In Illinois, more than 40 percent of women and 25 percent of men say they have been victims of domestic violence. It is these statistics that have propelled the state to enact stringent domestic violence laws. Part of these laws includes the right of an alleged victim to request the court issue an order of protection against the person they say has abused them. Violating an order of protection can result in serious consequences, including automatic jail time. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need an Illinois criminal defense attorney representing you.
Under Illinois law, victims of domestic violence may apply for an order of protection against their alleged abuse. The request can be issued for any allegations of the following acts:
Interference with personal liberty
Intimidation of a dependent
There are three types of orders of protection that are available in Illinois:
Emergency Order – An emergency order of protection can be issued without any notification to the alleged offender. This is legally referred to as “ex parte.” After hearing the victim’s details of abuse, the court will issue the emergency order, however, the order is only valid for 21 days. When an emergency order is issued, a hearing for a plenary order will automatically be scheduled.
Plenary Order – At the hearing, both the victim and the accused will present their sides to the court. If the court decides that there is enough evidence to issue the order, it will stay in effect for two years.
Interim Order – If there will be a lapse of time between the emergency order being in effect and the hearing for a plenary order, the victim can request a hearing for an interim order, which would last another 30 days.
When an order of protection is in place, the accused is forbidden to have any contact with the victim. This not only includes in-person contact, but also prohibits contact via phone, text, email, social media, or through a third party. The accused is also not allowed to be within 500 feet of the victim’s home, work, school, or any other location they may be at.
If the accused violates an order of protection, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction carries a sentence of up to 12 months in jail. A second violation can be charged as a felony, which carries even more significant penalties if convicted.
If someone has obtained an order of protection against you, call a skilled Naperville, IL criminal defense lawyer to help defend against these charges. Not only can these accusations carry potential criminal convictions but can also have a serious impact on child custody issues. Call J. Aldrich Law, P.C. today at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free consultation.