Archive for the ‘domestic battery’ tag
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.
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.
January 22nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm
A new law that went into effect this month will allow prosecutors in Illinois to impose stiffer penalties on domestic battery offenders. According to the Rockford Register Star, the 2014 law states that those defendants who have multiple misdemeanor domestic battery convictions can be charged with a felony in light of the multiple convictions. The purpose for the harsher penalties would be to give law enforcement and prosecutors another way to protect victims of domestic violence from their attackers.
Although some say that domestic violence is a crime that is often disregarded because it involves family members, it is one of the most common crimes reported to local law enforcement, though it is still believed to be underreported overall. The issue of domestic violence is certainly large-scale, with thousands of domestic violence incidents reported in local counties each year.
As of the first of the year, if an individual is charged with a misdemeanor domestic battery and that same individual was previously convicted of an identical charge at least once before, the grading of the charge will increase to a felony. Domestic battery is defined as harmful physical contact, harassment, threatening behavior, or interfering with the personal liberty of a household or family member. If the defendant has one or two previous convictions, their charge will be graded as a Class 4 Felony and they can face incarceration of one to three years. Three prior convictions will result in a Class 3 Felony with two to five years incarceration, and four or more prior convictions will make it a Class 2 Felony punishable by three to seven years in jail. Prior to the new law taking effect, any repeat offenders, no matter the number of prior convictions, were charged with a Class 4 Felony, the lowest graded felony charge in Illinois.
Prosecutors will retain prosecutorial discretion in making decisions, as well as in deciding on a case-by-case basis if a certain action should result in the offender being charged with a felony. Prosecutors and law enforcement will regularly work together with other local agencies in order to develop their responses to domestic violence reports, and to discuss the details of certain cases, particularly those cases that have resulted in serious injury or even death. Police officers intend to look at severe cases of domestic violence closely, and to avoid assuming a domestic violence situation will have less serious consequences than other assaults.
As the new law takes effect, there will be a number of cases that define its parameters, so that others can be aware of what sort of consequences to expect. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Chicago can be invaluable in arguing your case in light of a change in the law. Not only are we informed on legal changes, we are prepared to advise you on how they can affect the specific facts of your case. Contact us today for a consultation.
March 9th, 2013 at 4:36 pm
A 34 year-old Mt. Prospect man is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond, accused of choking and beating a woman and telling her that he would “kill her or bury her alive” after she told him she wanted to end their relationship.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Joseph L. Lopez Jr., grabbed the woman and pushed her into her car, striking her with a closed fist after she tried to break off their two year relationship. Lopez threatened the woman, telling her he would “kill her or bury her alive” if she did not continue dating him. He also told her he would “drive her to Chicago and dissolve her body” if she tried calling police.
Prosecutors told the court that Lopez also slammed the woman’s head into the center console of the car. He choked her until she lost consciousness. When she came to, she told Lopez she would continue to see him and he let her go.
She then drove herself to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with internal injuries, including a lacerated liver. The woman also had several clumps of hair missing from her scalp. Lopez was taken into custody three days after the incident when police found him in the 1400 block of Brownstone Court in Mount Prospect. He threatened to shoot police and then turn the gun on himself, according to a Cook County Sheriff’s report. Lopez has been charged with two counts of domestic battery.
If you have been charged with domestic battery, or any other serious crime, you need to retain the services of an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Depending on mandatory sentencing guidelines and past criminal history, a guilty finding could mean a prison sentence.