Domestic Violence Cases

DEFENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES

It is imperative that you have an experienced domestic violence lawyer at the ready when confronting the charge of domestic violence.  Attorney Carlos H. Davalos defends domestic violence cases for those accused of hitting or striking a significant other or family member.  The charge of domestic battery is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor with the statutory section for the offense being found at 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2.  What separates the offense of domestic battery from a case of simple battery is that the domestic requires a wife, family member, or significant other as the alleged victim.  A domestic violence lawyer should know that the types of physical touching implicating the charge includes kicking, pushing, shoving, slapping, and any other objectionably offensive physical touching.

Because Domestic Violence is typically classified as a Class A misdemeanor, it can be punished by up to 12 months in the county department of corrections with a fine up to $2,500 dollars.  In addition, an experienced domestic violence attorney will be aware that the disposition of court supervision is explicitly prohibited for those charged with this offense by Illinois sentencing statutes.  Thus, a finding of guilty to the offense of domestic battery will result in a criminal conviction for the accused.

• NOTE: In the event that a person has previously been convicted for the offense of domestic violence, a subsequent case of domestic violence can be upgraded to a Class 4 Felony.

When the police intially respond to a call causing suspicion for domestic violence, the police will arrive at the scene and interview all parties involved.  They will then make a decision and if there is probable cause to detain they will arrest the party whom they feel is culpable for domestic violence.  Many times the police will arrive after the argument has already ended and will make a decision based only on interviews and other observations, after the fact.  In other words, they will have made a decision without having seen what actually happened.

DEFENDING A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE

The conclusions made by the police are simply that, conclusions and hearsay.  Many times the police will not have seen anything and were not present when any arguments allegedly happened.  They simply take one persons word against the other. An effective domestic violence attorney will use the often fact that the police did not see what actually happened to your advantage.

You have a right to take your case to trial in order to prove your factual innocense.  The Law Offices of Carlos H. Davalos has extensive experience in taking domestic violence cases to trial and obtaining a winning verdict.  Attorney Carlos H. Davalos has personally demonstated in the courts of law that the allegations made by the complaining witness are not credible or reliable. Chicago domestic violence lawyer Carlos H. Davalos has won many cases by finding weaknesses in the credibility of the complaining witness.

It is also important to have options in situations where the evidence is not favorable to the client.  For example,it is also possible to obtain a reduction or dismissal to the charge in certain cases where the evidence favors the government.  Our office has excelled in obtaining reductions of domestic violence to reckless conduct or simple batteries thereby avoiding a criminal conviction.  We also work with our clients, where appropriate, in beginning alcohol abuse treatment, anger management classes, and other activities demonstrating mitigation and contrition that can convince the government to reduce or dismiss the charge.

THE PRESENCE OF THE COMPLAINING WITNESS AND THE "RULE TO SHOW CAUSE"

Without a doubt a significant part of the government's case against the accused is the presence of the complaining witness in court.  The victim is oftentimes necessary for the the State to prove actual harm and other elements of the offense against you.  A good domestic violence attorney will be aware of this at all times during the case, no matter the court date.  Moreover, a conversation with the complaining witness will be necessary for the State to ask for an Order of Protection.

In the event that the complaining witness does not appear in court, the government will face additional difficulties in proving up their case.  But make no mistake, the government has options even in this situation.  Specifically, the State can move for more time and opportunities to contact any witnesses against you via a continuance in order to make contact with these witnesses.  In addition, the State can go much further and issue court subpoenas ordering the presence of witnesses under penalty of contempt of court.  If the witnesses fail to abide by the subpoena, the State can move for a Rule to Show Cause which will incur possible penalties against the non-complying witness.  However, it is also true that where the complaining witness has not been present in court, the State can have difficulty keeping the charges afloat.

