If you’re like many people, you’re not sure whether same-sex couples can be charged with domestic battery – especially because laws have been changing quickly over the past decade.
Here’s what you need to know.
Can Same-Sex Couples Be Charged With Domestic Battery?
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Illinois since 2013, which means that the relationship qualifies under Illinois domestic violence statutes. But even if it weren’t legal – even if something were to happen that nullified the marriage – or if the couple was never married, same-sex couples are still bound by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, or IDVA.
Anyone within a certain category of relationships can be accused and convicted of domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery – and the alleged victim can seek an order of protection.
Here’s a quick list of the relationships covered by the IDVA:
- Blood-related family members
- Current roommates
- Elderly adults and caregivers
- Disabled adults and caregivers
- Former roommates
- Individuals who are related by blood through a child
- Parents and children
- Stepparents and children
If you fit into any of those categories, you could be charged with and found guilty of a domestic violence offense.
What if Your Spouse Accuses You of Domestic Violence?
If your spouse accuses you of domestic violence, the first thing you need to do is put on the brakes. Cool down. Stop talking. If he or she has called the police, calmly wait for them to arrive – preferably outside or at least in another room – and if not, leave the situation.
Call a domestic battery defense lawyer immediately, in either case.
When the police arrive, don’t give your side of the story. Simply tell them that you want to talk to an attorney. Don’t worry about this making you look guilty; in fact, plenty of innocent people are behind bars right now because they didn’t want the police to think they were guilty.
Your attorney can meet you at the police station if you’re arrested, and he’ll give you specific legal guidance when you’re on the phone. It’s essential that you call an attorney, no matter what – whether you’re innocent or guilty, and whether or not your spouse called the police. A domestic battery conviction stays on your criminal record forever, and you need to work with a lawyer who can get you the best possible outcome.
Has Your Spouse Accused You of Domestic Violence?
If your spouse has accused you of domestic battery, call us at 847-920-4540 right now for a free case review. There’s no reason not to – and every reason in the world to pick up the phone.
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