Being charged with domestic violence – known as domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery in Illinois – can be terrifying. While your case makes its way through the court system, you’re left wondering: How long do domestic violence cases last?
Here’s what you need to know.
How Long Do Domestic Violence Cases Last?
In Illinois, there’s no definitive answer on how long a domestic violence case will last. It can take several months to work its way through the court system, or it can be over the first time you go to court. Generally, if you plead guilty or no contest, the court moves right on to sentencing you – but if you plead not guilty, it takes time to schedule a trial where your attorney can defend you.
For many people, the best course of action is to plead not guilty. You have the right to plead that way, no matter what evidence the prosecutor has against you. If you plead not guilty, your attorney can comb through the facts of your case and find out whether there is any way he can get it dismissed. Likewise, if you plead not guilty, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf.
What About Sentencing?
If you plead guilty, you need to know that domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor and that aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony. There’s a good chance that you’ll go to jail or prison if the state finds you guilty of domestic violence.
Domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery are two crimes that stay on your criminal record forever. You can’t expunge or seal them, which means anyone who gets a look at your criminal record – including landlords, employers and even people who do a background check for another reason – will be able to see that you were convicted of domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About How Long Your Domestic Violence Case Will Last?
If you aren’t sure how long your domestic violence case will last, or if you have other questions about your own case, we’ll be happy to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 to tell us what happened. We can give you a free case review and help you determine what to do next.