Woman afraid of domestic violence.This is the next post in my series on the handling of domestic violence charges in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed taking a domestic violence case to trial. It is important to know what to expect from the trial process so that you can be fully prepared. In this article I will discuss the consequences one will face if they are convicted of domestic assault. I cannot stress enough that you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you or a loved one have been arrested.

First offense domestic violence is charged as a Class “A” misdemeanor in Illinois. This means that, if one is convicted, they will face up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Quite often a defendant will receive probation for their first offense. If the victim suffered serious harm or a weapon was used, however, then the Judge will typically impose jail or prison time. Regardless of whether or not one is incarcerated, being convicted of domestic violence will result in the accused losing their firearm privileges under state and federal law. I will discuss these points in turn.

Many convictions for a first offense result in probation. Such probation will often be considered “informal.” This means that the Judge will issue a sentence at the time of the conviction. In lieu of serving the sentence you will be required to stay out of trouble for a period of time. You may also be required to complete other requirements such as community service and/or attending anger management classes. A return court date will be set and if the requirements have been met then the Court will close the case. If you are arrested for a new crime, or if you fail to meet the requirements, then the Court may impose the sentence which was originally issued. Most Judges will have little patience with those who violate their probation.

If the offense involved a weapon (such as a gun, a knife, a bat, etc.) or if the victim suffered serious injuries then you will likely face felony charges. If convicted this means that you will likely serve time in prison, will be labeled as a violent offender, and that subsequent arrests may lead to more extreme charges.

Any domestic violence conviction, whether a felony or a misdemeanor, will result in the defendant losing their rights to possess a firearm under both Illinois and federal law. This means that if you are found to be in knowing possession of a gun, even if the firearm is owned by someone else, then you will face felony charges. If you use a firearm in the commission of a new offense then you will be charged for that offense in addition to being charged for the illegal possession of a weapon. I discuss these issues further in this video:

If you or a loved one have been charged with domestic violence then contact a lawyer immediately. I am a former prosecutor who handles such matters. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I handle cases in the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.