Chicago Aggravated Domestic Battery Defense Attorney

Illinois Aggravated Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you discover that you have become the target of allegations of violence against a family member, such as an act causing great bodily harm or strangulation, you will predictably experience significant anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Although the Illinois offense of aggravated domestic battery constitutes a serious criminal charge, such allegations often are falsely leveled by an estranged spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend to obtain an advantage in a divorce or child custody dispute. Our law firm analyzes the story of the accuser and other evidence to provide our clients with a compelling defense of their rights, freedom, reputation, and future.

If you are charged with a Chicago or suburban aggravated domestic battery under Illinois criminal law (720 ILCS 5/12-3.3), you can face life-altering consequences that include a felony conviction, state prison term, substantial fine, restraining orders, and probation. Even after you have satisfied all of the terms and conditions of your sentence, you must still navigate the long-term impacts of this felony conviction. These consequences can impact your ability to own or possess a firearm; obtain a security clearance, promotion, or job position; exercise certain constitutional rights; preserve immigration benefits and privileges; and more. When facing these types of severe penalties and consequences, you should promptly and definitively exercise your rights against self-incrimination (right to remain silent) and your right to counsel.

Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney with More than Twenty Years of Experience

Chicago criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg has over two decades of experience aggressively defending the rights of individuals faced with the full weight of the government, including law enforcement agencies, virtually limitless financial resources, and experienced prosecutors. Mr. Freidberg thoroughly investigates the evidence gathered by the police and/or detectives and painstakingly analyzes this evidence and police procedures to identify constitutional violations and the most effective defense strategies. While he is committed to tenaciously pursuing a dismissal of charges or acquittal after trial, he also explores the potential for a favorable plea agreement that might include reduction of the felony charge of aggravated domestic battery to a misdemeanor.

Mr. Freidberg’s success in obtaining positive outcomes for his clients is reflected in a litany of stellar reviews and ratings that include the following:

  • Rating of “Excellent” by AVVO, which rates every lawyer in the U.S.
  • “Clients Choice” selection with AVVO in 2015
  • Dozens of 5 star ratings on the internet by satisfied clients

This small sampling of examples demonstrates Mr. Freidberg’s success in developing a reputation for diligently advocating for the rights of his clients; responding to client inquiries in a timely manner; and crafting persuasive, innovative legal defense strategies based on the relevant facts and law.

Understanding Aggravated Domestic Battery under Illinois Criminal Laws (720 ILCS 5/12-3.3)

A person can be convicted of domestic violence in Illinois if he or she intentionally or knowingly by any means causes bodily harm to any member of the individual’s household or family. [720 ILCS 5/12-3.3(a)]. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act [750 ILCS 60/101] specifies the family and household relationships that support a charge of aggravated domestic violence. The offense covers people living together, spouses, dating couples, and caretakers to family and household members with disabilities.

An individual can be charged with aggravated domestic battery for intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, or permanent disfigurement or disability. [720 ILCS 5/12-3.3(a)(5)]. Alternatively, an individual, for example, who strangles another person with a relationship to the accused also can be charged with aggravated domestic violence (i.e., aggravated domestic battery). For purposes of this criminal offense, “strangulation” refers to intentionally impeding normal breathing or circulation of blood through application of pressure to the throat or neck or blockage of the nose or mouth.

Prosecutors might rely on minor injuries like bruising or swelling in the neck area to support this aggravated version of the domestic violence offense. Because allegations of choking or grabbing of the throat and neck area are common in domestic violence cases, people sometimes face severe felony charges based on relatively minor signs of injury.

While our Chicago law firm explores the facts, evidence, and law enforcement conduct to identify potential strategies that can be used to seek a dismissal or acquittal, a reduction of the charge to misdemeanor battery might be possible if the injuries are not significant. Under Illinois law, the injuries must be more significant than abrasions, lacerations, or bruises to fall within the definition of “great bodily harm.” However, prosecutors might elect to disregard the testimony of a purported victim who claims that the injuries are not serious. The prosecutors often will look to other evidence, such as photos, witness statements, medical records, etc. If the accused is the sole source of evidence regarding the severity of alleged injuries, we carefully scrutinize the motivations and veracity of the complaining witness to expose exaggerated or false allegations.

Sentencing and Penalties for Aggravated Domestic Violence in Illinois

The criminal offense of aggravated domestic battery constitutes a class 2 felony under Illinois law, which typically carries exposure to a prison sentence of 3 to 7 years in a penitentiary. However, the prison term can be extended to as much as 14 years in certain circumstances. While probation is possible for a first offense, a subsequent conviction entails a mandatory term of 3 to 14 years. If a person receives conditional discharge or probation, which are convictions under Illinois law, the individual convicted of this offense must serve a minimum of sixty consecutive days of incarceration. Further, the court can impose fines in an amount up to a maximum of $25,000.

Important Caveat : Although this information provides a general overview of the domestic battery offense and penalties, this summary cannot address the full scope of nuances that might impact a specific case. Further, the Illinois Legislature is currently considering changes that would expand the scope of conduct that constitutes aggravated domestic battery and imposes more severe penalties under certain circumstances. If the proposed changes become effective, the offense will include new categories of aggravated domestic battery based on location, physical disability, victim’s age, intellectual disability, use of deadly weapons, and other factors. The proposed amendment would also increase the penalty for repeat offenses of aggravated domestic violence. We invite you to contact the Law Offices of David Freidberg to obtain specific information about your situation and your potential options moving forward.

Speak to a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Today!

The Chicago criminal defense law firm of David L. Freidberg, P.C. is dedicated to protecting the rights of citizens from false or exaggerated allegations and overzealous law enforcement officers. We carefully analyze the underlying facts and relevant law enforcement tactics so that we can build the strongest factual and procedural defenses. We offer a free consultation so contact us at (312) 560-7100 or email us. Let us start protecting your future today! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve you.