Jun 8

Commonly referred to as domestic violence, domestic battery is a crime that occurs between family or household members. To understand the boundaries of this offense, the following sections will break down the definition of and penalties for domestic battery in Illinois.

What is the Definition of Domestic Battery in Illinois?

The definition of domestic battery appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. Domestic battery occurs if the abuser:

  • Causes harm or injury to a family or household member; or
  • Touches a family or household member in an insulting or provoking manner.

Under Illinois law, the term family and household member includes any people who:

  • Are related by blood;
  • Live or lived together in the same residence;
  • Are currently or were previously married;
  • Share a child or multiple children together;
  • Are currently or were previously in a romantic relationship; or
  • Provide care or assistance to the disabled or mentally impaired.  

What are the Penalties for Domestic Battery in Illinois?

The penalties for domestic battery also appear in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. In most cases, domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor. The sentencing possibilities for a Class A misdemeanor include up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines and 24 months of probation.

Domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the abuser violated an order of protection. The same is true for abusers who have committed violent crimes, including but not limited to:

  • First-degree murder;
  • Heinous battery;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm;
  • Criminal sexual assault;
  • Aggravated battery of a child or senior citizen;
  • Unlawful restraint;
  • Aggravated arson;
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child; and
  • Aggravated discharge of a firearm.

The sentencing possibilities for a Class 4 felony include up to 36 months in jail, $25,000 in fines and 30 months of probation.

On a related note, the penalties for domestic battery can increase based on the number of offenses. For example:

  • A third domestic battery conviction is classified as a Class 4 felony. The sentencing possibilities are the same as stated above.
  • A fourth domestic battery conviction is classified as a Class 3 felony. The sentencing possibilities for a Class 3 felony include up to 60 months in jail, $25,000 in fines and 30 months of probation.
  • A fifth domestic battery conviction is classified as a Class 2 felony. The sentencing possibilities for a Class 2 felony include up to 84 months in jail, $25,000 in fines and 48 months of probation.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal 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.

(image courtesy of Cherry Laithang)