What is the Difference Between a Criminal and Civil Order of Protection?

Your marriage has been rocky lately. You seem to fight about every little thing, and last night the fight seemed to reach a new level of intensity. You and your partner both said and did things you now regret, but in the harsh light of morning, you discover that your partner has filed an order of protection against you. What happens now?

You may be worried about your future. You may be embarrassed and not know how to respond. Perhaps you are concerned about not being able to see your children if an order of protection is placed that prohibits you from seeing your partner. There are many things to know and questions that need to be answered regarding the Illinois order of protection process, and an experienced attorney in Chicago can help.

What is an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection is a court order that bars one person from having contact with another person. Typically, orders of protection prevent someone from going to a specific location and forbid him or her from talking to the other person. The order of protection is only a piece of paper and cannot guarantee security. However, it does allow the police to arrest someone who violates the order of protection.

Criminal vs. Civil Orders of Protection

The main difference between a civil order of protection and criminal order of protection is that the criminal order of protection is filed along with criminal charges against another person. If someone seeks to file criminal charges against another person, he or she can obtain a criminal order of protection at the same time.

Many times people who file for domestic violence, assault, or another offense will also file for a criminal order of protection against the person they are accusing. On the other hand, someone can file a civil order of protection against an alleged aggressor. If someone is not filing criminal charges against the alleged aggressor, he or she can still file a civil order of protection.

Consequences of Violating an Order of Protection

Violating an Illinois order of protection is most often a Class A misdemeanor offense, although it can be a felony under certain circumstances and you can be sentenced to several years in the prisons of the Illinois Department of Corrections for violating the order. If found guilty of the misdemeanor, you may be punished with up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The court may also sentence you to counsel, community service, and probation. If you are a first time offender, you may qualify for supervision. If supervision applies, the court will have your record expunged at the end of the process.

Have You Been Charged With Violating an Order of Protection? We can Help

When an alleged victim makes domestic violence or other violence claim, the court files an immediate petition for a temporary order of protection. A hearing will be held to determine whether the order of protection should become permanent. We can step in and represent you at this hearing. We will address the domestic violence allegations and fight the restrictions outlined in the order of protection.

If you already have an order of protection in place against you, we can help you minimize the effects it can have on your life. At Glasgow & Olsson, our experienced attorneys can help you address all issues relating to your order of protection. Contact a Schaumburg civil order of protection attorney to learn more.

(image courtesy of David von Diemar)

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