Attorney David S. Meyerson has both prosecuted and defended Domestic Battery cases ranging from batteries of an insulting or provoking nature to felony batteries where there were significant injuries.
Few types of cases involve more emotions or intensity that domestic battery cases. There are several reasons for this. There may be a longstanding personal relationship involving joint finances and children. A couple may be going through a highly-contested divorce involving child custody, child support and finance issues. Law enforcement responding to a call of domestic violence often find individuals in personal distress, threatening to harm themselves or others, holding hostages, or even engaging in violent acts toward law enforcement. Domestic violence situations can be highly volatile and many police officers have died in the line of duty responding to domestic disputes. The court system takes domestic violence very seriously. Most misdemeanors allow for a sentence of court supervision, which is not a criminal conviction. Court supervision is a sentence wherein the court defers entering judgment against a criminal defendant, and, if the criminal defendant complies with all supervision conditions, the charges are dismissed at the end of the supervision period and are thereby expungeable from a criminal defendant’s record.
Domestic battery is one of the few misdemeanors which requires a mandatory conviction and a sentence of supervision is not allowed.
Sometimes these cases arise in the context of a parent disciplining their child, wherein there may even be involvement of a state agency such as the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”). In Illinois, corporal punishment is not per se illegal. A parent can discipline a child physically. However, what separates legal corporal punishment from a criminal act of domestic battery often depends on what a judge decides is reasonable. Some in the court system interject their personal beliefs into whether a parent has a right to discipline their child physically. Corporal punishment is one of the grayest areas of criminal law.
When a person is arrested for domestic battery and are able to bond out of jail, they are court ordered to stay out of their home for seventy two hours. In addition, a judge can make it a condition of a defendant’s bond to have no contact with the complaining witness, his or her home, and/or his or her place of work. No contact means in person, by phone, e-mail, text or through a third party.
In many cases, an Order of Protection is entered. An Order of Protection is an extraordinary civil remedy created by the Illinois Legislature which prohibits the Order of Protection Respondent to have contact with or stalk the Order of Protection Petitioner. Emergency Orders of Protection are sometimes entered unilaterally by a judge for a Petitioner who swears before the judge that they have been a victim of domestic violence or are being stalked. The Respondent has a right to a hearing on a Petition for Order of Protection. However, unlike a criminal charge where the State’s burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, to obtain a Plenary Order of Protection, which can be up to two (2) years, the Petitioner need only establish the need for an Order of Protection by a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower burden than in relation to a criminal charge.
Please call attorney David S. Meyerson at (847) 513-6600 for a free consultation in relation to your domestic battery charge or other charges of domestic violence.