Domestic Violence Charges in Evanston
Help from an Evanston Domestic Violence Lawyer
It is against the law in Illinois to commit a violent act (or an act that threatens violence) against a family member or household member. This offense is referred to as domestic battery.
A few examples of actions that can be considered domestic battery include:
- Threatening or interfering with the personal freedom of a family or household member
At Pfeifer & Pfeifer, Attorneys at Law, we know that there are many situations in which domestic disputes turn into false allegations. Sometimes, the so-called “victim” is really just trying to take advantage of the system to try and hurt the other person. Our Evanston criminal defense attorneys can work tirelessly on your behalf to prove the facts of your case so that you can reduce your chances of conviction.
Who is considered a domestic violence victim?
Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, the following individuals are considered family members or household members:
- Spouses or former spouses
- Family members who are related by blood or by marriage
- Individuals who have (or claim to have) children together
- People who are (or who claim to be) blood-related through a child
- Individuals who are or were in dating relationships
- Individuals who share a residence
Furthermore, the state of Illinois also recognizes the relationship between disabled people and their personal assistants as being “domestic.” Because of this fact, any abusive or threatening acts between these parties can be considered domestic violence.
What happens after a domestic violence arrest?
Once a person is accused of domestic violence, he or she can end up being arrested and charged with a domestic violence-related crime. In addition to facing criminal charges, the individual may also have an order of protection filed against him or her. This is a court order that requires the person to refrain from continuing the abuse or threats and to refrain from other actions for a certain period of time. The accused person might be ordered to stay out of his or her own home and to avoid contacting or coming near the alleged victim.
What to Expect in Court
Unlike other misdemeanors where the accused can post a small amount of bail and be released from the police station, a person who is arrested for domestic battery must appear before a judge the following morning for a bond hearing. The bond judge will set a bond after hearing the allegations from the prosecutor, along with the criminal background, if any, of the accused.
If the accused does not have a lawyer at the bond hearing, the court will appoint a public defender for the hearing. The public defender will be able to tell the judge favorable things about the accused, however the public defender may also have to worry about representing numerous other defendants and may not have had adequate time to conduct a thorough interview of each defendant. That is why it is important to have a lawyer from our office, Pfeifer & Pfeifer, Attorneys at Law, present for the bond hearing to ensure that the lowest possible bond will be set.
The possible penalties for a domestic violence charge will depend on the type of crime involved in the case. The defendant might face charges for something more minor such as harassing a victim, or he or she might be accused of a very serious violent crime such as aggravated assault. Criminal convictions can result in damaging penalties such as jail time, prison time, probation, fines, etc. People convicted of domestic violence could also end up losing custody of their children and having their reputations ruined.
In addition, court supervision is not an available sentence for domestic battery. Therefore, a person found guilty of domestic battery risks having a permanent criminal record.
With the right legal representation, you might be able to avoid these harmful outcomes. Our criminal defense law firm knows how to dig for evidence and effectively present a case before the court. Contact our firm so we can provide you with high-quality defense!