If a parent is charged with domestic battery for hitting a child, what happens? Will the parent go to prison? This guide explains whether hitting your child is domestic battery in Illinois.
Is Hitting Your Child Domestic Battery in Illinois?
Illinois state law says that parents are allowed to administer reasonable parental discipline – but in some cases, the state believes that discipline has gone too far. In these cases, the state of Illinois can charge you with (and convict you of) domestic battery. In fact, the state’s position is that “a parent is legally justified in using reasonable force when necessary as part of reasonable discipline of a child.”
On the other hand, domestic battery is defined by Illinois law as “intentionally or knowingly without legal justification by any means causes bodily harm, or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature, with any family or household member.”
In a case between a parent (or stepparent) and a child, the court will determine whether the action was legal. If you’re charged with domestic battery for hitting a child, the court will need to find out whether your action was justifiable and reasonable under the circumstances.
What if You’re Convicted for Hitting Your Child?
If the jury finds you guilty of domestic battery and it’s your first offense, you’re likely looking at a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty is imprisonment for up to a year (in jail, not prison) and fines of up to $2,500. However, if this isn’t your first conviction, or if you have met a circumstance outlined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, you could be facing a Class 4 felony; that carries a penalty of up to 3 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Defense?
If you need to talk to a domestic battery defense attorney in Illinois, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and talk to you about your options.