If you plead not guilty to a domestic violence charge, your case will most likely go to trial – and what happens next depends on several factors. This guide explains.
What Happens if I Plead Not Guilty to Domestic Violence?
Many people plead not guilty to domestic violence charges every day, all over Illinois. Sometimes, the courts dismiss their cases. In other instances, a judge finds them guilty – and in others, they’re found not guilty.
Pleading not guilty to domestic violence means that the prosecution must show the court, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you’re guilty of committing the crime. You don’t have to prove that you’re innocent; the prosecutor has to prove that you’re guilty.
Related: Domestic battery definition
How Will Your Attorney Help You if You Plead Not Guilty to Domestic Violence?
Your attorney will most likely look at all the evidence that the prosecution has against you. If the prosecution doesn’t seem to have enough evidence to get a conviction in court, your lawyer may ask them to drop the case. If the prosecutor does have enough evidence to get the court to possibly convict you, your attorney will look for ways to show that the evidence isn’t sufficient.
Your attorney will also argue on your behalf in court, preserving your rights and helping you get the best possible outcome.
What if You’re Found Guilty After Pleading Not Guilty?
If you’re found guilty of domestic violence after pleading not guilty, the judge in your case will sentence you. If your domestic violence charge was a Class A misdemeanor, the judge can sentence you to up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. If it was a Class 4 felony, you could spend up to 3 years in prison and pay fines of up to $25,000, and if it was a Class 2 felony, you could spend up to 7 years in prison while paying a fine 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.