If you’ve been convicted of domestic battery in the past, you could face harsher penalties if you’re convicted of it a second (or subsequent) time. Here’s what you need to know about second offense domestic battery in Illinois.
Second Offense Domestic Battery in Illinois
Illinois law defines domestic battery as a person, knowingly and without legal justification, causing bodily harm to a family or household member, or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member. Those family or household members may be:
- Spouses and ex-spouses
- Blood-related family members
- People related by blood through a child
- Current or former roommates
- Disabled adults or elderly adults and their caregivers
- Parents and children or stepparents and children
If you have a previous conviction, your second offense of domestic battery may be a Class 4 felony. If the court convicts you of Class 4 felony domestic battery, the judge can send you to prison for up to three years and order you to pay fines of up to $25,000.
What Does “Knowingly and Without Legal Justification” Mean?
Knowingly and without legal justification means that the person who allegedly committed domestic battery knew that they were harming the person or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature, and that the person had no legal reason to do so. If you smack someone who is swinging a lead pipe at you and intends to hit you with it, you most likely have a legal justification for smacking them – so although you knew you were going to hurt them with the slap, you can show the court that you were defending yourself in an effort to avoid a domestic battery conviction. (Obviously, that’s an oversimplified example.)
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.