First things first: If you’ve been accused of a physical crime involving a family or household member, you need to talk to a domestic battery lawyer in Chicago who can help you.
When you’re accused of domestic battery, you can choose to tell the court that you’re guilty, not guilty, or that you don’t contest the charges (which isn’t technically admitting guilt). If you plead nolo contendere, which is the Latin term for “no contest,” you’re not telling the court you did what you’re accused of doing—but in most cases, a no contest plea has a very similar outcome to a guilty plea.
However, if you’re like many people who are falsely accused of domestic violence in Chicago and the surrounding communities, you’ll want to plead not guilty—which is absolutely your right under Illinois law.
Pleading Not Guilty in a Domestic Battery Case
Your domestic battery lawyer will ask you several questions to get your version of events surrounding the incident. He’ll develop a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome, too, which may include the way you plead when you’re arraigned (your arraignment occurs when you’re called into court and the judge reads the charges against you; you’re allowed to say whether you’re guilty, not guilty, or that you don’t contest the charges).
If you plead not guilty, remember that you don’t have to prove you’re innocent (and neither does your lawyer). The “burden of proof” is on the prosecution; that means the prosecutor has to prove that you’re guilty, because that’s the way the American justice system works. The prosecutor doesn’t have to make you look or seem guilty; he or she has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
Do You Need to Talk to a Domestic Battery Lawyer About Your Case?
For most people, it makes sense to rely on an attorney’s expertise in court. Defending people under Illinois law is your attorney’s job—and if you’ve been accused of domestic battery, we may be able to help you.