Can You Go to Jail for Hitting Your Girlfriend?

In the state of Illinois, domestic battery is a crime – and if you’re found guilty of it, you can go to jail. But does hitting your girlfriend count? Here’s what you need to know. 

Can You Go to Jail for Hitting Your Girlfriend?

You absolutely can go to jail for hitting your girlfriend, but you may or may not be charged with domestic battery. If you’re not charged with domestic battery, you can be charged with battery – it’s essentially the same crime, but the criteria for domestic battery require the alleged victim to fit into one of the following relationships with you:

  • Spouse or ex-spouse
  • Blood-related family members
  • Co-parents
  • Current or former roommates
  • Elderly adults and caregivers
  • Disabled adults and caregivers
  • Individuals who are related by blood through a child
  • Parents and children, or stepparents and children

If you and your girlfriend are co-parents, if you live together now or did in the past, or if you are your girlfriend’s caregiver because she’s disabled, you can be charged with domestic battery. 

Related: Can you go to jail if you hit your stepchild?

When the state of Illinois convicts you of domestic battery, the judge can sentence you to jail for up to a year and a fine of up to $2,500 – provided that you’re convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery. In some cases, domestic battery is a Class 4 felony, such as when you have a previous domestic battery conviction or meet a circumstance outlined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. 

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Defense

If you need to talk to a domestic battery defense attorney in Illinois, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and talk to you about your options.

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