Archive for the ‘Domestic Violence’ Category
February 27th, 2017 at 12:16 pm
In Illinois, domestic battery charges are taken very seriously. Just a first time conviction can result in a number of consequences. Possible jail time, a fine, and a criminal record are a few of the more obvious consequences of a domestic battery conviction. However, a conviction can also cause you problems in a child custody battle or when you apply for certain types of employment. Anyone who is facing criminal domestic battery charges needs to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Victim and Abuser Relations That Warrant Domestic Battery Charges
Domestic battery charges are reserved for alleged abusers and victims that are in a specific domestic relationship with one another. The abuser and the victim must be in a familial relationship or the two must be members of the same household. For instance, battery that occurs between two people in the following relationships constitutes domestic battery:
- Husband and wife;
- Boyfriend and girlfriend;
- Ex spouses;
- Ex significant others;
- Two people who share a child;
- A parent and a child or stepchild;
- An adult grandchild and a grandparent;
- Anyone related by blood or marriage;
- Two people living together, such as roommates;
- Two people who formerly lived together; or
- People who have disabilities and their caretakers or personal assistance.
Knowingly causing physical harm to someone with whom you share a domestic relationship without legal justification for your actions is domestic battery under Illinois law if you cause the other person bodily harm. It is also considered domestic battery to make physical contact with someone you share a domestic relationship with in a provoking or insulting way. Unjustified pushing, shoving, hitting, or controlling behavior are all types of domestic battery.
Why it is Important to Fight Domestic Battery Charges?
A domestic battery conviction is a serious matter. Generally speaking, you cannot get a domestic battery conviction expunged from your criminal record—government entities and prospective employers and landlords could view your criminal history and learn that you are a convicted domestic batterer. In limited circumstances can you qualify to have your domestic battery conviction expunged, and after it has been on your record for five years.
Only a skilled and experienced domestic battery criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you fight the charges that are pending against you. Even if you were acting out of self defense, or you believe that the physical contact was an accident, you need to discuss your potential defenses with a lawyer.
Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
False allegations of domestic battery happen all the time, and someone could be wrongly accused and prosecuted for a domestic battery that did not occur. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer will work with you to establish the facts and determine what defense strategy is best for you.
November 18th, 2016 at 9:39 am
Domestic disputes occur between significant others and family members frequently in Illinois. Sometimes these get out of hand and rise to the level of domestic violence.
Under Illinois law, domestic violence generally involves acts of violence or threatening behavior between two people who share a domestic relationship, or used to share a domestic relationship. Domestic violence disputes arise between spouses, exes, significant others, family members who are related by blood or marriage, and people who share a living space, such as roommates.
Even the most minor physical contact can be construed as a battery. If you are concerned that someone is likely to make a false claim of domestic violence against you, you should avoid making physical contact with that person at all costs. But just because you deliberately refrain from physical contact does not mean that someone will not make an attack on you.
Charged with Domestic Violence When You Acted in Self-Defense
There are many cases of domestic assault and battery where the accused is charged with domestic violence when he or she was merely acting in self-defense. While it is unfortunate that charges are being pressed against you for domestic violence, it is fortunate that self-defense could be a potential defense to these charges.
Under Illinois law, a person is justified to use force against another when he or she believes that the use of force is necessary to defend him or herself from imminent harm from another’s use of force. A skilled Illinois criminal defense lawyer can examine the specifics of your case and help ensure the charges are dropped against you if you were acting in self defense.
Defense of Others Might Also be a Defense to Domestic Violence Charges
Not only can you act in self defense, but you can also act in the defense of others. Another common scenario where domestic violence charges are filed involves one person acting violently or threateningly against someone else, where a third party steps in to aid in the defense of the victim. If this occurred in your case, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
Let Us Help With Your Domestic Violence Defense
If you are faced with allegations of domestic violence, but you believe that your actions were justified as an act of self defense or the defense of others, you should contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys can examine the specifics of your criminal charges in Illinois, and utilize our knowledge and experience to help craft a solid defense. Reach out to us today for a consultation and to learn how we can be of assistance.
September 30th, 2016 at 3:05 pm
The Illinois courts and law enforcement do not take kindly to those who are accused of committing domestic battery. Causing bodily harm to a family or household member, or insulting, provoking, or threatening them, is a serious criminal matter in Illinois. When a person is accused of domestic battery, it is critically important that they fight the charges that are lodged against them because even a first-time conviction carries severe and long-lasting consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.
