What is the Difference Between Domestic Violence and Assault?
Domestic violence charges often lead to harsher sentencing than simple assaults. They are also a lot more stigmatized. One of the main differences between domestic violence and assault is who the victim is. A lot of people believe that “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence” are synonymous, but they are not. In Illinois, you could be charged with domestic violence for assaulting someone who is related to you, who lives in your household, or who you used to be romantically involved with. It is not limited to someone you are currently in a relationship with. A lot of people are surprised to find themselves charged with domestic violence after a dispute with, for example, a roommate. An attorney may be able to help you reduce the severity of your charges.
Who Can Domestic Violence be Committed Against?
If you are the primary aggressor in a physical altercation with a stranger or friend, you are most likely going to be charged with assault. While an assault charge is still serious and can land you in jail, a domestic violence charge can close doors in your future. Even if this is not the case, people may look at your conviction and believe that you were physically abusive toward someone you were in a romantic relationship with.
However, you could be charged with domestic violence rather than assault if the victim was:
Your ex - Even if you have since broken up or gotten divorced, you could still face domestic violence charges for an altercation with an intimate partner. If the victim was your child’s other parent, then you could be charged with domestic violence even if you were never in a relationship.
A roommate - Assaulting anyone who lives in the same house as you could be considered domestic violence, even if they are just a roommate.
A relative - If you and the victim were related by blood, an assault on them could be treated as domestic violence, even if you do not live with or near them.
A relative of your child - This includes a member of your child’s other parent’s family.
In a caregiver relationship - Violence between a disabled or elderly person and their caregiver is treated as domestic violence.
You should also know that the victim cannot decide to drop the charge if they forgive you. You can be convicted and jailed even over the victim’s objections.
Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing domestic violence charges, Davi Law Group, LLC can offer you a top-quality defense. Our skilled Wheaton criminal defense attorneys will do everything in our power to have your charges reduced or eliminated. Call 630-580-6373 for a free consultation.