Domestic battery offenses account for a significant percentage of misdemeanor arrests in the state of Illinois because most police departments have strict guidelines that require their officers to make arrests in many circumstances. For instance, many departments require an arrest if the accused has made an admission that is corroborated by the evidence. Most departments require an arrest if any injury is observed. An arrest for domestic battery is particularly problematic for families. Unlike most misdemeanors, a person who is accused of domestic battery must be brought before a bond court judge to set bail. This could take anywhere from several hours to two days, depending on the county and the day of the week. Additionally, the bond court judge by law must enter a 72-hour stay away period, during which an accused may not return home or have contact with the alleged victim. Violation of the 72-hour stay away period is a crime in itself.
Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that it can be punishable by up to 364 days in a county jail and you can be fined up to $2500. (A subsequent offense or an allegation of a more serious injury could also result in felony charges.) It is critical to note that unlike most misdemeanors, court supervision is not available as a sentencing option for this offense. This means that if you are found guilty of domestic battery, a conviction will enter on your record. The conviction will be permanently reflected on your criminal history and may have employment consequences. Under Illinois law, domestic battery cannot be expunged from your record. Moreover, sentencing conditions almost always include completion of extensive group counseling with violent offenders that you must pay for out of pocket. Consequently, it is imperative that you seek legal advice if you have been arrested for a domestic battery.
Orders Of Protection
A complaining witness who believes he or she needs an order of protection will be brought before a court for the purpose of requesting an emergency order of protection. If the court determines that there is enough evidence to substantiate an emergency petition, the emergency order of protection will be issued even if the defendant is not in court. Once the respondent is actually served with the order, he or she may not perform any of the acts prohibited by the order, such as being present at the petitioner’s home or place of work, verbally harassing the petitioner, or in some circumstances having any contact at all with the protected parties whether it is harassing or not. The respondent’s children could be named as additional protected parties even if they are not alleged victims of physical abuse themselves. Once served with the order of protection, the respondent will have the opportunity to contest it at the hearing date that is noted in the emergency order of protection. It is important not to miss that court appearance, or a plenary order of protection could issue without you. A plenary order of protection could restrict your liberty for up to two years in Illinois. It is important to know that once you are served with any order of protection, you cannot violate the terms of that order. The petitioner cannot grant you permission to violate any of the terms in that order. In other words, the petitioner cannot allow you to return home even for a temporary visit. Only a court of law can terminate the order or amend any of its provisions. If you have been served with an order of protection, you should
seek legal counsel prior to appearing in court.