If you’ve been accused of domestic battery, which is the crime of causing bodily harm or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature to any family or household member, you may need to talk to a domestic battery defense lawyer right away.
There’s a difference – at least under Illinois law – when it comes to domestic battery involving bodily harm and domestic battery involving “insulting or provoking” contact.
Here’s what you need to know about domestic battery and bodily harm.
Domestic Battery and Bodily Harm: What You Need to Know
When you hear the term bodily harm, you need to know it’s more of a legal term than a medical one. The Illinois Supreme Court has said, “Although it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what constitutes bodily harm for the purposes of the statute, some sort of physical pain or damage to the body, like lacerations, bruises or abrasions, whether temporary or permanent, is required.”
There’s a good chance that you’ll be charged with domestic battery causing bodily harm if the alleged victim has any evidence of injury. Even if the other party’s injuries are very minor – like a small scratch, or even red marks that the police saw when they responded to the incident – you can be charged with domestic battery causing bodily harm.
If the alleged victim doesn’t have any evidence of injury, you will most likely be charged with domestic battery with insulting or provoking contact.
Straight Time and Bodily Harm
If the court finds you guilty of domestic battery causing bodily harm, you won’t be eligible for benefits from the County Jail Good Behavior Allowance Act. The County Jail Good Behavior Allowance Act lets some people serve only half their sentences behind bars – but if you’re convicted of a bodily harm offense, you’re not eligible for it because the law requires you to serve the minimum sentence.
What About Great Bodily Harm and Domestic Battery?
Great bodily harm is key in the charge of aggravated domestic battery. The Illinois Supreme Court has said that great bodily harm is more severe than lacerations, bruises or abrasions – but it can still be tough to quantify.
Remember, too, that no matter what crime you’re charged with, whether it’s domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did it. You and your attorney don’t have to prove that you’re innocent; the state has to prove that you’re guilty.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Causing Bodily Harm?
If you need to talk to a lawyer about domestic battery causing bodily harm, we’re here to help.
Call us right now at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. We’ll answer your questions and start building a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.