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Decatur Woman Arrested for Domestic Battery After Whipping Daughter With a Belt

On May 16, 2019, Decatur police arrested a mother who used a belt to whip her 17-year-old daughter after finding her in bed with her boyfriend. Police found belt-like welts and bruises on both of the girl’s arms. The Illinois domestic battery victim told the police that her mother made her stay home from school for two days to let her injuries heal. The Macon County Jail released the mother on $5,000 bail.

Illinois Domestic Battery Law

An Illinois domestic battery occurs when someone knowingly or intentionally causes bodily harm or makes physical contact that is insulting or provoking. In this case, the mother used a belt to make insulting contact with her daughter’s body resulting in a domestic battery charge. If you have been charged with domestic battery, you will face Illinois’ uniquely strict post-arrest process.

Illinois’ zero tolerance for domestic battery requires that the police take the mother mentioned above before a judge to set bail. She could not have any contact with her daughter for 72 hours. The zero-tolerance rule bars defendants accused of domestic violence from returning home or making any contact with their alleged victim. This means that if you have been accused of domestic violence against your partner, you cannot go home and apologize to the family member you allegedly battered and ask him or her to take back those accusations.

If you have been arrested for domestic battery, we recommend that you do not admit to pushing or grabbing another person even if you think you were justified in doing so by self-defense. If you admit to touching someone, even if it was a simple touch like poking someone gently with your finger in an argument, the police could see this as an admission of domestic battery. If you are arrested for domestic battery, you should invoke your right to remain silent and reach out to a domestic battery criminal defense attorney right away.

The Social Stigma of a Domestic Battery Conviction

If you are convicted of domestic battery, you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life. Having a criminal record comes with serious ramifications for your personal and professional life.

The only way to avoid a criminal record following you around for the rest of your life is if the court dismisses your case, finds you not guilty at trial, or if your charge is amended. Many potential employers will run background checks on you before hiring you and they will find your domestic battery conviction. Also, there is a social stigma that comes with having a domestic battery conviction, particularly if you are back in the dating market and your potential new partner learns of your conviction.

You have one shot to avoid the burden of having a criminal record for the rest of your life. Use that shot to contact an experienced Illinois domestic battery criminal defense attorney who will negotiate and effectively fight to have your case dismissed or to be found not guilty. Contact Glasgow & Olsson by phone or by filling out our online form. We help clients in Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and Dupage counties.

(image courtesy of

Fighting False Domestic Battery Charges During a Divorce

George and Irene own a cozy bungalow on the outskirts of the city. They have been married for a year after a whirlwind courtship and their relationship is rocky, at best. When Irene discovers that George is cheating on her, she is outraged. She files for divorce a few weeks later. George is furious, and the two argue extensively over who will get to keep the house. Irene has a lower-paying job than George, massive student debt and no family support system to fall back on. George works for an advertising firm downtown, and is up for a promotion next quarter. In a moment of desperation after another argument, George tells Irene she is going to be out on the streets and Irene calls 9-1-1 and tells the dispatcher that George hit her, and that she fears for her life. The police get involved, and George is arrested and forced to move out of their home before the divorce is even settled.

What will happen to George? Who will get to keep the house?

The Marital Home

The American Psychological Association reports that about 40 to 50% of married couples in the United States end up filing for divorce. Psychology Today reports that statistic falls to about 30% for people with college degrees. However, the rate is even higher when one of the spouses was married previously. Whatever percentage is used, a significant number of Americans go through the divorce process and many couples must live together in the same house until their divorce is finalized. What are some of the potential problems of having to share a home while going through the often contentious divorce process?

Do I Have to Live With My Spouse While Going Through the Divorce Process?

If you cannot bear the thought of living with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse while going through a divorce, you can ask the court to award you sole possession of your marital home until the divorce is finalized under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. If the court grants your petition, the other spouse must move out. However, to prevail, you will have to prove in your petition that the other spouse is jeopardizing your mental and physical well-being or that of your children.

