A domestic violence charge carries a lot of stigma. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have far-reaching consequences. It can impact your job prospects, housing opportunities, gun rights, immigration status, child custody arrangement and, of course, your reputation. Getting legal help is essential for protecting yourself in the face of such serious charges.
Every state has different types of domestic violence charges. Here’s the information for Illinois residents, including the definition of “household” and the types of charges:.
Who is a household member under Illinois law?
In Illinois, family or members of the household are protected under the Illinois Domestic Violence law. People included in the description are:
- Blood relations
- Couples who are married or were formerly married
- People who formerly lived together in a common dwelling
- Couples, heterosexual or same-sex, who are engaged, dating or formerly dated
- People who share a child
- People who have a blood relationship with a child in common
- Disabled people and their caretakers/assistants
The offense of domestic battery involves:
- Knowingly causing physical harm to a family or household member
- Knowingly making physical contact with a family or household member in a nonconsensual way that’s provocative or insulting in nature
Generally, this offense is a Class A misdemeanor unless you have certain prior convictions. Nonetheless, it still comes with harsh consequences.
Aggravated domestic battery
The offense of aggravated domestic battery involves:
- Knowingly causing extreme physical harm, including disfigurement or permanent disability
- Strangling the victim
Aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony. As with domestic battery, the offense must have been committed against a household or family member.
Interfering with the reporting of domestic violence
This offense involves knowingly preventing a victim of domestic violence or a witness from:
- Calling the police
- Seeking medical attention
- Filing a police report
It’s a Class A misdemeanor. You can be charged with this offense in addition to domestic battery charges for the same incident.
Orders of protection
Apart from the above charges, you could also face a restraining order (called an “order of protection”). This is a civil order, meaning it’s separate from the criminal proceedings. It will prohibit you from contacting the alleged victim as well as visiting certain places and potentially even seeing your children. Violating an order of protection is a separate criminal offense.