Understanding Domestic Violence Charges

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Understanding Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence calls in Chicago have risen in the wake of the city’s shelter-in-place order. Since suspected abusers and potential victims are living in close quarters under a great deal of stress, incidents of domestic assault and battery are becoming more common. If you or someone you know has been arrested on a domestic violence charge, contact a criminal defense attorney today to help you navigate what happens tomorrow.

More calls to police
The Chicago Sun-Times reported an 18% increase in calls to the Chicago Police Department about domestic violence from March 30 to April 5, compared to early March. On April 13, the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline received more phone calls in a single day than ever before – 107. Calls do not always result in a police report or charge.

Filed reports are more serious
The severity of filed domestic violence reports is also on the rise. According to The Marshall Project, cities like Chicago and Austin are experiencing more aggravated assaults and domestic violence incidents involving firearms than this time last year. These actions can result in felony charges.

However, even the act of threatening a domestic partner or household member with violence could result in an assault charge. (Be sure to read our article, “Domestic Violence and Domestic Battery Charges in Illinois,” for more information on what counts as a domestic relationship.)

Different domestic violence charges may include:

  • Assault (720-5/12-1): Actions that cause a person to be legitimately afraid of an immediate attack or harm from another (no physical contact necessary).
  • Aggravated Assault (720-5/12-2): Assault with a deadly weapon; assaulting a person with disabilities; recording an assault with the intention to distribute the footage.
  • Domestic Battery (720-5/12-3.2): Causing bodily harm to a household member through physical contact.
  • Aggravated Domestic Battery (720-5/12-3.3): Causing serious or permanent bodily harm to a household member; strangulation of a household member.

Class A Misdemeanors
Domestic battery and aggravated assault are Class A misdemeanors. If convicted, a person could spend up to one year in jail and pay up to $2,500 in fines. Bond for a Class A Misdemeanor will vary depending on the circumstances.

Class 4 Felonies
On the second (or any additional) domestic battery charge, perpetrators could be charged with a Class 4 felony. Aggravated assaults involving firearms are also considered Class 4 felonies. This means between one to three years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines.

Class C Misdemeanors
Assault is a Class C Misdemeanor. This charge could result in up to 30 days in jail and up to $1,500 in fines. Depending on the jurisdiction, those convicted of a Class C Misdemeanor could also be forced to serve up to 120 hours of community service.

Class 2 Felonies
An aggravated domestic battery conviction means three years in jail, minimum. Perpetrators could serve up to seven years and pay up to $25,000.

Having a criminal justice attorney on your side is crucial during sentencing for domestic violence charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence or any of the charges above, contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates for a free consultation.