Illinois law is tough on domestic abuse. For instance, when police are called to homes as a result of domestic violence accusations, they legally must make arrests if signs of injury are present. Furthermore, Illinois has what is called a no-drop policy, meaning that these types of charges will never be dropped, even if the accusers end up changing their stories.
For these reasons, either a seemingly minor domestic violence misdemeanor charge or a felony charge may be severe. Those who are convicted cannot opt for supervision. Rather, they may face jail time and fines.
Another negative aspect of a domestic abuse conviction is that it may negatively impact a visitation and child custody decision or even an immigration status case. Unfortunately, convicted parties cannot have these crimes expunged from their records. As a result, claiming certain jobs may become impossible for those facing such convictions.
Fortunately, just because someone is facing a domestic violence charge does not mean he or she is guilty. Rather, prosecutors have to prove all elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen at trial. An attorney may recommend pursuing a plea agreement with prosecutors, however, if the prosecutor’s evidence carries enough weight to suggest that a plea deal would be the best course of action for the client. The attorney’s goal in a plea deal situation in Illinois is to pursue a deal that is fair and in the accused party’s best interests considering the circumstances of his or her criminal case.