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Can I Have A Jury Trial On Misdemeanor Domestic Battery?

Published on December 23rd, 2014

If you have been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, you need to consult our office as soon as possible. Even though domestic battery is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, you may be facing a fine of up to $2,500 and jail time up to 364 days if you are found guilty. If this is your second charge of domestic battery within the past five years, the minimum time in jail increases and the charge may also be enhanced by the state to a felony.

It is very important that you contact our office as soon as possible after being charged with misdemeanor domestic battery so that we can begin to prepare a defense to the charge. This will include deciding whether to request a jury trial or a bench trial in your case.

Misdemeanor Domestic Battery: Jury Trial or Bench Trial

Preparing a defense to your misdemeanor domestic battery charge will include deciding whether to request a jury trial or a bench trial. You are entitled to have your case heard by a jury of 12 people. The jury decides your guilt or innocence but the judge still determines the sentence if you are found guilty. In a bench trial, the judge decides your guilt or innocence after hearing the evidence and sentences you if he or she finds you guilty of the misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be better to request a jury trial or proceed with a bench trial. After investigating the charges and reviewing the facts of the case, your attorney will discuss the pros and cons of both jury trials and bench trials with you. Your attorney will also give you advice as to which option he believes is in your best interest based on his years of experience and knowledge of the law.

Burden of Proof and Defenses for Misdemeanor Domestic Battery

Regardless of whether you choose jury trial or a bench trial, the state still has the same burden of proof. In order for your to be found guilty of the charge of misdemeanor domestic battery, the state must proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally had physical contact with the alleged victim that was a family member, a household member or a child in a common or dating relationship by:

  • Provoking or insulting the victim thereby
  • causing bodily harm
  • without legal justification.

Potential defenses that your attorney may discuss with you include consent of the victim, self-defense and parental consent to use corporal punishment. The defense that you use will depend on the facts and circumstances of your specific case. Your attorney will work closely with you to develop a defense that will give you the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact Our Office for a Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Misdemeanor Attorney

Serving Our Clients with Sound Guidance and Unparalleled Dedication

Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols represents individuals who need experienced criminal defense attorneys. With offices located in Eureka and Bloomington, we represent clients throughout Woodford County, McLean County, Tazewell County, Peoria County, and the surrounding communities. We offer free consultations. You can contact our office by calling 309-938-4838.

When you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Central Illinois, call the compassionate and skilled attorneys of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. We are dedicated to giving our clients exceptional service and support throughout the process.

Joe Pioletti
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