Below are three reasons why you need to fight your domestic battery charges.
- A domestic battery conviction means you will have a criminal record. Even if your fight with a family or household member was just a minor dispute that got out of hand, the court will look at the altercation as a serious crime. Even a first-time offense for domestic battery is typically a misdemeanor level offense. But a domestic battery charge can be upgraded to a felony-level offense in certain situations, such as when a protection order was violated, when you have a record of prior domestic battery convictions, or when other aggravating factors were involved.
- A domestic battery conviction generally cannot be sealed or expunged from your criminal record. Once you have been convicted of a criminal battery against a family or household member, as a general rule, the conviction will go on your criminal record, and it cannot be expunged or sealed under Illinois law. This means that your domestic battery conviction will follow you for many years to come. There are very limited circumstances in which a domestic battery conviction may be expunged. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine if you may be eligible.
- A domestic battery conviction has unintended consequences. The effect of a domestic battery conviction is far-reaching. For instance:
- You can lose your right to own or carry a firearm;
- You could lose out on job opportunities due to the fact an employer can view your criminal record;
- You could be denied an apartment or a credit card;
- You could lose your child visitation privileges, or have restrictions placed on your visitation rights.
Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Being charged with a domestic battery comes with severe consequences, and you need to fight the charges. If you are facing domestic battery charges, a conviction can have a serious impact on your life and can affect you in ways that you may not foresee. You need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has helped defendants facing domestic battery charges. A dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can assist you every step of the way.
July 22nd, 2016 at 7:34 am
Many Illinois families and couples find themselves in disagreements. They might yell at each other, act aggressively, or maybe behave in a crazy manner. Sometimes things get out of control and the police are called. One of the people involved in the fight might make the call, or a concerned neighbor could do it. When the police are called to investigate an alleged domestic dispute, they can make an arrest if they believe that a crime, such as domestic abuse, has been committed. Because the situation is often tense when the police show up, and those involved in the fight are often emotional, things are said, exaggerations might be made, and the police might haul off one party, even though his or her actions during the fight did not really rise to the level of domestic violence.
False allegations of domestic violence are made all too frequently, and it can be a major inconvenience, and even a problem, for the accused abuser. As a criminal defendant charged with domestic violence, you are facing serious consequences if you are convicted. That is why it is so important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands domestic violence defense to fight the charges that have been levied against you.
Acts That Constitutes Domestic Violence
It is likely an act of domestic violence if the aggression takes the form of:
- Hitting, punching, pushing, kicking or otherwise striking;
- Choking or strangling;
- Threatening to harm or kill;
- Forced sex; and/or
- Preventing the other person from leaving, calling the police, or otherwise interfering with their personal liberty.
Other acts toe the line when it comes to whether or not they rise to the level of domestic violence. For instance, yelling – in its own right – would not necessarily be enough for domestic violence charges to stick, unless the yelling involves threats. Throwing or slamming objects in the home might not rise to the level of domestic violence unless the item is thrown at a victim, or if the throwing or slamming is done is a threatening way.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Allegations
There are a limited number of defenses that make sense in a domestic violence case, but any one of them can be raised against false accusations of domestic violence. Some of the most common defenses include:
- The victim is lying or exaggerating. There are plenty of instances where an alleged victim might lie or exaggerate what happened, which can prompt police to make an arrest for domestic violence.
- The physical harm suffered by the victim was the result of an accident. Sometimes an act of domestic violence is the result of an accident (e.g., the couple was fighting, she threw a plate, and when it shattered, fragments got into his eyes).
- The alleged abuser was acting in self-defense. The victim might have started the domestic dispute, and the alleged abuser might have struck the victim as a means of self-defense.
Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you are faced with false allegations of domestic violence, contact a Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible. We can help you throughout each step of your case.
June 15th, 2016 at 8:53 am
There are certain criminal convictions that just stick with you, and a conviction for an act of domestic violence is one of the crimes that cannot be easily expunged from a convicted individual’s record. Your criminal record is viewable by police officers, potential employers (in certain circumstances), the military, and potential landlords. If you have a criminal record, you may also be required to disclose it if you want to apply for professional school and to certain jobs. A conviction for domestic battery can also negatively impact your child custody or child visitation situation, if you have one.
