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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 12: Domestic Battery

Domestic battery is a crime often prosecuted in Illinois courthouses. When domestic disputes arise and the police are called, family members or spouses may find themselves facing charges of domestic battery. To commit this crime, a person must have caused harm to a family member or have insulting physical contact with a family member. A first offense carries only a Class A misdemeanor status, but repeat offenses can be classified as felonies.

In certain circumstances, a defendant can be convicted of aggravated domestic battery. If the defendant strangled the victim or caused the victim permanent disability, he or she can be convicted of this upgraded charge. A conviction carries a much higher status of Class 2 felony, and Illinois law mandates a term of incarceration no less than 60 days upon first offense.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested for assault or battery in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 12 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Sec. 12-3.2. Domestic Battery.
    (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2)

(a) A person commits domestic battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification by any means:

(1) Causes bodily harm to any family or household member as defined in subsection (3) of Section 112A-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, as amended;

(2) Makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member as defined in subsection (3) of Section 112A-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, as amended.

(b) Sentence. Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor. Domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the defendant has any prior conviction under this Code for domestic battery (Section 12-3.2) or violation of an order of protection (Section 12-30), or any prior conviction under the law of another jurisdiction for an offense which is substantially similar. Domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the defendant has any prior conviction under this Code for first degree murder (Section 9-1), attempt to commit first degree murder (Section 8-4), aggravated domestic battery (Section 12-3.3), aggravated battery (Section 12-4), heinous battery (Section 12-4.1), aggravated battery with a firearm (Section 12-4.2), aggravated battery of a child (Section 12-4.3), aggravated battery of an unborn child (Section 12-4.4), aggravated battery of a senior citizen (Section 12-4.6), stalking (Section 12-7.3), aggravated stalking (Section 12-7.4), criminal sexual assault (Section 12-13), aggravated criminal sexual assault (12-14), kidnapping (Section 10-1), aggravated kidnapping (Section 10-2), predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (Section 12-14.1), aggravated criminal sexual abuse (Section 12-16), unlawful restraint (Section 10-3), aggravated unlawful restraint (Section 10-3.1), aggravated arson (Section 20-1.1), or aggravated discharge of a firearm (Section 24-1.2), or any prior conviction under the law of another jurisdiction for any offense that is substantially similar to the offenses listed in this Section, when any of these offenses have been committed against a family or household member as defined in Section 112A-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. In addition to any other sentencing alternatives, for any second or subsequent conviction of violating this Section, the offender shall be mandatorily sentenced to a minimum of 72 consecutive hours of imprisonment. The imprisonment shall not be subject to suspension, nor shall the person be eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence.

(c) Domestic battery committed in the presence of a child. In addition to any other sentencing alternatives, a defendant who commits, in the presence of a child, a felony domestic battery (enhanced under subsection (b)), aggravated domestic battery (Section 12-3.3), aggravated battery (Section 12-4), unlawful restraint (Section 10-3), or aggravated unlawful restraint (Section 10-3.1) against a family or household member, as defined in Section 112A-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, shall be required to serve a mandatory minimum imprisonment of 10 days or perform 300 hours of community service, or both. The defendant shall further be liable for the cost of any counseling required for the child at the discretion of the court in accordance with subsection (b) of Section 5-5-6 of the Unified Code of Corrections. For purposes of this Section, "child" means a person under 18 years of age who is the defendant's or victim's child or step-child or who is a minor child residing within or visiting the household of the defendant or victim. For purposes of this Section, "in the presence of a child" means in the physical presence of a child or knowing or having reason to know that a child is present and may see or hear an act constituting one of the offenses listed in this subsection.

(d) Upon conviction of domestic battery, the court shall advise the defendant orally or in writing, substantially as follows: "An individual convicted of domestic battery may be subject to federal criminal penalties for possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving any firearm or ammunition in violation of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) and (9))." A notation shall be made in the court file that the admonition was given. (Source: P.A. 96-287, eff. 8-11-09.)

(Text of Section from P.A. 96-287)
    (720 ILCS 5/12-3.3)

Sec. 12-3.3. Aggravated domestic battery.

(a) A person who, in committing a domestic battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement commits aggravated domestic battery.

(b) Sentence. Aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony. Any order of probation or conditional discharge entered following a conviction for an offense under this Section must include, in addition to any other condition of probation or conditional discharge, a condition that the offender serve a mandatory term of imprisonment of not less than 60 consecutive days. A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this Section must be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of not less than 3 years and not more than 7 years or an extended term of imprisonment of not less than 7 years and not more than 14 years.

(c) Upon conviction of aggravated domestic battery, the court shall advise the defendant orally or in writing, substantially as follows: "An individual convicted of aggravated domestic battery may be subject to federal criminal penalties for possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving any firearm or ammunition in violation of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) and (9))." A notation shall be made in the court file that the admonition was given. (Source: P.A. 96-287, eff. 8-11-09.)

(Text of Section from P.A. 96-363)

Sec. 12-3.3. Aggravated domestic battery.

(a) A person who, in committing a domestic battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement commits aggravated domestic battery.

(a-5) A person who, in committing a domestic battery, strangles another individual commits aggravated domestic battery. For the purposes of this subsection (a-5), "strangle" means 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. (b) Sentence. Aggravated domestic battery is a Class 2 felony. Any order of probation or conditional discharge entered following a conviction for an offense under this Section must include, in addition to any other condition of probation or conditional discharge, a condition that the offender serve a mandatory term of imprisonment of not less than 60 consecutive days. A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this Section must be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of not less than 3 years and not more than 7 years or an extended term of imprisonment of not less than 7 years and not more than 14 years. (Source: P.A. 96-363, eff. 8-13-09.)

(Text of Section from P.A. 96-201)
    (720 ILCS 5/12-4)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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