Because domestic violence is a very real and pervasive threat in the U.S., the Illinois legislature has concentrated on making domestic violence laws more stringent. Law enforcement in the state has created dynamic new policies. Prosecutors are now responsible for enforcing new laws in addition to ones that are already on the books.
Many people do not realize that the state files the criminal charges for domestic violence, not the victims. It is important that you have a clear understanding of the laws governing domestic violence and what may be ahead if you are convicted of such a crime. A Chicago domestic violence attorney can help assess your case and guide you through building your defense.
What You May Not Know About Domestic Violence Laws in Illinois
First, for a criminal act to be classified as domestic violence in Illinois, the victim and the person committing the offense must have a specific relationship. Domestic violence applies to more situations than husband and wife.
Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, the victim and the accused must be:
- Currently or formerly in a romantic relationship
- Spouses who are separated
- Parent and child
- Stepparent and child
- Parent and stepchild
- Related by blood
- Related by blood via a child
- Currently or formerly living together
- Caregiver and elderly adult
- Caregiver and disabled person
Second, you can easily be arrested and charged with interference if you prevent someone from reporting domestic violence. If you commit a domestic violence offense and knowingly prevent or attempt to prevent the victim or any witness from contacting police or emergency services, you can face a charge of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. Finally, if you have been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, you forfeit your right to own a gun.
Any person who is named in a protective order for domestic abuse or convicted of domestic violence is prohibited from having a gun in their possession under the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. Simply put, if you are convicted of domestic violence, you will be legally obligated to surrender any guns you already own permanently.
Domestic Violence Attorney in Chicago
If you are under investigation or being charged with a domestic violence offense in the Chicagoland area, do not attempt to resolve the situation alone. Any contact you have with the alleged victim could lead to additional charges. Instead, speak with an experienced domestic violence attorney in Chicago.
David L. Freidberg understands that every case is unique. He will conduct a thorough legal analysis of your case, part of which is determining what evidence is legally admissible.
Domestic violence can also take several forms from simple assault all the way to murder. If you infringe upon the terms of a restraining order or commit any other similar violation you could be charged. The violation does not have to be significant. Every day, individuals are charged for the simplest of violations like making a phone call to an ex-partner while a protective order is in effect.
Bear in mind that domestic violence does not have to be physical. Threats complemented by other forms of verbal abuse could easily result in an arrest and conviction.
Regardless of the magnitude of the infraction, do not put your freedom at risk. Contact our legal professionals who are available to speak to you 24 hours a day.
Call (312) 560-7100 or schedule a free consultation immediately to learn how we can help you.
(image courtesy of Larry Tseng)