Oct 6

Local authorities filed charges of domestic battery against a woman from Bloomington, Illinois, according to an article by The Pantagraph

Reports indicate that police officers saw the Illinois woman shove a victim in the back, causing that victim to fall to the ground. Apparently, this woman faces charges for felony domestic battery as a repeat offender. 

At this point, the Illinois woman remains in police custody after declining to post bail. This woman is already subject to a no contact order, and further legal proceedings are expected. 

While this case continues to develop, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws against and penalties for domestic battery, including the definition of a family or household member.

Illinois Definition of Family or Household Member

The Illinois definition of a family or household member appears under 720 ILCS 5/12-0.1. This section defines a family or household member as a person’s:

  • Present or former spouse;
  • Parents, children, and other people related by blood or marriage;
  • Present or former roommates who shared the same residence;
  • Other parent to a child in common;
  • Relatives by blood through a child; and
  • Present or former romantic partners.

In addition, disabled individuals and their personal assistants as well as caregivers qualify as family or household members under Illinois law. 

Illinois Laws Against Domestic Battery

The Illinois laws against domestic battery appear under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. A person commits domestic battery if they knowingly and without legal justification:

  • Cause bodily harm to any family or household member; or
  • Initiate physical contact with any family or household member in an insulting or provoking manner.

Illinois Penalties for Domestic Battery

The Illinois penalties for domestic battery also appear under Section 12-3.2. Though the precise nature of the applicable penalties does change based on the number of previous offenses, as explained below:

  • First Offense — Domestic battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines;
  • Second or Third Offense — Domestic battery is charged as a Class 4 felony and punishable by one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines;
  • Fourth Offense — Domestic battery is charged as a Class 3 felony and punishable by two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines; or
  • Fifth or Subsequent Offense — Domestic battery is charged as a Class 2 felony and punishable by three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.