An order of protection is granted to someone who has been the victim of domestic violence. Under Illinois law, domestic violence is defined a number of ways, including harassment, intimidation, physical abuse, or intentionally depriving a minor or elderly person of their basic needs. Domestic violence can apply to either a family or household member, including those who were related by previous marriage or anyone who dwells in the same residence. The definition, however, can be extended to apply to significant others, like an ex-boyfriend.
The official legal definition of domestic abuse is found under Illinois law 750 ILCS 60/103
There are three types of orders of protection: emergency, interim, and plenary. An emergency restraining order lasts only 14-21 days and can be implemented solely based on a court testimonial. The individual who must respect the restraining order does not need to be present in court. Plenary orders of protection, however, can last up to 2 years. Both parties must be present in court, typically with legal representation, in order for the restraining order to be issued. Interim orders of protection are usually issued to cover the period between the expiration of an emergency restraining order and the start of a plenary restraining order. They can last up to 30 days.
Orders of protection can require the abuser to do far more than remain a certain distance from the victim. They can strip the abuser of his ability to carry a firearm, require them to return personal property undamaged, reimburse the victim for damaged property, and place limits on how the abuser can interact with children shared with the victim.
An order of protection is valid throughout Illinois and the entire United States.
An individual who violates an order of protection is liable to a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. However, in the case of prior offenses, the charge can be elevated to a Class 4 felony, which carries 1-3 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
If you have been charged with violating an order or protection or must appear in court to defend yourself against a plenary order of protection being issued against you, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney immediately. It is prudent to give yourself and your lawyer as much time as possible to prepare an aggressive legal defense on your behalf.
Kerr & Schmiege are nationally recognized criminal defense lawyers for DuPage County, including the cities of Wheaton, Naperville, Aurora, Westmont, Oak Brook, and Lombard. An aggressive legal defense is the best method to ensure the charges are lessened or completely dropped. Failing these circumstances, a qualified legal defense can also fight to have a sentence minimized upon conviction. Contact our law offices immediately to protect your future and rights to the fullest extent of the law.
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