The state of Illinois has plenty of laws on the books about hitting and harming other people – but can you go to jail for hitting your stepkids? This guide explains.
Can You Go to Jail for Hitting Your Stepkids?
In Illinois, you aren’t allowed to hit other people, period. However, if the person you hit is your family or household member (stepkids included), you can be charged with and convicted of domestic battery. And if your stepchild is a minor, your domestic battery charge may be a felony.
Related: Is pushing your wife domestic battery in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, domestic battery is knowingly and without legal justification (such as self-defense) causing bodily harm to any family or household member, or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member. It’s usually a Class A misdemeanor – but again, if the alleged victim is a minor, it could be a Class 4 felony. It’s also a Class 4 felony if you have a previous domestic battery conviction or you’ve met a circumstance outlined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
Note: It goes both ways. If your stepchild hits you, provided that they cause harm or touches you in an insulting or provoking nature (and if they’re old enough for criminal charges), your stepchild can be charged with and convicted of domestic battery.
Misdemeanor Domestic Battery for Hitting a Stepchild
If you’re charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for hitting your stepchild, you can go to jail for up to a year and pay fines of up to $2,500.
Felony Domestic Battery for Hitting a Stepchild
If you’re charged with felony domestic battery for hitting your stepchild, you can go to prison (not jail) for up to 3 years and pay fines of up to $25,000.
Related: Penalties for domestic battery convictions in Illinois
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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