Domestic violence continues to be a serious issue for Illinois residents. Domestic violence can sometimes go on for years, or even decades before an abused spouse decides to protect herself. Imagine a woman who has suffered severe verbal abuse from her husband for over a decade. One day, as her husband is taunting her, screaming at her, and verbally abusing her, she decides to hit him in an attempt to get him out of her face. This woman has suffered abuse for years and now may be charged with assault for one small, and many might say justifiable, action taken after a decade of suffering.
When Illinois law enforcement shows up at a domestic violence scene, they must make snap decisions. Many times, they do not see the whole picture or realize that an abused spouse lashed out against her abuser to spare herself more abuse. If you have suffered abuse at the hands of your husband and are now facing unjust criminal charges, we can help.
What Happens When an Abused Spouse Hits Her Abuser Illinois?
Hollywood loves to make movies with plots that revolve around an abused woman deciding to fight back against her abuser. What these movies do not show, however, is that these abused spouses who choose to hit back at their abusers can face criminal charges in Illinois. Abused women convicted of assault or battery in Illinois can face fines, jail time, and community service requirements.
Illinois Battery Laws
What happens when a woman slaps or hits her abuser, even as he is screaming at her and verbally abusing her? When law enforcement shows up at the scene, the husband will likely tell them that the wife attacked him. Law enforcement officers may bring battery charges against the abused woman. In Illinois, a domestic battery happens when:
- Someone causes bodily harm to any family or household member, or
- Someone makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member
Even if the slap or hitting does not cause any injury, it is still an insulting contact and if that person is defined as a family or household member, it constitutes battery. In Illinois, the crime of domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor. The consequences for a Class A misdemeanor are up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500 and a lifetime of being labeled a domestic batterer.
Fighting Domestic Violence Charges as an Abused Spouse
At Glasgow & Olsson, our lawyers understand how difficult it is to survive years or even decades of abuse at the hands of one’s spouse. When an abused spouse makes one simple mistake, especially after years of abuse, she does not deserve to face significant criminal consequences.
Our lawyers know how to present evidence that shows the long-term abuse that our clients have endured. We also present evidence as to the psychological effects of long-term abuse on a person. Our lawyers fight hard to get your charges dismissed, negotiate an advantageous plea deal, or secure a not guilty verdict.
At Glasgow & Olsson, we have helped many abused women defend themselves against unfair charges. We understand how stressful domestic violence situations can be and fight hard for our clients. Contact our criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.