Illinois Aggravated Domestic Battery

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3

A person commits aggravated domestic battery when the person, knowingly or without legal justification, by any means:

  1. Causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement to an individual; or
  2. Strangles another family or household member.

Under Illinois law, “family or household members” are defined as:

  • family members who are related by blood;
  • people who are married or who were formerly married;
  • people who share or used to share a home, apartment, or other common dwelling;
  • people who have or allegedly have a child in common or a blood relationship through a child in common;
  • people who are dating or engaged or used to date, including same sex couples; and
  • people with disabilities and their personal assistants.

As with the crime of simple battery, part of the burden of proof for the State is to (1) prove a battery occurred, but also prove (2) that the alleged victim was a “family or household member” as defined above. The defense of “self-defense” defeats the charge of aggravated domestic battery because the person, acting in self-defense, is legally justified in committing the domestic battery in order to defend himself or herself. Additionally, as part of its proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the State must prove that the bodily harm was “great”, or that any claimed disability exists and is permanent, or that any claimed disfigurement exists and is permanent. Additionally, the State would have the burden of proving that strangulation occurred. The law defines “strangle” as: “intentionally impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of an individual by applying pressure on the throat or neck of that individual or by blocking the nose or mouth of that individual.”

The Sentence

CLASS 2 FELONY – 3-7 YEARS

Probation Possible? – Yes. But must serve at least 60 day sentence in jail.

Supervision Possible? – Not as charged.

Time To Be Served – Must serve 50% of the sentence imposed

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

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Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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