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Chicago Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
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A person commits domestic battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means causes bodily harm to any family or household member or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member. Domestic Battery is normally a Class A misdemeanor, but it can be charged as a Class 4, Class 3, or a Class 2 felony, depending on the allegations. The statute for domestic violence is 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2.
If you are facing domestic violence allegations, don't speak to the police or make any decisions about your case until you've spoken to a knowledgeable Chicago criminal defense attorney.
Protect Your Rights!
Domestic battery charges invoke images of violent altercations, but this image is often inaccurate. Unfortunately, intense arguments between romantic partners or family members may lead to exaggerated or false allegations. If you are involved in a domestic altercation, you probably will be arrested and told to sort it out with the judge. If either party has any visible marks, the other party will be charged with causing bodily harm. If any physical contact occurs, no matter how minimal, the other party may be charged with causing insulting or provoking contact. If both parties allege contact, both parties may be arrested.
Domestic battery charges do not allow for court supervision. That means a conviction for domestic battery will result in a criminal record that follows you forever. Further, a conviction for domestic battery – even a misdemeanor – will remove your right to possess a firearm.
What You Should Do
- Be respectful.
- Calmly record the interaction.
- Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think - and the judge may agree - that the interaction is consensual.
- If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, do not answer and questions before speaking with your attorney.
What You Should Not Do
- Do not physically resist arrest.
- Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
- Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
- Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.