In Illinois, domestic violence can be categorized as domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery. Both can involve causing physical harm to another person, but there are differences between the two types of charges because the severity of the physical harm plays a big role.
Domestic Battery vs. Aggravated Domestic Battery
Domestic battery involves either bodily harm or physical contact of an “insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.”
Aggravated domestic battery involves great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement; it could also involve “intentionally impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of an individual by applying pressure on the throat or neck of that individual or by blocking the nose or mouth of that individual.” (That means what would ordinarily be a domestic battery charge can be elevated to aggravated domestic battery without having caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement.)
The penalties vary between the two types of battery, but either way, most people choose to work with a Chicago domestic violence defense attorney—the consequences of a conviction can be extremely severe.
Consequences of Domestic Battery Convictions
If you’re convicted of domestic battery, you’re facing a Class A misdemeanor. That’s punishable by up to a year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. However, in some cases, domestic battery is a Class 4 felony (which is punishable by up to 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000). If the battery involves a child, a firearm or a sexual assault, it’s a Class 4 felony.
If you’re convicted of aggravated domestic battery, you’re facing a Class 2 felony. Class 2 felonies carry penalties of up to 7 years of imprisonment. However, if you have a prior conviction of aggravated domestic battery, you could end up serving up to 14 years in prison.
Have You Been Accused of Domestic Battery?
Because a domestic battery conviction can drastically change your entire life, it’s typically a good idea to get in touch with an attorney who understands these types of cases and who is willing to go to bat for you.
Call us at 847-920-4540 or contact us online for a free domestic battery case review. We’ll be happy to evaluate your situation and provide you with case-specific legal advice as we build a strategic defense that gets you the best possible outcome.