Domestic violence is considered to be a cycle of violence that involves physical and psychological abuse that occurs between people who are in an intimate relationship, such as if the individuals involved are married, living together, or even just dating in Illinois or elsewhere. While domestic violence can include a wide variety of offenses, such as battery or assault, it is often defined as a distinct crime.

There are four categories of domestic abuse. Physical abuse occurs when one person inflicts any type of violent behavior against his or her partner. Sexual abuse occurs when a person engages in non-consensual sexual acts against the other person. Emotional abuse occurs when a person attempts to control his or her partner by invalidating that person’s sense of self-worth. Finally, economic abuse occurs when a person makes his or her partner financially reliant, which acts as a means of controlling that person.

When a person is facing domestic violence charges, prosecutors may push for harsher sentences than what may be sought for similar crimes that occur between strangers. This is because domestic abusers are often considered to use their partners’ trust as a way to gain control. The severity of the charges may be based on the severity of any injuries that resulted from the alleged incident, whether a protective or restraining order was in place, or if a minor was involved or present.

If a person is charged with domestic violence, he or she potentially faces a variety of consequences that could have a wide-ranging impact on that person’s future, such as jail time. However, that individual still has specific rights that need to be protected and potential options that may be explored. For example, an attorney may ensure that all proper procedures are followed while working toward a reduction of the charges or a dismissal of the charges.