The Illinois Domestic Violence Act allows certain individuals to seek an order of protection when faced with domestic battery or abuse, but there are different types available for different situations. If you were accused of violence, you may be confused about these orders and how the process works. You will definitely be concerned about how it affects your rights, especially when the matter involves a criminal order of protection in Illinois. Some answers to frequently asked questions may help.
What does a criminal order of protection do?
Sometimes called a restraining order, an order of protection is a legal command to prevent someone from engaging in alleged acts of domestic violence. When it is a criminal order of protection, the person seeking it also wants to file charges against the named individual. In other words, the subject of the order could face sanctions like jail time, fines, and other penalties.
How does the order affect the protected individual?
There are few consequences for the person who files a petition for a restraining order, other than living without the fear of alleged domestic violence. Petitioners are free to go about their personal and professional lives.
What are the implications for the person against whom the order is issued? The consequences for the respondent, i.e., the criminal order of protection defendant, are much more severe. You could be ordered to avoid contact and stay more than a certain distance away from the petitioner. In some situations, this may mean you have to move out of the house or be ordered to stay away from work places that you that you share. Depending on the specifics of the restraining order, your relationships with children or loved ones may also be effected and substantially restricted.
Is the process subject to abuses?
Yes, it is possible for a petitioner to obtain an order of protection through dishonest or outright lies. However, there can be sanctions for making misleading statements in connection with the petition. That person must include a statement called an Affidavit, which is the equivalent of swearing under oath, in court. If it is proven that the affidavit was presented with false testimony, the petitioner will have to answer to the Court.
How can I defend against a criminal order of protection?
Besides pointing out untrue statements, you can fight for your rights by attacking the facts. If there were violent acts against you by the petitioner, it is possible to present evidence and arguments against the order of protection. In addition, there are strict rules for filing and getting a court to approve a restraining order. Any errors can lead to a dismissal.
Set up a Consultation with a Skilled Illinois Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
At Glasgow & Olsson, our lawyers know how claims of domestic abuse can have an enormous impact on the life of the person accused of domestic violence. We always remind our clients that an arrest or order of protection does not equal guilt, and you do have the opportunity to defend yourself in court. If you are facing allegations in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, and Lake Counties, please contact our firm to discuss your legal options. You can reach us by calling 847-577-8700 or going online to fill out our consultation form.
(image courtesy of David von Diemar)