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Archive for the ‘domestic battery’ tag

Domestic Violence and Protective Orders in Illinois: A General Overview

October 9th, 2017 at 9:32 am

domestic violence, protective order, restraining orders, Rolling Meadows domestic violence lawyer, domestic batteryProtective orders (also commonly referred to as restraining orders) are civil orders designed to protect alleged domestic violence victims (and sometimes their family members as well) against future abuse. Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act courts in Illinois are permitted to issue a protective order if any of the following types of domestic violence has likely been perpetrated against the requesting petitioner, or their minor child, by a family or household member:

  • Physical abuse,
  • Harassment,
  • Intimidation of a dependent,
  • Interference with personal liberty, or
  • Willful deprivation.

Who Qualifies as a “Family or Household Member?”

It is important to note that in Illinois a domestic violence protective order can only be issued if the alleged abuser is a family or household member of the petitioner. Code section 750 ILCS 60/103(6) defines “family or household member” as:

  • A former or current spouse,
  • A parent,
  • A child or stepchild,
  • Someone related to the petitioner by blood or marriage (either present or prior),
  • Someone whom the petitioner currently (or formerly) lives with,
  • Someone the petitioner allegedly shares a child in common with,
  • Someone the petitioner shares (or allegedly shares) a blood relationship with through a child,
  • A former or current boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiance, or
  • A disabled petitioner’s personal assistant or caretaker.

What am I Prohibited From Doing if a Protective Order is Issued Against Me?

In Illinois we have three different types of domestic violence protective orders. These include emergency protective orders, interim protective order, and plenary protective orders. The key difference between these orders is the duration for which they can be in effect. Yet while in effect they can all prohibit alleged abusers from engaging in the same actions. It is up to the issuing judge to determine the provisions of a particular protective order but some commonly included provisions are:

  • No harassing, stalking, abusing, or intimidating the petitioner,
  • No contacting the petitioner,
  • No coming within a specified distance of the petitioner, the petitioner’s home, or the petitioner’s place of work, and
  • No possessing firearms.

How Can I Fight a Protective Order?

If you have been served with a protective order, then the first step that you need to take is to stay calm. Do not lash out at the person who served you and definitely do not contact the person who requested a restraining order against you.

What you should do is read through the order and make sure to fully abide by every provision contained in it. Now you are ready to fight the order, if you wish to do so. This can most effectively be accomplished by consulting with a local domestic violence lawyer, although you can technically oppose the order on your own if you like.

In either instance, fighting a protective order generally involves filing a response with the court, gathering evidence in your defense, and appearing in court in order to tell your side of the story.

Consult With a Local Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing domestic battery or have had a protective order issued against you in Illinois contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley straight away.

Christopher Cosley is a very well respected Rolling Meadows domestic violence lawyer who has extensive experience defending clients throughout the greater Chicago area. Don’t hesitate to contact the office today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

Domestic Battery: When Does Disciplining a Child Become Abuse?

August 17th, 2017 at 4:52 pm

child abuse, domestic battery, Rolling Meadows domestic battery defense attorney, corporal punishment, physical disciplineThere is great debate these days among parenting “experts” about whether or not children should be physically disciplined when they misbehave. Some think that children should never be physically reprimanded, others believe in spanking, and some feel that more violent forms of punishment (such as hitting a child with a stick or whipping them with a belt) is permissible.

Regardless of how you feel about corporal punishment as a parenting technique, it is critical that every parent in Illinois understands the legal line that our state has drawn between physical discipline and child abuse. It should be noted that this line is not as clear-cut as you might expect; however, this article explores the legal distinction between physical discipline and abuse according to Illinois law.

The Legal Line Between Physical Discipline and Abuse

The Appellate Court of Illinois held in In re F.W. that parents in our state have the right to physically discipline their children. However, a parent’s right to physically discipline his or her child is not unlimited.

Under code section 705 ILCS 405/2-3(2)(v) physical punishment of a child becomes abuse if the corporal punishment inflicted is “excessive.” But how are we to know when physical punishment becomes excessive? Unfortunately, the statute does not explain what constitutes excessive corporal punishment. However the Illinois State Bar Association notes that based on the applicable case law Illinois courts consider the following factors when determining whether or not a particular instance of physical discipline was excessive:

  • Injuries sustained by the child;
  • Any psychological issues exhibited by the child that can be attributed to the incident;
  • What part of the child’s body was affected;
  • The likelihood that excessive corporal punishment will be administered in the future;
  • The danger of further mental trauma or bodily harm;
  • How old the child is;
  • The purpose of the punishment;
  • The general reasonableness of the act; and
  • Any other information relevant to the case.

Child Abuse Penalties

If an Illinois court finds that a parent did in fact inflict excessive corporal punishment on his or her child that parent may face the penalties associated with a Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 felony offense.

Have You Been Accused of Committing Child Abuse in Illinois?

As you can see, the line between permissible corporal punishment and child abuse in Illinois is not crystal clear. Therefore, if you have been accused of committing child abuse in Illinois, it is critical that you retain an experienced Rolling Meadows domestic battery defense attorney without delay. Having an excellent defense attorney fighting for you can make all the difference in cases like these where both sides of the aisle will be presenting evidence arguing whether or not the corporal punishment inflicted was “excessive.” To schedule an initial consultation with one of the exceptional criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, contact our Rolling Meadows office today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1863&ChapterID=50&SeqStart=2300000&SeqEnd=6700000

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/sections/childlaw/newsletter/Child%20Law%20April%202015.pdf

Domestic Battery Requires a Certain Relationship Between the Accused and the Accuser

February 27th, 2017 at 12:16 pm

domestic battery, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerIn 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;
  • Siblings;
  • 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.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Documents/Crinminal%20Exp%20Guide/ExpungementSealingOverview.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.2

Three Reasons Why You Need To Fight Your Domestic Battery Charges

September 30th, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Fight Your Domestic Battery ChargesThe 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.2

Falsely Accused of Domestic Battery: What Is, and Is Not Domestic Violence?

July 22nd, 2016 at 7:34 am

Illinois domestic violence case, Rolling Meadows Domestic Violence Defense LawyerMany 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;
  • Harassing;
  • Intimidation;
  • 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.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000600HArt%2E+III&ActID=2100&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=4200000&SeqEnd=5000000

Domestic Battery Convictions Are Tough to Expunge From Your Illinois Criminal Record

June 15th, 2016 at 8:53 am

Illinois domestic battery convictions, Rolling Meadows Domestic Violence Defense LawyerThere 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.

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Pages/default.aspx

Harsher Penalties for Domestic Battery Defendants

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.

 domestic battery IMAGEAlthough 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.

Man Charged with Domestic Battery | Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

March 9th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Chicago criminal defense attorney (Kerry)

Joseph L. Lopez Jr.

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.

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