With such an extensive list of long-term consequences riding on your domestic battery conviction, it is important that you work closely with a skilled and diligent criminal defense lawyer to fight the charges that are pending against you.
Domestic Violence Convictions Can be Expunged
Domestic violence convictions can be expunged from your criminal record, but it takes a lot of work and time. There are certain criteria that must be satisfied in order to be eligible for expungement of a domestic violence conviction. These criteria include:
- The domestic violence conviction must be the only conviction you have on your criminal record;
- Your sentence must be served through court supervision, i.e., your sentence does not require you to spend time in jail; and
- Your conviction must have been more than five years ago if you want to seek expungement of the conviction from your criminal record.
If you are eligible for expungement of your domestic battery conviction, you still have a long way to go before getting a clean record. There are forms to complete and file with the court, and you may possibly have to go to court and defend why your domestic battery conviction should be expunged. You may even have to fight for you expungement if the state’s attorney thinks that your expungement is unjust, and objects to it. An experienced expungement lawyer can be useful at a time like this so that you can present your strongest possible case in support of your criminal conviction for domestic battery being expunged.
Charges Dropped or Dismissed
Domestic violence charges that are dropped or dismissed do not result in a criminal conviction. As such, you will not generate a criminal record with a domestic battery conviction on it, so there is no need to expunge your record. It is often best to attempt to get the domestic violence charges you are facing either dropped or dismissed in the first place, since it can help you not have to go through a trial, conviction or sentencing.
Reach Out to an Attorney for Help
Getting a conviction for a domestic battery can have serious consequences on your life, especially since there is no chance that the conviction will be expunged from your criminal record. It is important to fight domestic battery charges so that they are dismissed or reduced. A Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer can help. Let us assist you today.
April 6th, 2016 at 7:25 am
There are a number of individuals who face domestic violence charges in Illinois and do not know what to do about the charges that are pending against them. Criminal charges can be scary and serious, as a conviction can have a long-term impact on a person’s life.
A domestic violence conviction can impact a person’s ability to go near the alleged victim, stay in their own home, or could impact their child custody or visitation rights. An experienced domestic violence criminal defense lawyer can help with domestic assault and battery charges and any other domestic violence-related legal assistance you might need, such as dealing with charges concerning a violation of a protection order or charges of domestic battery. Criminal defense can be technical and confusing, but those who stand accused should have an understanding of their legal options.
Strategies for Fighting Domestic Violence Charges
Below is a general overview of a few typical legal options that defendants facing domestic violence criminal charges might have, depending on the specific facts of their case. Each domestic violence case is unique, and as such, not all of the below strategies might work in any given situation. Consult with a domestic violence lawyer about your case and what options are relevant to your situation.
- Dismissal of Charges. The first and foremost strategy is to try and get the charges against you dismissed. This can happen in a number of ways, and your lawyer will review your case carefully to see which options you have. There might be a procedural error in your case, or some other reason why the domestic violence charges against you should be dropped by the court (i.e., insufficient evidence, an error in the charging documents, etc.). Your lawyer can use a pretrial motion to get your case dismissed if there are circumstances that warrant dismissal.
- When Charges Are Based on False Allegations. When the domestic violence allegations pending against you are false, your case could be won by proving that the allegations are false. There might be evidence to support your position that the allegations were made up by the alleged victim, and if so, this evidence could get your charges dropped if presented to the court. Your lawyer will help you determine if there is strong evidence in your case, and whether the evidence will be useable in court, to support your case.
- When An Incident Was Not Domestic Violence. There may be facts or circumstances that support a defense that no domestic violence took place. The police might have been called to a “situation” at a domicile, but there may not ever have been allegations of domestic violence made by anyone in the domicile. Instead, the police might have jumped to conclusions and made an arrest when they should not have.
Reach Out to Us for Help
Domestic violence charges are serious. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer will go a long way towards getting your charges dropped or reduced, and will help ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law as a criminal defendant. Please contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as you are able. We can help you throughout each step of your case.
April 4th, 2016 at 8:21 am
Sometimes domestic situations get out of hand. One person in a relationship or family situation, often a male, might lose his temper or act out angrily at his partner, ex, or family member. The other party, often a woman, is the alleged victim, and she might feel threatened, fearful, or vindictive and could over-react to the situation. She might want to call the police and report the incident as an instance of domestic violence.