THE PRESENCE OF MINORS

There are times where the complaining witnesses in the case include minors and children.  In this situation the State oftentimes needs the presence of the minors in court as they do the adults.  What the government will do in this situation is issue a subpoena order to a guardian parent or other adult ordering them to bring the child into court.  The spectre of a contempt order looms over any adult who chooses not to abide by the subpoena.

A domestic violence lawyer with experience in the particular localities your case is in will be necessary to determine the likelihood of the State issuing subpoenas in this situation and their aggressiveness in seeking rules to show cause against non-complying parents.  It is true that some localities will view non-compliance more severely than others and likewise treat the situation differently.

THE ORDER OF PROTECTION

When the complaining witness arrives to court on the first court date, the government will immediately begin an interview with this person to determine the necessity of an Order of Protection against you.  The Order of Protection can immediately begin placing significant and costly obstacles in your life excluding you from contact with your children and home, as well as other areas where witnesses in the case are known to frequent or reside in.  The Order of Protection can take custody away from you with regard to your children. In cases where there is no agreement the defense can work to have the Order of Protection vacated or stricken.

It is therefore imperative that to protect your rights and interests you immediately arrive to court prepared with experienced domestic violence counsel in order to battle these usually forthcoming 'as-a-matter-of-fact of course' proceedings against you.  You can fight the custody analysis in order to keep custody of your children.  In the event that the evidence makes that difficult, you can fight for contact via a third party intermediary.  If you don't take a lawyer with you on your first court date, what will usually happen is an Order of Protection granting everything that the complaining witness is asking for.  The State will not be looking to interview you or gather 'your' opinion of the situation.  The order of protection is civil, you have less rights, which frankly means that in all likelihood you will get trampled over if you go to court without proper representation.

REDUCTION OR DISMISSAL OF CHARGES

In some cases, where wading though the evidence gathered by the State is dispositive, and evidence of guilt is significant, it may be favorable to begin an investigation and negotiation as to a reduction of charges.  This negotation is effected for a variety of reasons one of which is primarily to avoid a criminal conviction.  The defense can immediately begin gathering favorable mitigation evidence on your behalf up to and including drug and alcohol counseling, anger management coursework, and letters from friends and well wishers from the community attesting to your good works.

THE OPTIMUM OUTCOME: WINNING AT TRIAL

Ultimately, our firm also deals with the cases where our clients vociferously attest to their innocense.  They state that the story told by the complaining witness to the police was absolutely false, and that the police did nothing except take that persons word for it.  They will inform us of prior vendettas and reasons for the false accusations that may show motive AND bias to fabricate. Specifically, in such areas as past or existing informal maintenance agreements, informal child support agreements, and suspicions of infidelity by an overzealouse spouse or significant other.  It will seem that the complaining witness is out to "make the client pay" by proceeding with the prosecution and giving their particular versions to the police.

These are the cases where the Law Offices of Carlos H. Davalos shows its quality.  We will analyze any photographs oftentimes taken by the client at the scene and at the time of the offense to determine any discrepancies with the statements taken by the witness.  For example, where injuries are not present where they should be.  We listen to our clients story first and foremost, which is oftentimes what law enforcement did not or refused to do, and look for evidence indicating self defense or where the complaining witness was the actual aggressor.  At trial, we will use our clients version of the events, as oftentimes we are the only party that took one, to cross examine State witnesses and prove discrepancies in the case, and perhaps ultimately, succeed in demonstrating witness unreliability and motive to fabricate.

We have won these cases for our clients.  And we can help prove your innocense in a court of law.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE ATTORNEY

If you or a loved one has been accused of the offense of domestic violence, contact us today.  At The Law Offices of Carlos H. Davalos, we have substantial experience in handling domestic violence cases and obtaining the best results.  We can help you resume your life free of a criminal conviction and with your reputation intact in the community. Call us today.

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The Law Offices of Carlos H. Davalos

2210 W. North Ave., Ste. 6

Melrose Park, IL 60160

Tel: (773) 312-0234

Chicago Office: 2923 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL

Villa Park office: 54 E. St Charles Rd., Villa Park, IL