Domestic Battery Claims From Soon-to-be Ex-Spouses

If the court denies your petition or if you cannot live in separate houses due to financial reasons or other considerations, you will need to live in the marital home. This living arrangement can become a recipe for disagreement and hostility. It should come as no surprise, then, that some spouses will make false domestic violence allegations against the other spouse when sharing the same house during a separation.

An Illinois domestic battery occurs when someone knowingly or intentionally causes bodily harm or makes physical contact that is insulting or provoking. The temptation for one spouse to file a false domestic violence claim can be powerful. The false domestic violence claim could help a spouse gain custody of the kids or possession of the house and cars after the divorce is finalized.

What can I do to Protect Myself Against False Domestic Battery Claims?

People make claims of domestic violence. Most claims have merit, but sometimes people make the allegations with an ulterior motive. The most important thing you can do is hire a skilled attorney who will poke holes in your spouse’s false domestic violence claims. Your attorney can try to get your case dismissed so you do not have to go to trial. If you do go to trial, your attorney will attempt to show that the prosecutor cannot prove that you committed domestic battery beyond a reasonable doubt.

Your spouse may have medical records that show she was injured. A skillful attorney can argue that the medical records do not prove that you caused the injury and use witness statements to demonstrate that your spouse has a motive to falsely accuse you of domestic battery. Finally, a skilled attorney can cross-examine the police officer’s statements with the police reports when necessary to demonstrate the truth of the matter.

If your spouse has falsely accused you of domestic violence, contact an experienced domestic battery criminal defense attorney. With quick and skillful action, we can make the best defenses and legal arguments in your fight to have your case dismissed. If your case goes to trial, we will aggressively fight for an innocent verdict. Contact the experienced domestic battery attorneys of Glasgow & Olsson by phone or by filling out our online form. We assist clients in Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and Dupage counties.

(image courtesy of Soroush Karimi)

What is Domestic Battery in Illinois?

Domestic battery charges are quite serious in Illinois. Even if a victim chooses not to press charges, state prosecutors may still pursue the case. If you have been charged with domestic battery in Illinois, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side because you may be facing serious penalties.

What Constitutes Domestic Battery?

The crime of domestic battery in Illinois occurs when a person causes a family or household member bodily harm or perpetrates insulting or provoking contact with a household or family member. In order to show that domestic battery occurred, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the harm knowingly, intentionally, and with no legally recognized justification.

There is No Supervision Available for Domestic Battery

Those convicted of non-domestic battery are eligible for supervision if it is their first offense. If the court awards supervision in lieu of more severe penalties, it will supervise the defendant and may require him or her to pay fines, conduct community service, or get counseling. At the end of the term, those who enter the court supervision program will most likely have their convictions expunged or sealed.

Domestic battery convictions are different in that those convicted of domestic battery are statutorily barred from participating in the court supervision process described above. If convicted of domestic battery, you will not have the option to have your conviction expunged and it will stay on your record permanently.

What are the Ramifications of a Domestic Battery Conviction?

A first-time domestic battery offense is typically a Class A misdemeanor. If you have a previous domestic violence conviction, aggravating factors occurred, or you violated an order of protection, you could be charged with a Class 4 felony. If the state charges you with a Class 4 felony, you could be sentenced to one to three years in prison.

If convicted, you may not only face a prison sentence, but you will also face other serious consequences. You may lose job opportunities. Potential employers will discover your domestic violence conviction if they run a background check on you and may not hire you as a result. Other government agencies and companies have policies in place barring them from hiring people with domestic violence convictions.

In addition to lost job opportunities, your relationships with family and friends may suffer after a domestic violence conviction. The penalties of a domestic battery are serious and lifelong. If you are facing a domestic battery charge in Cook County, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact us by phone or by filling out an online form.

(image courtesy of Christian Holzinger)