ORDERS OF PROTECTION / RESTRAINING ORDERS
PROTECTING YOUR FREEDOM AND PARENTAL RIGHTS
Domestic violence is a serious crime, and law enforcement officials in the state of Illinois have taken pains to protect potential victims by making restraining orders easily accessible to victims. Unfortunately, some people abuse this system. In many cases, individuals have been known to obtain restraining orders where they are not warranted—whether to obtain an advantage in a divorce case, secure child custody or visitation rights, or for some other reason.
If someone requests an order of protection against you, know that you have the right to defend yourself against the order. Restraining orders can have a significant impact on your life and can impose many restrictions regarding where you live, where you can go, and whether you can see your children. Too many people believe that restraining orders are inevitable once requested, though this is not the case. The right criminal defense law firm can help you provide a strong defense against a restraining order, so please contact the law office of Martin & Kent, L.L.C., today at (630) 474-8000 for assistance.
Who Can Obtain Orders of Protection In Illinois?
The following individuals can obtain domestic violence restraining orders:
- Former / current spouses
- Former / current partners
Domestic violence is not just physical abuse. It could encompass any form of intentional harm, including assault and battery as well as emotional abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, intimidation, stalking, exploitation, and harassment. A victim of any form of domestic violence has the right to pursue orders of protection against the perpetrator.
How Long Will the Order of Protection Last?
There are three forms of restraining orders in the state.
- Emergency orders can be obtained immediately after the alleged victim testifies before a judge. These orders can last 21 days or until you obtain a plenary order, which usually takes no more than 21 days.
- Interim orders can be obtained without a full court hearing and can last up to 30 days. In order to obtain an interim order, the alleged abuser must either receive a notification of an upcoming court hearing or appear in court.
- Plenary orders can be obtained only after a full court hearing has taken place and may last up to two years with indefinite renewal possible.
Terms of an Order of Protection
The terms of a restraining order will vary depending on the circumstances of each case and the type of abuse allegations involved. Some terms can include:
- The abuser may not harass, stalk, abuse, intimidate, or interfere with the victim’s liberty
- The abuser must stay away from the victim’s residence, place of work, school, or other specified locations
- The abuser may not possess a firearm or weapon
- The abuser must give up the victim’s personal property
- The victim may obtain temporary custody of any children
- The abuser must pay for any damages stemming from the alleged abuse
- Anything else the court finds necessary to prevent future abuse
When you are the subject of a restraining order, you may have to move from your home and leave your children. You will have to give up any guns you own, as well as any other possessions in question. The restrictions can get quite specific and can make your life very difficult.
Furthermore, Illinois law makes violating a restraining order a crime. If you fail to abide by any of the strict terms of an order, you can face the following:
- Class A misdemeanor charge
- One year in jail
- $2,500 fine
- Community service
- Mandatory counseling
The above can apply for something as simple as a text message sent to the person who obtained the order of protection. In the event an order is granted, you need an attorney on your side to ensure the terms are not overly harsh.
Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges
Because restraining orders stem from accusations of domestic abuse, you may also face domestic violence charges in conjunction with an order of protection case. A domestic violence charge can be a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony, depending on the circumstances. You need a defense lawyer who can defend against both the restraining order and your criminal charges.
A domestic violence conviction can result in jail time, fines, probation, and more. Having this type of conviction on your record can also disqualify you from jobs involving children or caretaking of adults. If someone accuses you of domestic violence again in the future, you can face escalated charges and penalties due to a prior conviction. Our defense lawyers work to prevent a conviction whenever possible and to minimize the effects this type of case will have on your life. We understand that many domestic violence allegations are false and we build a strong defense for each one of our clients.
Contact Our Illinois Restraining Order Defense Attorneys
You should not be forced to surrender your liberties, your reputation, or your parental rights because of false charges. At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we are passionate about protecting the rights of our clients. With over 40 years of combined legal experience and a background that includes prosecutorial work, we are uniquely well-equipped to stand in your corner and fight for you. Call our DuPage County law office today at (630) 474-8000 to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We practice in DuPage, Cook, and Kane counties.
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