The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


IL defense lawyerChildren living in a split-parent environment are more likely to be abused by a step-parent than a biological parent. However, it is not inevitable that a step-parent will abuse or neglect a child that is not theirs. Parents who are not living full-time with their children may be more protective and just want to know that their child is not suffering any domestic violence or neglect. If signs of possible abuse are detected, a parent can call the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to start an investigation.

According to Illinois law, a parent is required to report possible abuse when the evidence is present. The law also requires doctors, teachers, law enforcers, day care workers, and any other persons close to the child to report possible abuse so that the child can be protected. If the abuse is not reported, those who failed to do so can face Class A misdemeanor charges.

The Reality of Domestic Violence

The Illinois DCFS has already reported a statewide total of 80,505 investigations of child abuse for the fiscal 2019 year. This number is just 1,000 less than the 2018 fiscal year, but is well over previous years.

This number gives parents a good reason to want to make sure their child is always safe when not under their protection. The best way to guarantee safety is to communicate with the child’s full-time parent. If there is a step-parent involved with the child, both biological parents can make sure there is no inappropriate conduct made between step-parent and child.

Defense Strategies

If a step-parent does find themselves fighting child abuse charges, there are several ways for them to prove their innocence:

  • Kids will be kids: small injuries such as scrapes, bruises or cuts could be explained as “play” injuries. Children enjoy climbing, running around, and other activities that could cause them to fall down to run into an object.
  • Accidental: things can happen if a child is running around a house, backyard or play park. If a small injury is reported, DCFS will look into any accidental falls that may have resulted in cuts or bruises.
  • Discipline: spanking is considered an act of child abuse when there is clear bodily harm done to the child. A light swat of the behind is different than spanking with a wooden spoon.
  • Religious reasons: parents with a sick child could be reported to DCFS if they do not take their child to a hospital for medical treatment. However, if their religion says they cannot seek modern medicine, that defense can be used to avoid charges.

Parents are still urged to report signs of abuse to DCFS even if the injuries were not sustained by the hands of a step-parent - or anyone else. Child safety is important and DCFS will take the time to thoroughly investigate each case.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is a step-parent facing charges of child abuse, the first step is to hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola who can investigate the evidence and build a defense. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County domestic violence defense attorney, call 847-488-0889.



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Kane County Domestic Violence Lawyer

Every year, more than 10 million Americans are physically abused by an intimate partner. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), this equates to one incident every 20 minutes. It is important to note many people accused of domestic violence are falsely accused.

Domestic violence charges can have a serious impact on your family law case and hurt your ability to gain future employment. If you have been accused of a domestic violence crime, it is important to seek skilled legal representation immediately. 

Domestic Violence Impact on Legal Matters 

The divorce process can be incredibly contentious, and in some cases, spouses try to use a domestic violence accusation as a way of gaining child custody or garnering a disproportionate amount of marital assets. According to the organization Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, allegations of domestic violence are made in approximately 25 percent of all divorce cases throughout the United States. 

In child custody issues, fathers often face an uphill battle going in, as only a small percentage of parents with sole custody are fathers. A domestic violence accusation can lead to a temporary restraining order, which may carry substantial weight in a family law case. According to studies conducted by SAVE, as many as 70 percent of all restraining orders are made on trivial or false grounds. It should be noted that 85 percent of restraining orders throughout the U.S. are issued against men. 

Legal Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction 

Outside of the potential impact on a family law case, a domestic violence conviction comes with serious legal consequences. Written within the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, a domestic battery conviction is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, that can result in up to a year in prison, as well as substantial monetary fines. If you have been previously convicted of a domestic violence crime, it is possible your actions will be labeled as a Class 4 felony, which can result in a three-year prison sentence.

Contact a Kane County Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Attorney Brian J. Mirandola has dedicated his life to aggressively represent his clients, and help them through difficult circumstances and unjust allegations. With more than two decades of legal experience in Kane County, he has witnessed and fought against false accusations meant to cause the loss of custodial privileges, the seizure of assets, and jail time. To schedule a free consultation with an Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney that you can believe in, call us today at 847-488-0889.


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domestic violence, Elgin criminal defense attorneyDomestic battery is a serious offense in the state of Illinois. It is also an act that can be reported by someone other than your spouse, child, or significant other. Mandatory reporters—those that are required to report acts of domestic violence to the authorities—can be found in schools, doctor’s offices, and hospitals. Thanks to a new law, you will now find potential reporters in the salon as well.

Beauticians and stylists will undergo training to help them learn how to talk to victims of domestic violence. They will not face legal ramifications if they do not report suspected abuse, but they will be encouraged to do so when the situation is appropriate. The goal is to ensure that victims who really need help receive it, but not all people who are reported have actually abused someone. In fact, false allegations of domestic violence and abuse are rather common - more common than most people realize. What might a false reporting mean for you and your family?

