, contact us as soon as possible to set up your free consultation. Together we can beat your charges and put this ugly incident behind you so that you can go back to living your life. Mr. Adams prides himself on returning all phone calls promptly. He can be reached at 815.529.7000.