When a call for domestic violence comes in through 911, police are generally under strict orders to make an arrest. That does not mean necessarily that charges will be filed or that you will be convicted of a crime. For the police, the best option in most cases is to remove one individual from the situation. This is almost always a male and, when it is not, it is the individual against whom the call was made. It does not matter if you are guilty or innocent. Since domestic violence sometimes results in fatalities, the police are simply erring on the side of caution. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to understand your rights. Contact the Chicago domestic violence lawyers with Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus to begin the process of your defense.
You also must understand that there may be orders of protection in place. It is imperative that you abide by these orders of protection absolutely.
In a typical case, you will be placed in jail for a period of time and then released on bond. Depending on whether or not police and prosecutors decide to press charges, you will be required to stand before a judge and explain what happened. The judge may issue an order of protection, also known as a restraining order, generally for 72 hours. Even if your spouse, girlfriend, or the person who called the police offers to reconcile, you must not accept the invitation until the order of protection has elapsed. The cops will arrest you if you are caught.
It is difficult to get charges dropped even when the complainant asks prosecutors to drop the charges. The prosecution is under no obligation to satisfy that request. In either case, having an attorney on your side who can help prepare a solid defense against the charges is imperative.
Depending on the extent of the violence, the penalties can be quite severe. Prosecutors are not prone to dropping charges in cases where the complainant (your spouse or significant other) has sustained obvious injuries.
Domestic battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. If the defendant has a prior conviction, it escalates to a Class 4 felony. If the battery involved a firearm, a child, or sexual assault upon a spouse, it will be considered a Class 4 felony which is punishable by up to three years in prison. In addition, a conviction can compromise your visitation rights with your children.
Illinois Domestic Violence Act lays out the penalties for spousal or household abuse. The penalties are stiff and the police will always assume that the individual who called the police is in danger, regardless of whether or not he or she really was. A skilled Chicago domestic violence attorney can help you beat or reduce the charges. Talk to us today.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.