Illinois Domestic Battery

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2

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

  1. Causes bodily harm to a family or household member; or

  2. Makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a 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.

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 domestic battery because the person, acting in self-defense, is legally justified in committing the domestic battery in order to defend himself or herself. As with simple battery, no actual injury is required, no medical care or treatment is required; no doctor or hospital treatment is required for the State to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. As is the case with all crimes, the burden is on the State to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Sentence

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR – 364 DAYS MAX

Probation Possible? – Yes.

Supervision Possible? – Yes.

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

Success Story: With the expansion of those persons falling under the category of “family or household member”, domestic battery charges have become more prevalent in recent years. We have successfully defended clients at trial who have been found “not guilty”. Some at bench trials and some wherein juries have returned the verdict of “not guilty”. In one instance, we were retained to represent a man who was charged with domestic battery for allegedly striking his girlfriend. We were able to obtain, through subpoena, copies of the phone records and text records of the alleged victim. These records actually corroborated our client’s defense that he was rally the victim.

When you need a criminal defense attorney, you should hire a lawyer who is experienced, aggressive, and will do the work it takes to get the best result for you. We leave no stone unturned in our effort to do the best job we can for a client, and get the best result possible. We are experienced, aggressive, knowledgeable, and detail-oriented criminal defense attorneys We represent clients in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Joliet, Lockport, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Oak Forest, Plainfield, Romeoville, and all other cities in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005