What happens when you get charged with domestic battery in Illinois? Most people don’t know how the process works – but if you’re facing these types of charges, you need to know what you’re getting into. This guide explains.
What Happens When You Get Charged With Domestic Battery?
When you get charged with domestic battery, here’s a general overview of what happens:
- Police arrest you.
- The police bring you to the local police station and book you into jail.
- The state will set a date for you to appear in court.
- You may be able to bail yourself out of jail if you promise to show up in court on your specific date. If you can’t bail yourself out of jail, you have to remain there until your court date.
- You’ll go to court and be formally charged with the crime of domestic battery.
- You tell the court whether you’re guilty or not guilty, or whether you plead “no contest,” which means you’re not saying you’re guilty, but you’re not saying you’re innocent, either.
- If you say you’re not guilty, the court will set another date for your trial. If you say you’re guilty, or that you plead no contest, the judge has the ability to sentence you based upon state laws for the crime.
- You may be tried in front of a jury or in front of the judge alone. If you have a jury trial, the jury will decide whether or not you’re guilty of domestic battery; if you have a trial only before the judge, the judge will decide.
- If you’re found guilty, the judge will impose your sentence. You can go to jail for up to a year for domestic battery as a Class A misdemeanor, up to three years for domestic battery as a Class 4 felony, or up to 7 years for domestic battery as a Class 2 felony. (In some cases, such as when you have a prior aggravated domestic battery conviction, you can go to prison for up to 14 years for domestic battery as a Class 2 felony.)
Where Does a Lawyer Come Into Play?
You have the right to legal representation, so if you choose to hire an attorney to defend you in your domestic battery case, he or she will be there with you every step of the way.
Your attorney will:
- Advise you not to talk to investigators about your situation
- Help you choose whether to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest
- Attempt to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor, if possible
- Argue on your behalf in court
- Answer all your questions every step of the way
- Provide you with legal advice that helps you get the best possible outcome
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About What Happens When You Get Charged With Domestic Battery?
If you’ve been charged with domestic battery, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. If it’s easier, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.