Domestic Violence


Domestic Battery arrests come with an automatic 72 hour no contact with the victim order.  Also, judges almost always order a separate additional no contact order as a condition of bond that stays in effect while the case is pending. Furthermore, the victim can pursue a separate no contact order in an “Order of Protection” that can last up to 2 years.  Bottom line, don’t have any contact with the victim unless you are sure that all three of these orders never existed or no longer exist.  If you have any contact, even through third parties, in violation of these orders you will get arrested and charged with another crime.  

The State’s Attorney has to prove domestic battery by showing you made contact with the victim that was (1) insulting and provoking, or (2) caused bodily harm.  Many cases are won because the victim and or other witnesses fail to appear on the trial date.  Some cases are won because the victim/witnesses recant their story.  SELF DEFENSE is a very common and successful defense used in domestic battery cases.  CORPORAL PUNISHMENT of your child is LEGAL in Illinois and is also a defense.   

Domestic Battery is a CLASS A misdemeanor.  This means that the maximum penalties are fines up to $2,500, probation up to 2 years, and jail up to 364 days jail.  Repeat offenders, or offenses with severe injuries can be charged as a Felony (an offense punishable by 1 year or more in prison).  Repeat offenders can also face minimal jail requirements such as 48 hours in jail.  

Probation is a period of time where the judge and a probation officer watch over you and not send you to jail.  A judge can order fines, costs, evaluations, treatment, community service, drugs tests, and many other conditions including up to 6 months jail as terms of a probation.   

Domestic battery is a mandatory conviction of record by law and can result in loss of rights to possess firearms or other weapons and loss of other rights as well.  SUPERVISION - is a special type of probation that is available when there is little or no criminal history.  If supervision is completed without a violation the case is then dismissed and there never is a conviction of record.  5 years (unlike the normal 2 year limit of other misdemeanors) after the dismissal, all records might be eligible to be expunged from public record assuming no other offenses are committed.  No jail can be ordered with supervision. SUPERVISION IS NOT AVAILABLE for DOMESTIC BATTERY  however, sometimes the State’s Attorney can be convinced to change your charge to a simple battery, dropping the word “domestic” and then supervision is possible.   

Jail sentences for insulting/provoking contact only require 50% of the time be served with good behavior.  This is called “day-for-day” credit.  Jail sentences for bodily harm contact require 100% of the jail sentence be served.

Domestic Battery, Domestic Violence, Criminal Defense Law, Joliet, IL