The Six Ways a Domestic Violence Case Can Be Dismissed Before Trial in Illinois

The Six Ways a Domestic Violence Case Can Be Dismissed Before Trial in Illinois

Can Charges be Dropped Before Trial on Domestic Battery Cases in Illinois?


A Domestic Violence Case can be dismissed before trial, in many cases, by using one of the following six methods.


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The Six Ways a Domestic Violence Case Can Be Dismissed Before Trial in Illinois

How Can a Domestic Violence Case Be Dismissed in Illinois?

Can Charges Be Dropped Before Trial in a Domestic Violence Case in Illinois?

These are very common questions that both defendants and victims often ask.

This is a stressful time. It may be difficult to find clear answers.

In most cases, a Domestic Violence case can be dismissed before trial by using one of the following six methods:

Method 1: Negotiate a Domestic Violence Deferral Agreement to Have the Domestic Thrown Out.

A skilled Domestic Battery defense attorney can often negotiate with the prosecutor for a deferral agreement.

What is a deferral agreement?

A deferral agreement is an agreement between the Defendant and the prosecutor, where the prosecutor agrees to completely dismiss a Domestic Violence case in exchange for the Defendant doing certain things.

These things can include a Domestic Violence counseling class, refraining from consuming alcohol or drugs, community service,  a period of no harmful or offensive contact with the victim, and other things.

What are the advantages of a Domestic Battery Deferred Prosecution Agreement?

The advantages of a deferred prosecution agreement are that the judge will completely dismiss the case.

The Defendant will not go to jail and will not have a mandatory criminal conviction on his or her record.

In many cases, the Defendant can file to expunge this arrest. The expungement will completely erase this case from his or her record. It will all be gone within a few months of the arrest.

Legally, it is like the arrest and prosecution never happened.

Do prosecutors normally offer deferred prosecution agreements in domestic violence cases?


Most prosecutors will not offer deferral for the vast majority of Domestic Violence cases. 

Nevertheless, our law firm has successfully negotiated deferral agreements for many Domestic Violence cases when that is what our client wanted.

Our client is a cancer research scientist, from another country, who was charged with Domestic Battery. He was accused of battering his girlfriend.  A conviction for Domestic Battery would have devastated his life. His academic career would have ended and he would have been deported.

His girlfriend did not want to destroy his life and was willing to cooperate with his defense attorneys in getting the case dismissed. Our legal team spoke with the prosecutor, who then spoke with his girlfriend.  Our legal team was able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS ALL CHARGES!


Is a Domestic Battery Deferred Prosecution Agreement Right for me?

Every Domestic Battery charge  carries a danger of 364 days in jail and a permanent criminal conviction. This criminal conviction can never be expunged or sealed from your criminal record.

A deferred prosecution agreement is usually a great outcome that removes this danger.

But it may not be the optimal outcome in your case.

Our attorneys can often resolve cases so that our client does not need to perform any community service, counseling, or other action as they would in exchange for deferral. 

Each case is unique.

You should speak to an experienced Domestic Violence defense lawyer about the circumstances of your case.


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Method 2: Domestic Battery Dismissed via Suppression Motion

In every type of criminal case, not just in Domestic Violence cases, the Defense has the right to bring motions to challenge evidence that the prosecution seeks to use.

One example is a case where the police did not read a Defendant his or her rights during a custodial interrogation.  See Miranda v. Arizona

Another example is where police gather evidence under an illegal search.  See Mapp v Ohio

In such cases, a successful pre-trial motion to suppress evidence hearing may lead to the complete dismissal of the case. 

The Defendant’s attorney can often approach the prosecutor and negotiate to have the charges dismissed.

Things that a prosecutor may consider in deciding whether to dismiss the domestic battery case include:

  • Whether the victim is cooperating with the Defense or with the Prosecution
  • The seriousness of the injuries, the Defendant’s background, and whether there is a history of abuse.
  • The skill of the domestic battery defense lawyer in being capable of blocking other forms of evidence from coming in at trial, if the victim does not testify.


Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Gus Kostopoulos

Gus Kostopoulos is a top-rated domestic violence defense lawyer dedicated to defending your rights. He has earned a reputation as a tough and aggressive attorney who achieves outstanding results for his clients. After graduating from law school as a Dean’s Scholar, he was selected to become an Assistant State’s Attorney. Working as a prosecutor, he was in charge of a team of lawyers and paralegals and thousands of open cases.

Available 24 Hours, 7 Days A Week

Method 3: Domestic Violence Case Dismissed via Assertion of 5th Amendment Rights

In a Domestic Battery prosecution, the State must usually elicit testimony from the victim at trial.   Without victim testimony, it will often be impossible for the State to proceed to a conviction.

  A domestic abuse incident is often a messy and confusing situation.  Often both participants are emotional, and both may have contributed to the violence.  It can be difficult for the police to determine who is the aggressor. One police officer might decide that the man is the aggressor.  Another police officer, under the exact same facts, may determine that the woman is the aggressor. Sometimes police arrest both the man and the woman for domestic battery. 

The victim often can assert their Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination.  A witness who has a reasonable fear that their statements can be used against them in a criminal case, under certain circumstances, may assert their Fifth Amendment rights not to testify.  This right is strongest in cases where the police have charged both parties. But the victim witness does not need to be formally charged to assert the Fifth Amendment privilege.  

See US Constitution: Amendment V 

See also: Privilege Against Self Incrimination 

Our law firm’s Domestic Violence defense attorneys are often able to get a dv case dismissed,
before trial, by use of the Fifth Amendment Privilege.

The police officer arrived and started to hear yelling and loud noises from the residence. He knocked on the door, and the door opened slightly and then suddenly slammed shut. Based on the yelling and signs of distress, the officer entered the residence and saw a man standing over a woman who was leaning against the door.

The officer noticed that the man had multiple scratches, dry blood, and red marks on his face and neck. The officer also noticed broken glass and various items thrown about in the residence.

The police officer spoke with the woman and asked her what had happened. She said they had had a party with some friends the night before. After their friends left, she confronted her boyfriend about some messages she found of him messaging other women on Facebook, and that’s when they started to argue. She said that they both then continued to hit one another for some time. She said her boyfriend punched her in the face and hit her head. The officer noticed some redness in her face and dry blood around her mouth.

The police arrested both the man and the woman for Domestic Battery.

Our law firm represented the woman and referred the man to an attorney who works closely with our law firm. 

Our law firm informed the prosecutors and the judge that both the man and the woman intended to assert their Fifth Amendment rights.

Our law firm was able to get the charges against both the man and the woman COMPLETELY DISMISSED.



Method 4: How to Get a Domestic Battery Charge Dismissed via a Refusal

Our law firm’s Domestic Violence defense attorneys will often reach out to the prosecutor’s office and seek a voluntary dismissal of the charges when the State does not have the full cooperation of the victim. 

When the State dismisses a Domestic Violence case in support of a victim’s wishes, it is called a Refusal. 

Is it easy to get a prosecutor to agree to a Refusal?


It is often difficult to get a prosecutor to agree to a Refusal. Many prosecutors will try to subpoena and coerce the victim into testifying or try to prove the case with other evidence that does not rely on victim testimony.  

Nevertheless, our law firm’s Domestic Violence defense attorneys have successfully convinced prosecutors to agree to Refusals on numerous cases.

A woman accused her sister-in-law of battering her. While the two women were babysitting together, they had a heated argument. The accuser alleged that our client grabbed the woman’s wrist and hand and battered her. The police arrived at the scene and observed red markings and scratches on the accuser. The police photographed the accuser’s injuries. After retaining our firm, we prepared the victim and had her come to court and testify in a refusal hearing. 

