Penalties for Violating an Order of Protection in Illinois

Updated on 09/11/2023 / Under

Violating an order of protection in Illinois is a serious offense with significant penalties. Depending on the circumstances, a person may face criminal charges of violation and civil penalties. If someone willfully violates an order of protection, they can be charged with contempt of court, aggravated stalking, or domestic violence charges.

These offenses can lead to fines, county jail time, or probation. In addition to criminal penalties, the person protected by the order can file a violent crime lawsuit for damages such as medical expenses or lost wages due to domestic battery, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or verbal abuse. The court may also order the criminal offense violator to pay attorney's fees and court costs.

Violations of orders of protection are taken seriously in Illinois, and the consequences can be severe. It's important to understand the consequences before taking any action that may violate the order. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys are available to help.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a court order issued in Illinois to protect someone from abuse, offensive contact, or stalking. It is a civil order intended to prevent further acts of violence or threats of violence by one person against another. It can be issued against domestic partners, family members, roommates, employers, former partners, or strangers.

Alex Ktenas, criminal defense attorney in Illinois

Types of violations to an order of protection can be through electronic communication, entering a petitioner's home under the influence of drugs without their actual knowledge, causing emotional distress through willful deprivation, or creating false allegations. An order of protection may also be known as a restraining order, protective order, or stay-away order.

What Happens When You Violate an Order of Protection in Illinois?

Domestic violence is a serious problem. Illinois has implemented orders of protection to help victims. Violating these orders can be confusing. Everyone involved needs to understand the consequences.

Illinois has different types of legal action orders, including emergency, short-term, and plenary. Violating any order is a misdemeanor charge, but aggravated cases are felony violations. The penalties include fines, counseling, and jail time.

It is crucial for those facing a violation to seek legal assistance to create a strong defense.

Violating an Order of Protection for the First Time

Violating an order of protection in Illinois is a serious offense, regardless of prior offenses. Consequences for different types of violations can include fines and/or incarceration in jail, from hours in jail, days in jail, months in jail to years in jail.

a stalker violation an order of protection

A first-time violation is a misdemeanor violation punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500, and up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000 if it is a felony offense. In addition to criminal penalties, civil penalties may be imposed, such as paying attorney’s fees, court costs, or damages to the victim.

Subsequent Violations of an Order of Protection

All types of violations of an order of protection in Illinois are treated seriously with criminal proceedings.

A subsequent violation is a Class A misdemeanor punishable with up to a one-year jail sentence and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Penalties may be increased for individuals with prior convictions for violating orders of protection and it will be put on their permanent record.  For example, if someone has two or more previous offenses, they may be charged with a Class 4 felony, carrying a prison sentence of one to three years.

Types of Protective Orders

Protective orders protect individuals from harm. In Illinois, there are three types: Orders of Protection, Civil No Contact Orders, and Stalking No Contact Orders. Each order has different requirements and consequences for violation. Orders of Protection are for imminent danger and require the offender to stay away and have no contact with the victim.

Violating an Order of Protection is a Class A misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Civil No Contact Orders are for disputes that haven't reached the level of a crime. They require no contact and stay away.

handcuffs and a gavel sitting on a desk

Stalking No Contact Orders are issued in cases of stalking, harassment, or similar behaviors, and typically involve restrictions on contact and proximity to the victim's residence, workplace, or frequented places. Violation of an SNCO is a Class 4 felony, carrying a prison sentence of one to three years. 

Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If an individual violates an order of protection in the state of Illinois, they may be penalized with a serious criminal charge. Orders of protection are issued by a court to protect people from violence or threats of violence. They can also be used to keep someone away from another person's home, workplace, or school. If an individual is found to have violated the order, they could face a Class A misdemeanor or even a Class 4 felony charge.

At Ktenas Law, our domestic violence defense lawyers have extensive experience and understand the serious consequences that can result from violating an order of protection in the state of Illinois. We have the knowledge and experience to fight for your rights and protect you from harsh penalties for domestic abuse charges.

If you have been charged with a crime related to a violation of an order of protection, contact our domestic violence attorney today for a free consultation.