Let’s say that you have been issued a restraining order, whether an Emergency Order of Protection, Plenary Order of Protection, or Stalking No Contact Order. Outside observers of the situation may assume that you are an awful person to have a victim petition for an order against you, but maybe the reality is more complicated than that. Maybe you have been cheated on or lied to and things got a little too heated every time that you attempted to bring up the issue. Perhaps after being issued an order, you thought that you could smooth things over and make contact with the victim of the order. Maybe you thought you could talk it out.
Big Mistake. You can find yourself in deep legal trouble even on the first violation of an Order of Protection. Violating again can be a felony, and courts do not like to take mercy on violators of the terms of a restraining order, no matter what reasons you may have had in mind.
What Kinds of Charges Can be Filed Against a Violator?
First violations of an Order of Protection are considered Class A Misdemeanors which means that violators can be sentenced to one year in jail and be given fines of up to $2,500. Sentencing and fines will be ultimately up to the discretion of the court and while a violator may expect to find some leniency on a first violation, they certainly will not on the second offense.
Subsequent offenses of an order of protection can be charged as Class 4 Felonies and require 24 hours in jail at each offense. Offenders can be sentenced to 1-3 years in jail and fined up to $25,000.
What Counts as a Violation in an Order of Protection Case?
Violations in an order of protection case will depend on the terms set forth by the court. When you are issued your restraining order, pay close attention to the details set forth and document them in an easily accessible place. Section 720 ILCS 5/12-3.4 specifies that:
A person is guilty of violating an order of protection if he or she commits an act which was prohibited by a court or fails to commit an act which was ordered by a court as a remedy in an order of protection, and such violation occurs after the offender has been served notice of the contents of the order or otherwise has acquired actual knowledge of the contents of the order.
Crucially, you can find yourself in hot water for failing to commit a required action as well as for committing prohibited acts.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today
It is important to get professional help if you have been issued an order of protection Glasgow & Olsson is uniquely qualified to help in your order of protection-related cases. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.