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Domestic battery is defined as intentionally or knowingly without legal justification by any means causing bodily harm, or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. (See 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2 for the Illinois criminal code section that discusses Illinois law for Domestic Battery crimes.)
Even minor physical contact will be considered a battery. Therefore it is important to avoid any physical contact with anyone likely to make a false claim of battery. In addition, anyone being arrested should be aware that admitting to pushing or grabbing a woman, even in self defense, will likely be construed as an admission of guilt. If the police are questioning you about a call of a domestic battery, invoke your right to remain silent. To make matters worse, anyone convicted of domestic battery can not receive a Supervision as a sentence and instead must receive a permanent conviction. See 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(c).
There are many defenses to the charge of Domestic Battery. The most common are that the complaining witness is fabricating the offense and self-defense. Essentially, every instance of alleged domestic battery either involves a face to face incident during which the complaining witness claims he or she was battered (often falsely) or a complete or total fabrication of the event.
In the case of a fabrication, it is often possible to prove that the defendant was somewhere else. This is called an alibi defense. It can be proved in many ways, including witnesses, records such as credit card receipts, or security video.
Cases which evolve out of an actual incident fall into two categories: arguments with no physical contact and self-defense. The second situation is the most common, during which an individual will slap, kick, and scratch an attacker who, in turn, pushes them away, and then claims he or she is the victim. Keep in mind that any statement to the police which admits physical contact will almost certainly be written up in a police report as an admission of guilt. If the police are questioning you about a domestic battery, insist on a lawyer being present. Otherwise, say nothing.
A case in which an individual claims he or she was battered during an argument that actually occurred is more difficult to defend, but not impossible. Frequently it can be established that the complaining witness had no visible injuries and received no medical treatment. Sometimes it can be shown that a great deal of time passed before the person made a battery complaint. Other times there are eyewitnesses. To decide which defense is right for you, call the Law Office of Steven R. Hunter today for an office consultation.
The cases below represent some of our experience defending those who have been charged with domestic battery. Please be aware that every case is unique and every client has special circumstances. It is unethical for an attorney to guarantee any particular outcome.