Battery is one of the most multifaceted offenses in the Illinois Criminal Code. There is a standard version that casts broad net. Then there is a specific version that addresses harm to unborn children. There is also a domestic version that deals with abuse to family or household members.
720 ILCS 5/12-3 establishes the Illinois definition of battery. Under state law, a person commits battery if they knowingly and without justification:
- Inflict physical harm or injury on a victim; or
- Initiate contact with a victim in an insulting or provoking way.
Battery is classified as a Class A misdemeanor under Section 12-3. At that level, a conviction can lead to a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
- Battery of an Unborn Child
720 ILCS 5/12-3.1 provides the Illinois laws against battery of an unborn child. Under state law, an unborn child is a member of the human species from embryo implantation to birth.
A person commits battery to an unborn child if they knowingly cause any physical harm to an unborn child. A person commits aggravated battery to an unborn child if they knowingly cause severe harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to an unborn child.
Under Section 12-3.1, battery to an unborn child is typically a Class A misdemeanor, punishable as explained above. On the other hand, aggravated battery to an unborn child is a Class 2 felony. At that level, a conviction can lead to three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
- Domestic Battery
- Inflict physical harm or injury on a family or household member; or
- Initiate contact with a family or household in an insulting or provoking way.
Under Section 12-3.2, domestic battery is normally a Class A misdemeanor, punishable as explained above. However, repeat offenders can face Class 4 felony charges instead. At that level, a conviction can lead to one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
In this context, it is vital to remember the Illinois definition of a family or household member. As provided in 725 ILCS 5/112A-3, the term family or household member refers to:
- Present or prior spouse or romantic partners;
- Parents, children, and other people related by blood;
- Stepchildren and other people related by present or prior marriage;
- People who have a common child or share a blood relationship through a child;
- Present or prior roommates who shared the same residence; or
- Caregivers or personal assistants to disabled individuals.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.