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The MacNeil Firm Ltd.

How Has Your Experience Been In Handling Domestic Battery Matters?


I have represented people charged with domestic battery and domestic violence cases for almost 20 years. My firm is a criminal defense firm, which means that we represent criminal defendants charged with domestic violence in domestic battery cases. I also have extensive experience litigating civil and criminal orders of protection.

How Is Domestic Battery Defined In Illinois And Indiana?

Domestic battery is different from what we call simple battery primarily based upon the relationship between the person accused or the defendant, and the accuser or the complaining witness. For a simple battery to become a domestic battery, the parties involved must be what is called family or household members. Family and household members, for the most part, are defined just as you would expect. This includes spouses, parents, children and step-children. Family and household members also include a child’s mother and father, as well as persons in a dating relationship. It also includes ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends.

A battery is defined as any unlawful touching. The touching could cause bodily harm, but there doesn’t have to be an injury sustained to support a battery or a domestic battery charge. An insulting and provoking physical contact without injury could also form the basis of a domestic battery.

How Often Are Instances Of Domestic Battery Linked To A Divorce Scenario?

When people are getting divorced, their relationship has deteriorated to its lowest point. So, emotions are high, and there‘s probably a lot of arguing. Because of that highly charged environment, divorce and domestic violence often go hand in hand, but every case is different. Many people also file for an order of protection in divorce situations. Another thing to consider is that generally, any domestic battery criminal charge would not be a basis to obtain a larger monetary settlement in a divorce.

Are False Allegations Of Domestic Battery Or Violence Common?

Regretfully, yes. People are aware that a domestic battery can be used to gain leverage in certain situations. It can also be used as revenge. If somebody perceives that they were wronged in a relationship, it’s fairly easy to dial 911 and say that their ex committed a battery against them. That situation is more frequent in domestic battery than any other type of offense.

How Serious Are Allegations Of Domestic Battery In Illinois?

They are very serious, more so than other offenses because they involve an act of violence against a family member, and this is particularly true for the high profile domestic violence cases trending in the media. Most misdemeanor charges would allow police officers to set bail at $300 or less; however, all domestic battery charges require an appearance before a judge to set bail. This means that you will have to at least spend one night in police custody. The parameters for settling bond are the same as for any criminal charges, so the judge could set bail anywhere from zero, which is called an I-bond or recognizance bond where we post no money and is basically a promise to show up in court, up to thousands of dollars that you would have to post to get out of jail.

Frequently, the judge will order no contact with the complaining witness as a condition of bond even if that person did not seek a separate order of protection. Also the judge can require the defendant to wear a GPS monitor to make sure that there is a certain distance between the parties. Even if the judge does not issue a no contact order, and even if there is no order of protection, by law, every person charged with domestic battery must stay away from the complainant for 72 hours.

How Is A Domestic Battery Charge Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?

Generally, domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor. A felony aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony, which carries a mandatory 60 days in jail. Like battery and aggravated battery not involving family or household members, domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery are generally differentiated by the severity of injuries or whether weapons were used. A domestic battery can be upgraded to a felony aggravated domestic battery in other ways too. Great bodily harm justifies an upgrade from a misdemeanor to a felony aggravated domestic battery. But also if strangulation is alleged, that alone is a basis to upgrade to felony aggravated domestic battery charges even if there is no great bodily harm.

For more information on Handling Domestic Battery Offenses, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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