Chicago Domestic Battery Lawyers

Domestic Battery

If someone is charged with domestic battery, it’s usually considered a misdemeanor. This means that the person could spend a minimal amount of time in jail or receive no jail sentence at all. Other types of punishment associated with this crime include significant fines or an order of protection to stay away from the other party involved. In order to be charged with domestic battery, the person would cause harm to another or make some kind of contact that involves provocation or insults. The act can be toward a family member or another member of the home who is not related to the person who has been charged.

Common Acts Of Battery
Those who have charged with domestic battery that involves bodily harm have usually committed some kind of physical attack, such as kicking, hitting, pinching, or choking. Anything that involves touching another person can be considered bodily harm if the other person did not ask to be touched. An injury does not have to result in order to be charged with battery. Someone can spit on another person or making insulting remarks to another person and be charged.

Victims
Common victims of domestic battery include spouses, parents, and children. Grandparents, uncles and aunts, siblings, other blood relatives, and those who have been in a domestic relationship with the person can be considered victims. Roommates can also be considered victims as long as they lived in the same home as the person who committed the act of battery.

Penalties
Even though domestic battery is considered a misdemeanor for most people who are charged, there are still penalties that are often put in place. The person could spend up to a year in jail and could have to pay up to $2,500 in fines. Jail usually isn’t a sentence that is ordered, but if the person has a history of committing violent acts or any other type of criminal history, then it could be considered. Counseling classes pertaining to domestic violence could be ordered as well as an order to stay away from the victim. If there are past violations of protection orders, then the person could be ordered to spend time in jail. It could also result in a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor. If jail time is ordered, then it’s usually at least 60 days up to seven years depending on the circumstances. If there are four or more convictions of the same type of charge, then the crime is usually raised to a Class 2 felony and is punishable by more time in jail.

The charge of endangering the life or health of a child is considered a crime. Aspects of the charge include permitting a child to be in a situation where the life or the health of the child could be in danger. A child is considered to be under the age of 18 in this instance. If the child is under the age of 6 and is left in a motor vehicle unattended, then the person could be charged with endangerment as well. The length of time that the child would need to be in the vehicle is 10 minutes before it’s considered endangerment. Charges can also be filed if there is not a person who is 14 or older in the vehicle or who has sight of the vehicle while a child is left in the car.

Sentences
The first charge is usually a Class A misdemeanor. If found guilty, the defendant could spend up to a year in jail. A second offense is usually classified as a Class 3 felony. The sentence for this charge is usually up to seven years. In the event that the child dies, then there is a minimum sentence of two years possible with a maximum of 10 years. Parents of the child could be sentenced to probation. If other offenses occur after the probation period, then jail time could be ordered.

Help Of An Attorney
Since the charge involves the well-being of a child, it’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney who can handle your case. When a child is a victim, then the possibility of a harsher sentence increases. An attorney will examine all of the details surrounding the charges as this type of case needs to be addressed with care. The age of the child is taken into consideration, especially regarding the testimony of the child in court. If the child is injured or dies, then the significance of the case increases.

Any witnesses are questioned along with other people who had a hand in the endangerment of the child. Sometimes, the child might not be allowed to testify in court against the defendant because of the relationship between the two parties. Younger children often aren’t placed on the witness stand. It is then that witness statements from other people involved and professionals, such as doctors or teachers, are taken into consideration. Medical examinations and statements from child protective services can be used in court as well.

Defending Against Protective Orders
It is your right to provide a defense if you have an Order of Protection or if you have an order for no stalking or no contact. In many situations, the person who receives the order complies with what the court states in order to prevent going in front of a judge or to keep from taking part in what could be a lengthy hearing. However, there’s really no difference in defending against the protective order and losing or initially agreeing to the terms that are in the order before going to a hearing. In both circumstances, the order is entered into the court system and usually stays on your criminal history for some time. This is why it’s important to defend yourself against the order if you know that there is no evidence against you. Sometimes, the person who obtains the order can include stipulations that the order be removed from your history if there are no incidents that occur within a certain time frame. If you win your defense at the hearing, then the order will still be entered and will be on your record unless the person who obtained it is willing to vacate the order. However, the agreement needs to be in place before the order is entered.

Knowing An Order Is Entered
The person who obtains the order of protection is the petitioner while you are the respondent. You likely won’t know right away that a protective order has been issued against you because the document needs to be delivered in some way. Sometimes, the petitioner will file the order independently without the assistance of law enforcement or the court. At other times, the petitioner could hire an attorney who can help in completing the order and ensuring that it’s properly filed and delivered. A judge will listen to the reasons why the petitioner wants to obtain the order. The respondent is not present at this hearing. If there are details that warrant an emergency order, then the judge will issue this type of protection. This order is valid for about 21 days until another hearing takes place. However, the respondent is usually not in violation of the details of the order until the order has been delivered. After trying to deliver the order without success, the details could be published publicly. If you don’t attend the hearing after receiving the order, then it will take effect for the designated length of time.