Domestic violence is a crime that can spell serious consequences for the perpetrator. For a crime to be considered domestic violence, the abuser and the victim have to have a specific relationship under the law. Someone may be charged for committing an act of violence under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act if they are your spouse, even if separated, or an ex-spouse following a divorce. Other specific types of relationships that qualify for domestic violence include current or former dating partners or roommates, parents who have children together, blood relatives, parent or step parents and children and stepchildren, and caregivers and disabled or elderly adults. It is important for victims to realize that they can turn to law enforcement for help if they are subject to acts of domestic violence.
While domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor, aggravated domestic battery is a felony and may be punishable be several years in jail. If an abuser has a prior domestic battery conviction, any second offense will also be charged as a felony, providing victims a reprieve from the threat of violence when an abuser is convicted and serves time. Illinois takes seriously the protection of victims of domestic violence and therefore someone convicted of a domestic violent crime or who is under a protective order for domestic violence cannot possess a firearm under the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban often referred to as the Lautenberg Amendment. Any violations can result in serious charges.
Over 3 million Illinoisans experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. According to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, last year alone, nearly 50,000 adult survivors of domestic violence sought domestic violence resources while over 8 thousand kids witnessed domestic violence in their homes. While law enforcement pursues perpetrators, holding them accountable for the crime of domestic violence, there are services available to victims and children of domestic violence in Illinois which includes 24 hour hotlines, 24 hour emergency shelters, individual and group counseling, court and other advocacy, public education/information and referrals to help families affected by domestic violence move forward.
If you or a family member is a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. It is important to seek help. If you have questions regarding divorce or separation, child custody or parenting responsibilities, or temporary protection orders in the context of domestic violence, the Lake county family law attorneys of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC can provide you with support and information on getting immediate help. Contact our experienced Illinois domestic violence attorneys for assistance at 847-680-4970.