The 72 hour stay away order mandates no contact with the alleged victim to a domestic battery charge. Even though the alleged victim may wish the client back into the residence, doing so risks revocation of the bond and incarceration until such time as the case is fully resolved. These cases take up to 6 months to resolve. Therefore the consequences of having been caught violating the bond conditions are very serious. Sometimes there is a more lasting condition placed on the bond. That is when the judge orders "no further contact." Of course the condition only lasts as long as the case remains open. In Illinois no bondsmen are allowed, and are in fact barred by law. The typical bond amount is satisfied when the family for the defendant posts 10% of the total amount. An example would be when the judge orders a $10,000.00 bond only $1,000.00 need be posted to secure the client's release. In rare occasions the judge may order a 100% cash only bond.
How to Get the Case Dismissed
In the local counties where I primarily practice, we use an "affidavit of nonprosecution". This is an affidavit signed by the "victim" requesting dismissal of the case. The victim has no right to dismiss any criminal charge. However, without a cooperative witness these cases are extremely difficult for the State to win (unless there are independent witnesses to the event). I have negotiated many domestic battery charges (felony and misdemeanor) and find the affidavits to be a valuable tool. Thorough investigation and photography of any wounds the defendant may bear are also necessary. Bruises and welts will vanish in a few days. Failure to photograph them may waste valuable defense evidence. Many times the victim will claim that they were afraid of the defendant after the event. However, thanks to the electronic age, emails, telephone calls, and texting may prove otherwise. This type of evidence, although more difficult to present properly in court, is very persuasive.
What if the Prosecutor won't Dismiss
If the case is solid against the defendant and the State won't budge there exists a diversion program requiring anger management classes for a period of either 26 or 52 weeks. Upon completion the charge is amended to simple Battery and an order of court supervision may be imposed. This ultimately results in a dismissal of the charge. If the defense is strong enough a jury trial (or bench trial) may occur. These cases are very fact specific and only an experienced attorney can determine what the probable outcome will be with a jury trial. A conviction for domestic battery is a lifetime conviction. In Illinois a person convicted of this offense cannot legally possess a Firearm Owners Identification Card. This means a firearm cannot be owned for the rest of that defendant's life.
I've Won the Case, Now what?
Normally a person need do nothing further once the case is dismissed. However, the mere fact one was charged with Domestic Battery causes problems obtaining proper firearm credentials. Another common problem is when an acquitted client seeks employment. Domestic Battery arrests always seem to pop up and cause problems. I had a longtime client, a former chief of police, who was charged with domestic battery. I tried his case and we won. He tried to move to bigger police departments but was always denied without explanation. He figured out after about 5 years of that occurring it was because he was arrested of the offense. Once we expunged the arrest he had no further problems. I always recommend expungement of the arrest in these cases. The court fees are nominal ($126.00) and well worth the expense
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