Sullivan Law, PC Attorneys at Law - Integrity & Honesty

Preparing your domestic violence defense in Illinois

Men often feel like they have little chance to defend themselves in a domestic violence case. They are often stereotyped as being the culprits in a familial or couple dispute that turns into a physical attack. In reality, men are victims of domestic violence and physical assaults almost as much as women.

Illinois can have some harsh charges for those with domestic violence convictions. If you potentially face charges in this category, it can be very difficult to recover from the penalties. As you construct your defense against this allegation, there are a couple of key steps you must take to ensure the best result.

Understand the penalties

There are different punishments you would receive depending on how the court classifies the act. The lowest they could charge you with is a class A misdemeanor. With this conviction, you would have to pay a fine up to $2,500, receive up to one year of jail time, possible counseling and probation.

However, the court could charge you with a class 4 felony if they find certain additional factors in the assault. This means you would have fines up to $25,000 and up to 3 years of jail time along with the probation and counseling. Some of these circumstances that determine this include:

  • Having a prior domestic battery conviction
  • Using a weapon or a firearm in the attack
  • Harming a child in the process
  • Committing sexual assault

The worst possible charge is a class 2 felony, which contains similar punishments to a class 4 but has you receive up to 7 years in prison or probation with 60 days in prison. This happens if the court finds you guilty of aggravated domestic battery, which happens if you caused significant harm to your partner.

Creating your defense

One of the most common defense strategies in domestic violence cases is claiming self-defense. Perhaps your partner is the one who began the brawl and the police only saw you attack. This tactic does depend on the severity of the injury you gave your partner and what they did to instigate your response. It is also important to see if there was anything or anyone on the scene that could prove that your partner attacked you.

Speaking of evidence, your partner might not build their argument with sufficient proof. If there were no witnesses, no signs of a struggle and no physical injuries present on your partner, then it will be difficult for the prosecution to convince the court that you were guilty of the assault. You should also pay attention to your partner’s testimony and see if there were any holes in the story if you were falsely accused.

Regardless of which conviction you may be facing, punishments from these cases can significantly damage your finances and reputation. You will have to pay close attention to how your significant other structures their accusation to build the best defense with your attorney.

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