If you happen to be estranged from a family member, roommate or former spouse, you could find yourself in the middle of a legal battle. These can get really expensive and may not only impact your finances but also your child visitation or custody rights, job security, and your permanent record.
Most people that seek Orders of Protection are typically family members, roommates, and spouses that may lay a claim of domestic violence against you. Given that anyone can file an order of protection, a lot of these orders in Chicago and Cook County can and will usually be total fabrications and often times unwarranted.
What is Order of Protection?
The order of protection is a domestic violence case and hence it is a civil case rather than a criminal one. As such, the rights that you have are different than if these were criminal proceedings.
Nonetheless, the consequences of such a case are very similar to a criminal case, regardless of it being a civil case. If you learn that someone has been granted an order of protection or is seeking one against you, you need to find a skilled domestic violence lawyer instantly if you are to protect yourself.
Chicago Protection order attorney Alexander Ktenas has years of experience in the field having worked on hundreds of domestic violence cases over the years. He has helped many clients to rebut false accusations and block orders of protection.
If you are interested in aggressive advocacy and top-class legal representation, call The Law Offices of Ktenas Law today at 312.756.8600 to get your free case evaluation.
Types of Domestic Violence
While many people believe that it is only the physical striking of a spouse or a family member that constitutes domestic violence, under the law, domestic violence encompasses a wide range of non-physical abuse.
Harassment and stalking including following someone and leaving threatening voicemails
Using force or coercion to get a family member or spouse to do something
Refusing to properly care for elderly or disabled persons, or refusing to let them access such care
Destroying another's property
Forcing another to watch abuse
Definition of Victim
This type of domestic violence is very different in that it only applies to family members and other persons in the household. Many of the abuses stated in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act will typically result in a criminal prosecution for the perpetrator. For example, striking your spouse or other family member qualifies as battery.
Breaking your wife's cellphone can qualify as the destruction of property. The relationship between the defendant and the victim is the basis for a charge of domestic violence. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act applies to:
People who are related or unrelated that have lived or currently live together
Family members including cousins, children, grandparents, parents, and siblings among others
Past and current spouses
Parents of a child
Caretakers or disabled persons whether related or unrelated
Order of Protection Process
If someone is seeking an order of protection against you, they need to visit the Circuit Court to file the petition for Order of Protection. The petition is an informal request that is simply an assertion that they intend to file an order of protection against you. Most people will write down the alleged acts of domestic violence as well as your relationship history.
You are known as the respondent while the person filing the petition is known as the petitioner. If you have been watching a little bit of television, the restraining order is what is formally known as an Order of protection.
If someone seeking an order of protection against you files for an emergency order of protection, they can go in front of a judge and the judge will get to hear what that person is claiming without you even knowing about the case. If a Judge grants the Cook County emergency order of protection against you, then you will be served with the order and a formal hearing will be held.
Once a civil domestic violence judge receives a petition for an order of protection and review it, the judge will do one of three things:
Deny the motion
Instantly grant the motion temporarily depending on the perceived emergency of the petition and/o
Schedule a hearing where a decision will be made after the two parties bring forward their arguments
If there is no legal basis for the petition, the judge will throw out the motion. This may happen if the judge believes the petitioner's story is falsified, or if the alleged acts cannot be deemed as abuse, or if the parties in the case are not household member or family under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
The judge will issue the emergency order of protection if he or she believes the situation qualifies as an emergency. However, these are typically temporary orders. Scheduled hearings may take weeks as the system is routinely bogged down with all kinds of cases.
The petitioner will get their emergency order of protection and thus will have instant relief as they wait for the date of the hearing to be scheduled. The judge can order an emergency order of protection even if you have not had a chance to respond to the petition or attend a hearing. As such, it is common that respondents come to learn of an emergency order of protection order when they have already been issued.
Most of these orders will have an expiration date of between two to three weeks at most. If it is a fairly lengthy case, the judge could grant a temporary order of protection. With such an order, the petitioner can have peace of mind for up to a month while the court proceedings are conducted. The judge could routinely renew the interim protection order as long as the case is ongoing.
Once the case is concluded, the judge may grant a plenary order of protection once they have listened and considered the evidence presented. This granting of the petition is the final order and will typically be valid for up to two years.
Consequences for Violating an Order of Protection
Even as it is classified as civil order, violations carry some very real consequences for the offender. These may include:
Contempt of court charge that may result in one serving jail time
Criminal proceedings that could result in fines or jail time
Loss of access to children
Loss of job
Free Consultation on Contesting Domestic Violence Claims
Contact the Law Offices of Ktenas Law to get free advice the moment you learn that somebody is filing an Order of Protection petition against you. Our Chicago criminal defense lawyers are on call 24/7. Call us at 312.756.8600 to get a free case review today!.