What to know when you’re facing a domestic violence charge

A conviction for the criminal act of domestic violence can alter the course of your life in significant ways. However, you do have options for defending yourself and your way of life, even in the face of a serious domestic violence charge.

A strong criminal defense case starts with seeking the right kind of legal help and staying informed on the best practices to follow throughout the process. By learning more about the implications of a domestic violence charge and how to defend yourself, you can give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome.

What are the penalties for domestic violence in Illinois?

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act defines domestic violence as any action that physically harms or verbally threatens a family or household member. Domestic violence and acts that violate orders of protection are Class A misdemeanors in Illinois, punishable by up to one year in jail and a monetary fine. Repeat offenses, or those with aggravating circumstances, may escalate to a felony charge with much steeper penalties.

How can you defend yourself against a domestic violence charge?

Domestic violence cases can be highly sensitive affairs with many contradictory accounts from both sides. It is important to cooperate closely with your legal advocate, who will help you establish that the other party’s account is faulty, that you are not the instigator in the incident, or that the police report contains incorrect information.

Not only can a domestic violence conviction remove you from your freedom, but it can also harm your personal and professional reputation. It is important to build the best defense possible during a time when so much uncertainty surrounds you.