Is Domestic Battery a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Domestic Battery may be charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony depending on the facts and circumstances of each individual case and the background of the accused.  There are many circumstances that may result in a Felony Domestic Battery charge.  Some of those circumstances are:

  1. If the accused has a prior conviction for violating an order of protection;
  2. If the accused has a prior conviction for murder, attempt murder, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, stalking, criminal sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated arson, aggravated discharge of a firearm and other crimes (see 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(b) for a full list);
  3. If the accused has two or more convictions for domestic battery.

Can I receive supervision for a charge of Misdemeanor Domestic Battery in Illinois?

No.  Illinois law expressly forbids a judge from granting a term of supervision for a person who has been found guilty of domestic battery.  See 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1.  However, in some cases it is possible to amend the charge to Misdemeanor Battery under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.  If the charge is amended to Battery under 720 ILCS 5/12-3 a person may be eligible for a sentence of supervision.

If I am convicted of Misdemeanor Domestic Battery will I go to Jail?

Domestic Battery is a Class A Misdemeanor.  A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail.  Further, a person may be fined up to $2,500.  Alternatively, there are dispositions available that would allow a person to avoid serving time in jail including probation or conditional discharge.  See 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55 for a full explanation of possible sentences.  However, in some circumstances jail time may be mandatory per Illinois law.  If a person is convicted of Domestic Battery for a second or subsequent time, that person must serve 72 consecutive hours in jail.  See 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(b).

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