Deerfield Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic Violence Defense in Mundelein, Waukegan and throughout Lake County
Law enforcement personnel and state prosecutors are under increased pressure to appear particularly tough on allegations of domestic violence as it is considered a violent crime. Arguments can certainly get out of hand between spouses, family members, roommates and boyfriends and girlfriends, leading to a call to 911 and an arrest for domestic violence. Of course some people simply have trouble controlling their temper, and may be responsible for intimidating or physically assaulting a partner or family member. There are, however cases in which domestic violence allegations are fabricated or exaggerated.
If you have been accused of domestic violence—whether you made a one-time bad decision or have been falsely accused—it is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The penalties and repercussions for a conviction of domestic violence are extremely serious, and demand serious representation. A call to the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. can alter the course of your charges. Our Northbrook domestic violence attorney spent five years as a Cook County prosecutor. This gives him a unique perspective on domestic abuse cases, allowing him to more fully defend your case. Even when the accuser recants, the first contact with law enforcement will often result in an arrest. Do not wait—let Matthew R. Gebhardt help you during this difficult time.
Forms of Domestic Violence in the State of Illinois
There are three types of domestic violence cases in Illinois:
- Domestic battery involves intentionally inflicting bodily harm or imposing physical contact against the alleged victim.
- Telephone harassment can be charged if you used a phone to threaten, issue obscene comments, call repeatedly or inflict verbal abuse on the alleged victim.
- The charge of stalking involves threats to the safety of others; the Illinois stalking statute is extremely broad and can, unfortunately, cover a number of perfectly innocent situations.
False Charges of Domestic Violence
Many Illinois domestic violence charges arise from a deteriorating marriage or a bitter child custody dispute. The accuser may feel such charges offer them a strategic advantage, and, in fact, they are right. Once accusations of domestic violence are made, the alleged victim is more likely to receive a larger share of the marital assets, spousal support, and full custody of the children.
Penalties Associated with a Domestic Violence Conviction
You may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for the allegations of domestic violence. If you have a prior conviction for domestic violence, you may be charged with a Class 4 felony. The sentence for a misdemeanor conviction can include up to a year in jail and a fine as high as $2,500. A conviction for the felony charge can result in up to three years in an Illinois state prison and a fine as high as $25,000. You could also be subject to other penalties including mandatory counseling, anger management classes and probation. As if these court-mandated penalties were not enough, if convicted of the crime of domestic violence, you could also face such repercussions as:
- Difficulty obtaining employment;
- The loss of your current job;
- The inability to obtain a professional license;
- The inability to obtain a federal student loan;
- Restrictions on where you can live;
- Presumption against custody of your children;
- Limits on gun ownership; or
- Loss of certain Constitutional rights.
Getting the Help You Need from an Experienced Lawyer
If you have been charged with domestic violence, you must take immediate, decisive action to avoid the long-term consequences of a conviction. Our Lake County domestic violence attorney has the experience, skill, and knowledge necessary to be a strong advocate in your corner. Whether you were involved in an argument which got out of hand or are the victim of false allegations, contact Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt today at 773-383-8745 or 847-239-4703.