woman talking to policeThis is the fifth post in a series of articles which will discuss the handling of cases which are classified as Class “A” misdemeanors in the state of Illinois. My last article addressed handling criminal trespass charges. It is important that any criminal charge be taken seriously as a conviction can mean long-term consequences for your future. Retaining an attorney is the first step towards protecting your rights. In this article, we will discuss what a defendant should expect if they are charged with interfering with reporting domestic violence. If you or a family member are in need of assistance, then contact my office today to speak with a criminal lawyer.

Preventing the reporting of Domestic Violence can result in an Illinois category “A” misdemeanor charge

One can be charged with interfering with the reporting of domestic violence if they have committed an act of domestic violence, and then prevented the victim from seeking help. This includes any action that attempts to prevent the victim or witness from reporting the crime or seeking medical attention. The attempt does not have to be successful for a person to be charged in the state of Illinois. For example, the action of hiding or destroying the victim’s phone can lead to this type of charge. This crime is a class “A” misdemeanor and has a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. In addition to state penalties, if an individual is also convicted of domestic violence, then they will be prohibited under Federal law from owning a firearm.

The charge of domestic violence is taken very seriously and will be aggressively pursued by prosecutors. If one also attempts to prevent the victim from reporting the crime, then they may also be charged with interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. Additionally, if one interferes with the victim’s ability to seek medical attention then the prosecution may be less likely to offer a favorable plea deal. Prosecutors will likely seek to bring additional charges. These can include trespassing or enhanced charges due to aggravating factors. The penalties of each charge can be required to be served consecutively resulting in a substantial prison term. It is crucial to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested. An attorney may be able to use certain defenses that could reduce your sentence or result in dropped charges.

Peoria defendants must take the advice of their lawyer as domestic violence is not a “private matter”

Some make the mistake of believing that if charged with domestic violence, it is still a “private matter” between two parties. This is not the case, as the matter cannot be dismissed by speaking with the victim. Once the crime is reported, the prosecuting attorney’s office will decide whether to accept the case and move forward. The victim’s input will not prevent the prosecution from proceeding with a trial, even if the victim supports the defendant. Once a victim has reported domestic violence, the Court may issue a restraining order to protect the victim from the alleged abuser. If a defendant seeks to contact the victim, it is likely they have violated the restraining order. Violating an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor in the state of Illinois. If you are charged with multiple counts of violating a restraining order, it can result in a felony conviction.

These types of crimes are taken very seriously by the Court and carry serious long-term consequences. As a former prosecutor, I am familiar with the handling of such matters. My office believes that everyone is entitled to strong representation and will take immediate steps to prepare a defense. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial appointment. I also serve the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington, as well as the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Shuyler, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.