Does Illinois Law Allow a Victim to Drop Domestic Violence Charges?

Illinois has very strict domestic violence laws. These laws provide specific requirements for the police and the court system. If law enforcement receives a call for a domestic dispute and finds evidence of domestic battery, they are legally obligated to make an arrest.

In Illinois, neither the accused nor the alleged victim has any control over the situation. An Illinois domestic violence lawyer understands the law and can help you navigate the system if you find yourself involved in a domestic violence case.

Understanding the Law

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 determines how domestic violence cases are handled within the court system. These cases are treated differently than other incidents involving violent acts. The Act stipulates what constitutes a domestic dispute and who falls within the legal guidelines of this law.

Who Is Covered Under This Law?

Illinois domestic violence charges result from acts of violence against family members, defined as anyone who:

  • Is related by blood
  • Is or has been married
  • Is or has dated
  • Is or has been engaged
  • Shares a child, whether biologically or through adoption
  • Shares a household, whether it is an apartment, house or other living quarters
  • Has a disability along with their caregivers and personal assistance

How Does the Law Work?

In a domestic violence case, the State is the entity that presses charges. Therefore, the alleged victim is unable to drop the charges. The only way the criminal charges can be dropped is if the prosecutors determine that is the best course of action, sometimes as a part of a negotiation.

Though this creates challenges when charges are filed as the result of a misunderstanding, these strict procedures are in place to help protect domestic violence victims who may face pressure to drop the charges. Along with recent additions such as Marsie’s law, procedures have been put in place that make it more difficult for everyone to navigate a domestic violence case.

Finding an Illinois Domestic Violence Attorney

Attorney Daniel Nold is a strong advocate for everyone involved in domestic violence cases.  Whether a defendant or a victim, Dan has the experience to navigate this complicated system. Reach out to The Nold Law Firm, LLC, today for a free consultation.