Our law firm was able to get ALL CHARGES COMPLETELY DISMISSED


Method 5: How to Get a Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed at a Pre-Trial Status.

The State has the burden of proving the Defendant guilty of Domestic Battery by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  The State must present this evidence at a formal trial.  Very often, the State will not have all of the police officers, witnesses, and evidence they will need to prevail at trial.

Often, on the day of trial, we can get all of the charges dismissed.

We can get the case dismissed without the necessity of our client or the victim testifying at trial.

The police were called to the scene of a Domestic Violence incident.

The officers spoke with the victim as she sat in her car. She said that she and her boyfriend had been staying at a hotel. They had started arguing. Her boyfriend became belligerent, grabbed the victim’s hold, and put her in a headlock. The victim broke the headlock and attempted to dial 9-1-1 on her cell phone. The police officer observed scratches and redness on the left side of the victim’s face. She told the officer that it occurred when her boyfriend grabbed her and attempted to hold her in a headlock.

On the day of trial, our team was prepared and ready to try the case.

The prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence or the cooperation of necessary witnesses to proceed. Had the prosecutors attempted to bring in evidence via hearsay or other means, our experience trial attorney was prepared and would have blocked such a move.

The prosecutors motioned the judge for a continuance.

Our team’s trial attorney successfully objected to the granting of any continuance.

The prosecutors then had no choice but the dismiss the case against our client. 

Our law firm was able to get ALL CHARGES COMPLETELY DISMISSED! 


Method 6: Domestic Violence Case Dismissed
via Amendment to Lesser Charge

In Illinois, the charge of Domestic Battery carries the risk of 364 days in jail and a permanent criminal conviction.

In some cases, there is more than enough evidence for the Defendant to be found guilty.

In those cases, rather than risk a permanent conviction, our law firm can often negotiate for an amendment to a lesser charge such as a simple battery or disorderly conduct. We can further negotiate for a court supervision sentence where our client does not receive jail, does not receive a criminal conviction, and can later have the entire case expunged off of his or her record. 


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We Can Help Dismiss Your Domestic Violence Case

How to Convince Prosecutor to Drop Charges
in Illinois Domestic Violence Cases?

This is a very common question.

What does the prosecutor consider when deciding whether to dismiss a case? 

In our experience, it usually comes down to two considerations.

1. Is it the Right Thing to Do to Drop the Domestic Violence Charges?

Domestic Violence prosecutors will look at things like whether or not the defendant has any criminal history, his character, the wishes of the victim, the seriousness of the abuse,  and other things in order to see if it is in the interests of justice to dismiss the charges.

In these circumstances, our law firm will prepare a mitigation package for the prosecutor that will discuss:

  • Our client’s education, career, and accomplishments
  • His or her ambitions for the future and how a permanent criminal conviction would affect his or her life. 
  • The things that our client has done to learn from the experience and improve his or her life.

2. Is The Defendant Likely to Be Found Not Guilty on this Domestic Violence Case?

Prosecutors want a Domestic Violence Win.

Prosecutors Do Not Want a Domestic Not Guilty.

When communicating with the State, we often discuss the defenses to the case and our firm’s success in having won other similar domestic battery cases in the past. 

Things that a Prosecutor will Consider to Dismiss a Domestic Violence Case in Illinois:

  • Whether the victim is cooperating with the Defense or with the Prosecution.

A domestic violence win that might not be otherwise possible based on the evidence becomes very likely if the victim chooses to cooperate with the defense rather than the prosecution.   Prosecutors know this.

  • Lack of Corroboration.

Lack of corroboration is how to get domestic abuse charges dropped in some cases.  Often domestic violence cases are matters of one party’s word versus the others.  If no videos and medical documents substantiating the victim’s allegation, it may lead to a domestic battery win for the defense.

  • The skill of the domestic battery defense lawyer.