When Mandatory Reporting Leads to Criminal Charges

Although mandatory reporting does not always lead to criminal charges, it can. The authorities may be notified, and if there are children, investigators from the state may show up at your door as well. The end result could be criminal charges for you, and possibly even a restraining order that may keep you from your family. If you have not done anything wrong, this can be a jarring experience—one that is frightening and confusing.

Alternatively, a beauty worker may encourage your significant other to make a statement with the police, even if they do not fully understand the situation. This, too, can result in criminal charges and a restraining order. It can upend your family and your life and may even result in long-term consequences, including difficulty finding employment, loss of parenting time or allocation of parental responsibilities in divorce cases, and more.

Protecting Your Rights in the Face of Domestic Battery Charges

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges for domestic battery, it is critical that you seek experienced legal assistance. An attorney can protect your rights, help you fight for your family, and will work to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Learn more about how an Elgin criminal defense lawyer can help with your domestic battery charges case. Call 847-488-0889 and schedule your confidential consultation at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.


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domestic battery, Kane County family law attorneyDomestic battery is considered a serious offense in the state of Illinois, and those who are convicted can face heavy penalties. Even first-time offenders with no previous criminal record can experience permanent effects that impact their daily lives. If you are facing domestic battery charges, understand these potential consequences, and how you can most effectively protect your future.

What Is Domestic Battery?

Illinois state law defines domestic battery as intentionally or knowingly causing bodily harm to another family member, or intentionally provoking or threatening a family member in a way that makes them believe you may cause them bodily harm. This can extend beyond those that live with you and may include:

  • Spouses or former spouses;
  • Parents;
  • Children or stepchildren;
  • Current or former roommates;
  • Current or former live-in partners;
  • Current or former intimate partners;
  • Anyone you share a child or alleged child with; or
  • Any other person with whom you may have had a personal, familial, or intimate relationship.

Criminal Classification of a Domestic Battery Charge

First-time domestic battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor in the state of Illinois. Subsequent offenses are considered a Class 4 felony, as are charges involving the violation of an order of protection. Furthermore, there may be aggravating factors that can bump your misdemeanor domestic battery case up to a Class 4 felony case. An experienced attorney can help you understand these factors and determine if they may apply in your situation.

Consequences of a Domestic Battery Conviction

Conviction of a domestic battery charge carries serious consequences, regardless of whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge. Some can significantly and permanently affect your life. For example, a misdemeanor domestic battery charge may only result in up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. However, the conviction can never be expunged or sealed from your record. That means that every employer who does a background check will see your conviction. If you are facing a felony charge, you could spend up to three years in prison, and you will have a permanent felony on your record, which can limit where you live and work.

An experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney will work hard to protect you from the consequences of a domestic battery conviction. Experienced in handling these complicated cases, we will search for any and all possible defenses that may work for your situation and use them to gain leverage in your case. Get the aggressive representation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.


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child abuse, neglect, Kane County criminal defense attorneySometimes all it takes for a child abuse investigation to get underway is a phone call from a neighbor. Once an investigation has begun, it is easy for parents to agree to anything that will allow them to try and keep their child in the home. Unfortunately, it is often that instinct that allows parents to have their rights violated.

Two Different Investigations

In the state of Illinois, it is often the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) that first gets a report of child abuse or child neglect. Depending on the nature of the allegations or suspicions, DCFS may notify local law enforcement of the reported concerns. In such a situation, the police and DCFS may each be conducting their own separate investigation and sharing relevant information about your case.

While a DCFS investigation is technically a family court issue related to a civil matter, their investigation can still have serious criminal consequences. Anything you say to a welfare worker or agency representative may ultimately be used on your behalf or against you in a criminal trial.

Consequences of Conviction

There are several different child abuse and child neglect crimes. One of the most common is called  child endangerment, and this crime covers a wide range of conduct. A recent, alarming trend around the country has seen such charges brought against parents who left their children in hot cars unattended, sometimes with tragic results. Even without a negative outcome to your child, you could face child endangerment charges for leaving your child under the age of six in a car for as little as ten minutes.

While some first-time child neglect offenses are Class A misdemeanors, most crimes with child victims are felonies. This means that a single conviction could bring prison sentences for first-time offenders of three years or longer, depending on the circumstances.

In addition to jail or prison time, a criminal conviction for child abuse or neglect makes a DCFS action against you almost certain. You can have your child removed from your home and placed in foster care for a period of time. You could even be facing the restriction or termination of your parental rights.

If you are convicted of a child abuse or child neglect crime, you may not be able to get certain professional licenses or obtain certain security clearances. Your ability to find work could be compromised and you may be prohibited from working with children in many situations, including volunteering at your child’s school.

When you have been accused or charged with child abuse, child endangerment, or child neglect, you need to speak to a tough and dedicated Elgin criminal defense lawyer right away. You should not discuss your case with anyone, including law enforcement or a DCFS representative until you have consulted with an attorney. Call 847-488-0889 today to schedule a free consultation at the The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

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