Domestic Battery in Illinois
Updated: Jul 31
A person commits domestic battery when he or she intentionally or knowingly and without legal justification causes bodily harm or makes contact of an insulting and provoking nature with any family or household member. 720 ILCS 5/12.3.2. Generally, if the police are called, someone will be arrested if there is any sort of allegation. There is no need for bleeding or bruising to show in order for an arrest to occur.
A family or household member can include, but is not limited to, any of the following: spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or marriage, persons who share a residence or who have previously shared a residence, persons who have a child in common, persons who have or have been engaged, personal assistants and caregivers. 725 ILCS 5/112A-3.
Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor offense; however, unlike other Class A misdemeanors, a disposition of court supervision is not available. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(c). A conviction is mandatory. Further, a conviction for domestic battery can never be sealed or expunged from a person’s criminal record. This means that this charge and offense will follow you throughout your life and may affect college applications or jobs.
If you are charged with domestic battery for a second time, it can be charged as a Class 4 felony which means that it is now considered aggravated domestic battery. For a Class 4 felony, the sentence can range from probation with a minimum of three (3) days in jail to three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Self-defense is an available defense to a charge of domestic battery.