The trial skills of the domestic violence defense lawyer play a role in the decision to dismiss domestic violence charges. 

This is often true in cases where the defense asserts self defense.  

Prosecutors and defense attorneys work against each other in many cases and know which attorneys have the skills to assert a strong defense. 

Domestic Violence Charges Dropped in Chicago

Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped in Chicago?


Our law firm has successfully had many domestic battery cases completely dismissed in Chicago.  In most of these cases, we have gotten the charges dismissed without the stress, to the defendant, and to the victim, of having to conduct a trial.

There are a few important things that you should know about Domestic Violence cases in Chicago.

All Chicago Domestic Violence cases are heard at the Cook County Circuit Court Courthouse at 555 Harrison Street in Chicago.

The entire courthouse is dedicated to Domestic Violence and Order of Protection matters.   All of the prosecutors and judges in this courthouse are highly focused on domestic battery matters. Domestic battery matters are all that they handle, day in and day out.

It can sometimes be intimidating to the less experienced domestic violence defense lawyer to go up against seasoned professionals at the 555 Harrison courthouse.

On the other hand, our experienced Chicago domestic violence defense lawyers often enjoy practicing at the 555 Harrison courthouse since judges and prosecutors are very knowledgeable about domestic violence law, and it may make it easier for us to get a domestic defense win.

Our law firm has successfully gotten dismissals on numerous Chicago domestic violence cases at this courthouse.

Domestic Violence Dismissed at Trial

A Domestic Battery Win at Trial.

It is best to get Domestic Violence charges dismissed before trial.  

But if a case must go to trial, it is crucial to have an experienced and aggressive trial team.

Our firm’s attorneys have won numerous domestic violence cases at trial. 

Our client’s girlfriend accused our client of Domestic Battery. 

Our client’s girlfriend accused him of grabbing her, pushing her to the ground, and choking her. The police photographed the girlfriend’s injuries. The girlfriend’s father, a lawyer, and her brother were witnesses to the incident. At the trial, the prosecutors fought hard to convict our client and even brought up allegations of domestic battery that another woman had made against our client. Our firm aggressively questioned the girlfriend, police officers, and the other witnesses. We were able to convince the judge that the girlfriend’s testimony was not credible. Our firm won the trial, and our client was found not guilty. 

Our law firm won our client’s case at trial. Our Client was Found NOT GUILTY.


Is There a Difference Between Domestic Violence Charges Dropped vs Dismissed?


There is no difference between domestic battery charges being dropped and domestic battery charges being dismissed.

They mean the same thing.

How to Get Felony Charges Dropped in Domestic Violence Cases

It is more challenging to dismiss felony domestic violence charges than to dismiss misdemeanor domestic violence charges, a skilled attorney can often achieve it.

We use the same techniques  to defend felony Aggravated Domestic Battery cases as we do for misdemeanors.

Our law firm has successfully gotten felony domestic violence cases dismissed for our clients. 

Our client was a young woman whose boyfriend was beating her. She was afraid that he would seriously hurt her, so, in self-defense, she took a knife and stabbed him.

The boyfriend’s injuries were severe and life-threatening. The paramedics rushed him by ambulance to the hospital.

The police came and arrested our client for Felony Aggravated Domestic Battery.

The client was in great danger of going to prison and having a felony record.

Our attorneys very aggressively defended the case.

Our law firm was able to get All Charges Completely Dismissed!


Our client shot her boyfriend with a 9mm handgun. The boyfriend had emergency treatment at the hospital and did not die.

The police arrested our client for Felony Aggravated Domestic Battery, Felony Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, and misdemeanor Reckless Conduct. The felony charges carried the danger of years in prison and a felony record.

Our lawyers negotiated to get all of the felony counts dismissed in exchange for a plea to the misdemeanor charge and no jail.

Our client received NO FELONY RECORD and NO JAIL.