Calling the police for a domestic violence situation is a serious matter, since the cops are most likely leaving the scene with someone in custody, usually the alleged abuser. Many people know this and do not want to be arrested. Threats made by the alleged victim to call the police can prompt the alleged abuser to interfere with the victim making the call to the authorities. The alleged abuser might:
- Try to physically prevent the victim from placing a call to the police;
- Threaten the victim further;
- Break, destroy, or disable the phone;
- Attempt to make it difficult for the victim to speak to the police on the phone;
- Attempt to make it difficult for the police to hear the victim on the phone; and/or
- Try to prevent the victim from telling the police something if the police arrive at the scene.
Any of the above examples are attempts to interfere with the reporting of domestic violence, which is prohibited by law under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.5. If you are facing domestic violence allegations, and allegations that you interfered with the reporting of domestic violence, you need to speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You face serious charges, and a lawyer can help you defend yourself and your rights.
Interfering with the Reporting of Domestic Violence
Specifically, the statute on interfering with the reporting of domestic violence prohibits a person from preventing, or attempting to prevent a victim or a witness from reporting an instance of domestic violence. It can also be considered interfering with the reporting of domestic violence if a person prevents a victim from getting the medical attention or care that he 0r she needs after an instance of domestic violence. The resulting criminal charges are a Class A misdemeanor.
Charges of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence are often accompanied by domestic violence charges, such as domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, and violation of a protection order. Defendants are often charged with both, but sometimes one or both of the charges can be dropped if the facts do not support a conviction.
Let Us Assist You Today
When you are facing domestic violence charges, or charges for interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, there is a lot at stake and you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows defense lawyer at our firm immediately. Our skilled advocates are prepared to help you today.
October 14th, 2015 at 12:47 pm
Domestic violence is not always physical abuse. Sometimes domestic violence takes the form of emotional abuse, which is executed by the use of threats. Threats can take the form of words or gestures, and under Illinois law, the use of threats against a family or household member is illegal and victims can be protected from it. Threats are considered a form of harassment, because threats, such as threats of physical violence and threats confinement or restraint, are used to cause the victim emotional distress.
Orders of Protection
Victims of domestic violence can seek a protection order from the courts, which prohibit the alleged abuser from abusing them. In the case of alleged threats, the protection order will force the person making the threats to stop doing so.
But sometimes victims claim they are being threatened, when really no such thing happened. False allegations of domestic violence can be made when a “victim” feels threatened, but has ulterior motives for making the false or inflated allegation. There are a number of reasons a “victim” might make a false allegation of domestic violence, such as:
- An attempt to make the alleged abuser look bad so that the victim can get custody of children in the custody situation or during a divorce;
- In some cases, a victim of domestic violence can get out of a lease agreement, or can take steps to change their locks to keep an abuser out of their home under the Safe Homes Act. A victim might make false domestic violence allegations in order to kick the alleged abuser out of his or her home; or
- A victim might purposely be trying to make trouble for the alleged abuser by asserting false allegations of domestic abuse.
Defending against Domestic Violence Allegations
False allegations of domestic violence and threats unfortunately happen quite frequently in Illinois. A number of domestic violence cases involve instances where the alleged victim later recants their accusations, but by that time, it is too late for the alleged abuser – the alleged abuser is already facing domestic violence charges.
There are a number of techniques that can be used to help fight false allegations of domestic violence. For instance, it is important to convey the alleged abuser’s side of the story. Inconsistencies might arise that give doubt that the alleged victim’s claims are based on the truth. It is also critical to have available any and all documentary evidence that tends to show that the allegations of domestic violence are false. Any tape recordings, text messages, pictures or phone records that can be used to show that no threat occurred can be useful in defeating a protective order action.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you stand falsely accused of domestic violence, such as making threats against someone you have or had a romantic relationship with, you need to aggressively fight the charges against pending against you. Please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to discuss your case.
September 21st, 2015 at 7:23 am
Some instances of domestic violence are actually based on fact. One person in the relationship is overly jealous, jilted or has other issues that make them a violent person, and they act out against their spouse, significant other or partner in a physically abusive, controlling, or manipulative way. But there are many cases where allegations of domestic violence are false, and when false allegations of domestic violence are made, it can have serious impacts on the life of the person who stands accused.
