Spousal abuse charges are extremely serious – and if you’re convicted of a domestic violence crime, you could spend the next several years behind bars.
For most people charged with spousal abuse, it makes sense to talk to a domestic violence defense attorney. If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence, you have the right to hire an attorney who can be with you during questioning and who can represent you in court.
Spousal Abuse Charges in Illinois: What You Need to Know
There are two types of spousal abuse charges police in Illinois use. They’re domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery.
Domestic Battery Spousal Abuse Charges
Domestic battery is a criminal offense. You can be convicted of this spousal abuse charge if you knowingly – and without legal justification – cause bodily harm to any family or household member. You can also be convicted if you make “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.”
(Read Family and Household Members in Domestic Violence Cases to learn more.)
This spousal abuse charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which means you can go to jail for up to a year and pay fines of up to $2,500 if you’re convicted.
If you have a previous domestic battery conviction, you’re looking at a Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony can put you behind bars for up to 3 years and require you to pay fines of up to $25,000.
Aggravated Domestic Battery Spousal Abuse Charges
Aggravated domestic battery is like domestic battery, but it involves great bodily harm or harm that causes permanent disability or disfigurement. If you choked the victim or blocked his or her ability to breathe, the law requires you to be charged with aggravated domestic battery.
This spousal abuse charge is a Class 2 felony. If you’re convicted, the judge can sentence you to spend between 3 and 7 years in prison. If you have a previous aggravated domestic battery charge, you’re looking at up to 14 years behind bars.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Spousal Abuse Charges?
If you’ve been accused of any type of spousal abuse, you have the right to consult with a lawyer.
Call us right away at 847-920-4540 to tell us what happened during a free consultation. We’ll ask you a few questions and start building a defense that gets you the best possible outcome in your spousal abuse case.