In The News

Attorney Gus Kostopoulos has appeared on several popular news outlets giving insight on cases and other legal matters, including asserting Self Defense  in Domestic Violence and other cases. Not only are the attorneys at Kostopoulos Law well versed in handling criminal matters, but also in defending your reputation in the court of public opinion.

Gus Kostopoulos



Young couple arguing in a cafe. Relationship problems.
Our client is a registered nurse who had been beaten by her boyfriend. The police believed the boyfriend’s story over hers and wrongly arrested our client. The boyfriend also got an Order of Protection against our client. A conviction for Domestic Battery would completely destroy our client’s nursing career. The accuser claimed that our client had punched him a number of times in the mouth with her closed fist. He said that our client was the aggressor. We aggressively cross examined the accuser at trial and were able to show that he was really the aggressor.




Angry boss yelling at his employee in office
Our client’s ex-girlfriend accused him of Domestic Battery.  She claimed that he slapped her, grabbed her, and threw her to the ground, causing her head to hit the sidewalk. She claimed that our client followed her and again grabbed her and threw her against the wall. She said he then climbed up the side of her apartment building and broke into her apartment.The police interviewed our client and he made some damaging statements. Our client had never been in trouble before and was in graduate school for a health care profession.  A conviction for Domestic Battery would utterly destroy his life. At trial, we aggressively cross examined that accuser as well as the police officer. We were able to undermine the credibility of the accuser and the police.



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If you are seriously considering an attorney for a case, I highly suggest you give Gus a call first. I literally spoke with 5+ attorneys and all recommended guys for my case. My process with Gus was swift and easy. He explained every bit of detail, and with that said, my case was dismissed. I highly suggest you give these guys a call! Won’t disappoint!
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If you're looking for a Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer in Dupage County look no further then the Kosopolous Law Group. These guys are seriously top notch. I was arrested For Misdemeanor Domestic Violence in Naperville. After interviewing 4 lawyers in the area and doing my research I felt I'd get the best outcome with Gus and his team. He provided me with the knowledge and communication I needed as I had plenty of sleepless nights worrying about my outcome. The end result..GUS was able to get my cased dismissed! Honestly do yourself a favor and save the time and effort looking for another Criminal Defense Lawyer and hire GUS!
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Professional, helpful and knowledgeable about the law. Gus was able to get my case dismissed in trial and is working on getting my case expunged off my record. Would definitely reccomend him. Thanks Gus!

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Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Gus Kostopoulos

Welcome to My
Domestic Violence Law Practice

My name is Gus Kostopoulos. For the past 21 years, I have practiced criminal law, including Domestic Violence Defense.

I am a former prosecutor. For the past 15 years, I have been a criminal defense attorney aggressively defending people accused of crimes.

My team of three attorneys helps people in Domestic Violence, Order of Protection and Violation of Order of Protection matters.

The legal system takes Domestic Violence cases very seriously.

Fortunately, so do we.

The vast majority of our clients get their Domestic Violence cases completely dismissed.

Let me provide you with a free consultation about your case!


1. Exhaustive Research & Preparation

We demand that the government turn over all police reports, videos, and other evidence. Our experienced trial attorneys examine all of it very carefully to look for defenses to win the case.

2. Trial Victory

Our experienced trial attorneys have collectively tried hundreds of case to verdict. We have a successful record of winning cases at trial and are respected by judges and prosecutors.  We are particularly skilled at cross examination of opposing witnesses and police officer and in asserting self defense claims.

3. Trial Dismissal

On the day of trial, our experienced trial attorneys are often able to get a complete dismissal, without having to call a single witness.  Government prosecutors often lack all of the evidence and witnesses that they would like and know that our skilled trial lawyers will prevent them from entering  testimony that contravenes evidentiary rules.  We can then convince prosecutors to dismiss the case.  Sometimes they may motion the judge for a continuance, but our trial attorneys vigorously object, causing the case to get dismissed..

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