In Illinois, there are three possible outcomes for a domestic violence case: The court can find you guilty, the court can find you not guilty, or the state can drop the charges. So how do most domestic violence cases end?
Here’s what you need to know.
How Do Most Domestic Violence Cases End?
No two cases are exactly alike… and even if there were two cases that were exactly alike, there’s no way to predict how a judge will rule. Different judges rule in different ways.
However, you do need to know that the penalty for domestic battery is up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500 because it’s a Class A misdemeanor. That’s not to say that the judge in your case will order you to spend an entire year in jail (or even require you to pay any fines at all). Judges can sentence you to up to a year in jail; sometimes judges will sentence people to a few months or require no jail time at all.
Aggravated domestic battery is another story. Aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony, and that means if the court convicts you, you could spend up to 7 years in prison. If you have a previous aggravated domestic battery conviction, you could be looking at up to 14 years in prison.
What About Dismissal?
Sometimes, the state dismisses a case and drops the charges. That means your case won’t go to trial – but you will still have your arrest and charges listed on your criminal record. (If the state dismisses your case, you can petition the court to have your record erased.)
When prosecutors – the attorneys who fight on behalf of the state to prove that someone is guilty of committing a crime – don’t have enough evidence to get a conviction in court, they’ll often drop the case. That’s not always true, but it does happen. Sometimes a defendant’s attorney can work out an arrangement with a prosecutor, too, such as getting the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Every case is different, though, and you should definitely talk to your attorney about what’s possible in your situation.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About How Your Domestic Violence Case Will End?
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 right away. If it’s easier, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.