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Lake County Domestic Battery Defense Attorney

domestic battery

Criminal Defense Lawyer Fights Domestic Battery Charges in Buffalo Grove, IL

Because violent crimes are so harmful to victims, they are taken very seriously by law enforcement officials and criminal prosecutors. This is especially true for cases involving domestic battery. When a person is accused of this offense or other forms of domestic violence, they can face a wide variety of serious repercussions that can affect their life for years to come. Because of this, it is crucial for anyone accused of domestic battery to secure representation from a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney.

At the The Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., we understand the serious nature of domestic battery charges, and we can help you determine the best approach to take when defending against these allegations. Attorney Gebhardt has over 20 years of legal experience, including serving as a prosecutor, and he is prepared to provide you with a strong defense. He will work to protect your rights and help you avoid consequences to your life, your career, and your family relationships.

Illinois Domestic Battery Charges

According to Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2), domestic battery occurs if a person causes bodily harm to a family member or a person in their household. While these types of cases usually involve claims that a person has injured someone, domestic battery charges may also apply in cases involving "physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature." This may include pushing, slapping, or otherwise touching someone in a way that causes offense. A person may be charged with aggravated domestic battery if they are accused of strangling their alleged victim or purposely causing great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement while committing domestic battery.

In many cases, a person may be accused of committing domestic battery against their spouse or children. However, charges may also apply in cases involving extended family members, ex-spouses, unmarried parents who share a child, people who are in a dating relationship or who previously dated each other, people who live in the same household or who formerly shared a dwelling, or assistants or caregivers of people with disabilities.

Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, and a conviction could result in a prison sentence of up to one year, as well as fines of up to $2,500. A second or third offense is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison. A fourth offense is a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison sentence of two to five years. A fifth offense is a Class 2 felony, which can be punished by three to seven years in prison. For a second or subsequent offense of domestic battery, an alleged offender will be subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 72 hours. If domestic battery was committed in the presence of a child, the offender will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 days, 300 hours of community service, or both. Aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 60 days. Felony offenders may also be fined up to $25,000.

While some misdemeanor offenses allow for a sentence of court supervision if a person pleads guilty or is found guilty, this option is not available when a person is charged with domestic battery. Criminal records resulting from a domestic battery conviction cannot be expunged or sealed. In addition, a person who was convicted of domestic battery cannot receive a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card, and a previously-issued FOID card will be revoked, meaning they will not be allowed to purchase or possess any guns or ammunition.

Notably, the law states that to be guilty of domestic battery, a person must have knowingly committed the alleged actions without legal justification. Some potential defenses against these accusations may include showing that the contact was accidental or that a person was acting in self-defense.

Contact a Lake County Domestic Battery Defense Attorney

Allegations of domestic battery can affect nearly every facet of your life, and unfortunately, even false accusations can affect your child custody rights, your career, and your relationships with family and friends. If you are convicted of these charges, you could face a long prison sentence and other penalties, such as the requirement to attend counseling. Your criminal record could affect your ability to work in certain jobs, such as a teacher, child care provider or public official, and you could lose your professional license as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, therapist, or attorney. You may also be unable to pursue educational opportunities or obtain loans or housing. Because of these and other consequences, you should take immediate action to address any accusations and determine your best strategy for defense.

If you are facing charges of domestic battery, Attorney Matthew Gebhardt can provide you with an aggressive defense, and he will do everything possible to help you avoid a conviction and minimize the potential consequences to your life. To arrange a free consultation, contact our office today at 847-239-4703.

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