Clarifying Domestic Violence Laws in Chicago

kira-auf-der-heide-352824-unsplash-copy-200x300A man from Aurora with a history of domestic abuse was convicted of punching and strangling his girlfriend while their child was in her arms.

The Kane County State’s Attorney’s office stated that 30-year-old Daniel Benson, Jr. allegedly assaulted his girlfriend after the pair had an argument. The victim was holding their child when Benson punched her in the ribs while in the kitchen of their home. The girlfriend then ran to the living room in an attempt to put the child in a bassinet.

Benson punched her again causing her to fall to the ground. According to police, Benson then strangled her for approximately 30 seconds, but stopped when he heard police.

Benson was remanded in the Kane County jail. After his most recent conviction, he could face up to seven years behind bars.

Hire a reputable criminal defense attorney in Chicago who can possibly help you avoid jail time if you are facing domestic violence charges.

Is There a Difference Between Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence?

The terms “domestic abuse” and “domestic violence” are both used to describe conduct that is similar. They refer to allegations of physical violence between individuals who live together, are dating or are married. Though some states use the term domestic abuse while others use domestic violence, the terms are essentially interchangeable.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act encompasses violent acts across different types of relationships:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Parties in current relationship or who previously dated
  • Adults who have a child together
  • A parent and child
  • A stepparent and child
  • Individuals who have a blood relationship through a child
  • Members of a family related by blood
  • An elderly person and a caregiver
  • Cohabitants in the same dwelling

The Basics of Domestic Violence Laws

In Illinois, over 42,000 adults are survivors of domestic violence this year alone. So, it is imperative that sound laws are in place to govern this epidemic.

Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor. It can lead to probation, fine, potential counseling or up to one year in jail. Under domestic battery, a Class 4 felony takes place if the criminal history of the defendant contains at least one prior conviction for the same crime. Domestic battery could also be categorized as a Class 4 if one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Battery concerning a child
  • Battery with the use of a firearm
  • Battery including sexual assault

A Class 4 felonious act can lead to probation or one to three years in prison. However, a prosecutor may be able to make the request for additional punishment if the defendant has a criminal past.

A Class 2 felony, aggravated domestic battery can lead to probation or three to seven years behind bars. Even if the defendant is granted probation, he or she must still serve 60 days in prison. If a defendant has a prior conviction of aggravated domestic battery, no probation is offered. He or she will serve a sentence of three to seven years in prison, but the prison term can reach up to 14 years if the prosecutor can make a strong enough case.

Contact a Chicago Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer to Help You Today

David Freidberg has extensive experience bringing domestic violence cases to a swift resolution. He will work diligently to ensure you are treated fairly and not penalized for a crime you did not commit. Frequently, domestic violence cases boil down to the facts. You need a skilled attorney who will conduct the necessary research into the incidents surrounding your situation and gather the testimony of any witnesses involved.

Contact the best criminal defense lawyer in Chicago today to schedule your free consultation or call (312) 560-7100 to begin constructing your defense strategy.

(image courtesy of kira-auf-der-heide)