SAFETY ALERT: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear.  If you are in danger, or feel you are being monitored, please use a safer computer.

 

WHAT IF MY PARTNER IS ARRESTED?

 

Will they hold him in jail?

If he is charged with assault related to domestic violence (simple assault, assault, aggravated assault) he should be held in jail until he appears before a judge, at which time he may be allowed to post bond.

How much will the bond be?

The amount and conditions of bond must be determined by a judge. The judge can release your partner without posting any bond (“personal recognizance”), or set a cash amount. The judge will also impose other conditions, which could include “no contact” with you.

Will he see a judge right away?

That depends on what time of the day or night it is and on the availability of the judge. Generally, your partner will be seen sometime on the next regular court day.

How long will the case last?

It can take anywhere from one day to several months, depending on whether he pleads guilty or not. It also depends on how busy the court is. A Safe Shelter advocate and/or the Victim Assistance Coordinator will stay in contact with you throughout the time that the case is pending.

Will I have to testify in court?

Yes, if the case goes to trial. You will likely be the only witness to the crime so your testimony will be very important.

What if my partner threatens me and tries to make me drop the charges?

If your partner is charged with assault, you cannot drop the charges because that decision is up to the prosecutor who filed the charge.

You should immediately report any threats or harassment to the prosecuting attorney (either the City Prosecutor or the State’s Attorney). She or he will discuss the options available to you, including a No-Contact Order or a Protection Order, which can prevent your partner from having contact with you during the time the case is pending.

What is the maximum sentence he could get?

Simple Assault (Class B Misdemeanor) carries a maximum penalty of thirty days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Assault (Class A Misdemeanor) has a maximum of one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. Aggravated Assault (Class C Felony) has a maximum of five years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Can I talk to the judge about what I want his sentence to be?

As the victim of a crime, you are entitled to submit a written impact statement to the court.  The impact statement is made under oath and may include: 1) an explanation of any physical, psychological, or emotional harm you have suffered; 2) an explanation of any economic loss or property damage you have suffered; 3) a statement requesting a specific amount of financial restitution; and 4) a statement concerning what you think an appropriate sentence would be.  Of course, the judge ultimately decides what the sentence will be. The defendant (your partner) will be allowed to see a copy of the impact statement. The case could possibly be settled out of court so you should be sure the prosecutor knows what you would like to have happen before he/she starts to make offers to the defense for settling the case.

What does it mean if the judge suspends his sentence?

It means that he doesn’t have to serve any jail time if he does not commit any more crimes for a period of time determined by the judge.

What if my partner is arrested again after he's received a suspended sentence?

If he pleads guilty or is found guilty of the new charge, all or part of his suspended sentence could be revoked. That means he could have to serve all or part of the jail time that was suspended. However, there has to be another hearing and it is the judge who decides whether or not the suspended sentence is revoked.