When presented with the idea of domestic violence, many people automatically think of domestic battery, where one spouse, significant other or partner physically abuses the the other person in the relationship. But domestic violence can also include stalking and harassment.
For example, stalking is considered a form of domestic violence because stalking occurs when one person (i.e., the alleged stalker) knowingly acts in a way towards another (i.e., the alleged victim) that makes the alleged victim scared for their safety. Stalking is codified in 720 ILCS 5/12-7-3.
Allegations of stalking arise often in situations where a couple is in the process of breaking up or trying to make up, or where one person in the relationship wants to reconcile while the other does not. But there are many instances where an alleged “victim” claims he or she is being stalked, when the actions of the alleged “stalker” do not rise to the level where a reasonable person would fear for their safety.
Defending against stalking allegations requires the skills of an experienced domestic violence criminal defense attorney who can analyze the facts, interview the alleged “victim” and get down to the reasoning behind making the allegations in the first place. Then the victim’s logic for making stalking allegations can be compared to what a reasonable person would have done or felt in the same situation. When a reasonable person would not have felt threatened or afraid, the stalking charges cannot stand.
Harassment by telephone is another common form of domestic violence that may arise when one person repeatedly makes threats, exacts verbal abuse, makes obscene comments and other forms of harassment using a telephone. But the medium through which the harassment is communicated has been expanded to include electronic communications, text messaging and social media platforms. Harassment by telephone is codified under 720 ILCS 5/26.5-2.
Allegations of telephone harassment, and harassment through other forms of communication, are frequently seen in breakups where one party is still trying to reconcile the relationship. The person trying to reconcile might call the other repeatedly, trying to get in touch with them, but to no avail.
There may be other reasons the alleged “harasser” is calling. Perhaps the couple shares a child and one is calling about support for the child, but the other is deliberately ignoring their calls. Or a recently split couple may have to deal with the fallout of their break up, such as moving out, splitting assets and property or resolving other issues associated with the dissolution of their relationship. If the alleged “harasser” is merely acting responsibly by trying to elicit collaboration to tie up the loose ends of their break up, it is hardly harassment when the other party is being uncooperative and unresponsive by not answering the phone or other forms of communication.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you stand falsely accused of domestic violence, such as stalking or harassment, you need to aggressively fight the charges against you. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to speak with a skilled attorney.
September 19th, 2014 at 4:02 pm
Domestic violence cases often are troubling situations that bring up serious issues. These charges are not limited to one group or a specific type of offender; anyone from any socioeconomic, racial, or ethnic background can be involved in such a scenario. This is further evidenced by a news story that has become popular as of late. Since the official start of the 2014-2015 National Football League (NFL) season, news and other media outlets have been consistently reporting on a notorious domestic violence incident that became public knowledge in February of 2014, but has garnered new and deserving attention since more details of the incident surfaced recently.
Illinois Domestic Violence Law Signed
Even before this news story concerning the professional football player garnered renewed attention, officials in the state of Illinois had their attention turned to the topic of domestic violence. At the end of August, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation known as “Diane’s Law” into effect. The law is meant to provide protection to survivors of domestic violence by allowing courts to order risk assessment evaluations as a condition of bails and to require electronic surveillance via GPS monitoring of those charged with the crime in order to enforce restraining orders. Charges covered by the new law will include domestic battery, kidnapping, stalking, harassment, and attempted murder.
The Governor reported that this action is part of a larger focus on promoting public safety, and that specifically, he intends for the law to protect victims and prevent future tragedies. The law goes a step further by being focused on prevention and not just protection of victims. It is purportedly named after a domestic violence victim who was murdered by a former boyfriend just three days after renewing a protective order against him. The purpose of the law is to strengthen protective orders and give police additional tools in their enforcement, as well as providing for increased penalties for domestic violence offenders. The law, known as House Bill 3744, will become effective January 1, 2015.
The law is one of several signed into effect by Governor Quinn since 2012 regarding domestic violence in Illinois. Other initiatives included classifying domestic violence crimes as a felony if a defendant has a prior conviction, requiring that school boards adopt a policy regarding teen dating violence, protecting victims who may be covered by their abuser’s insurance policies, and allowing prosecutors to use prior domestic violence conditions as evidence in certain murder cases which involve the crime.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Domestic violence cases deserve professional attention. The experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are familiar with the recent changes to domestic violence law in the state of Illinois and are prepared to advise their clients accordingly. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.