A conviction for domestic violence – called “domestic battery” in Illinois – can have a big impact on your life. It’s important to take this charge seriously.
Here are some ways a conviction can affect you.
A misdemeanor domestic battery conviction can land you in prison for up to a year. With aggravated domestic battery – a class 2 felony – you could face up to seven years in prison, or even longer for a repeat offense.
Additionally, if you have an order of protection against you, you may be limited in where you can go and who you can see.
A criminal conviction for domestic battery comes with hefty fines of up to $25,000. The judge could also order you to pay restitution to the victim to cover their medical expenses and property damage. These costs are in addition to the income you will lose while in prison and the impact of a conviction on your employment prospects.
It goes without saying that a domestic battery conviction can tarnish your reputation. These convictions are public record, which means they will show up on background checks.
Your Gun Rights
Under federal law, you can’t legally own or carry firearms if you’ve been convicted of domestic battery. Likewise, under Illinois law, your Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card will be revoked or denied if you have a domestic battery conviction.
Your Job, Housing And Education Prospects
Many employers won’t hire you if you have a domestic battery conviction on your record, particularly if it’s a felony. You won’t be able to qualify for professional licenses. You may get rejected from higher education institutions. Additionally, you may have a harder time finding housing if landlords refuse to rent to you due to your criminal record.
A Strong Defense Is Critical
Given the many harsh consequences of a domestic battery conviction, even a misdemeanor-level offense, it’s critical to get an experienced defense lawyer on your side.