One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is “Do all domestic violence cases go to trial?”
The short answer is no – not all domestic violence cases go to trial. Here’s what you need to know.
Do All Domestic Violence Cases Go to Trial?
If you’re accused of domestic violence (technically called domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery in Illinois), you have the right to a jury trial. However, you may not end up going through a trial. Some cases are resolved without trials.
Related: Can I drop domestic battery charges?
How Are Domestic Violence Cases Resolved Without Trials?
When the state of Illinois files charges against you, you’ll have to go to court for an arraignment. When you’re arraigned, you’ll let the judge in your case know whether you plead guilty or not guilty (or you can plead “no contest,” which means you’re not saying you’re guilty, but you’re not saying the charges are wrong, either). Your attorney will give you guidance on what type of plea to enter based on your individual situation; for some people, it’s best to plead not guilty.
Your attorney may have a conference with the prosecutor after you enter your plea. He’ll be able to review the evidence the prosecutor has against you, which means he’ll know what the state will use to try to prove that you’re guilty of a crime. The prosecutor might want to negotiate a deal with your attorney.
If the prosecutor offers a deal and you reject it, or if the prosecutor doesn’t offer a deal, you’ll go to trial.
What if You Plead Guilty?
If you plead guilty at your arraignment, your case won’t go to trial. The prosecutor doesn’t have to prove that you’re guilty because you already told the court that you were. In that case, the judge will simply sentence you – no trial necessary.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Domestic Violence Case Going to Trial?
Not all domestic violence cases go to trial. Your attorney may be able to help you resolve the case without one. If you need to talk to a lawyer about a domestic battery charge, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review now. If it’s easier, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.