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What are the domestic violence laws in Illinois?

Residents of the United States, including Illinois, need to understand that if a person causes physical harm to anyone else, either in a relationship or within the family boundaries, then the state may charge that person with domestic violence. Generally, there are two types of domestic violence laws: criminal domestic violence and civil domestic violence. While the former focuses on any actual physical harm, the latter covers all physical, sexual and emotional injuries.

A domestic violence victim can seek protection from the state. This is referred to as a restraining order and can be used against a perpetrator of domestic violence in either Illinois civil or criminal court. Domestic violence is considered a crime and anyone who is responsible for it will be arrested.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 covers many types of violence and protects many citizens, including spouses or ex-spouses, individuals in a relationship, a child-parent relationship or parents who have children in common, individuals who are blood related or roommates who share a house. According to the domestic violence laws of Illinois, anyone who commits battery will be charged with a criminal offense. Battery is causing intentional physical harm to another person.

Domestic battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor and can result in a prison sentence of at least a year. The person can be released only by a court order. According to Illinois state law, domestic battery is punishable as a Class 4 felony if the accused has a previous history of domestic violence.

Source: FindLaw, "Illinois Domestic Violence Laws," accessed on Aug. 25, 2014

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