Victims of domestic abuse, or individuals who feel they are at risk of being harmed, can ask a Chicago court to issue an order of protection. An order of protection, also known as a restraining order, can help to keep victims of domestic violence safe from harm.
When you are the subject of an order of protection your life will become very difficult. Courts are inclined to help alleged victims of domestic abuse and will generally not hesitate to issue an order of protection, even if there is limited evidence to support the request. While this can be great for victims of domestic abuse, it also presents an opportunity for abuse. Many orders of protection are based on false allegations and insufficient evidence. You can limit the consequences of a restraining order by contesting the order in court. Hiring an experienced Chicago order of protection attorney will increase your chances of getting the result you need.
Attorney Gus Kostopoulos and his team have more than 30 years of combined legal experience, working as both criminal defense attorneys and state prosecutors. We have seen the devastating effects an order of protection can have, especially when those orders are issued on the basis of false accusations or insufficient evidence. We can help you fight and contest an order of protection. Contact our Chicago office today for more information.
What are crimes of domestic violence?
Crimes of domestic violence are those that are committed against romantic partners, family members, and members of a household. There are a wide variety of behaviors and actions that can be considered to be domestic violence. When you are accused of committing these acts, a victim can request an order of protection. Examples of crimes of domestic violence include:
- Sexual abuse
- Destruction of property
- Making threats of violence
- Inflicting emotional or psychological distress
- Animal abuse, and
- Unlawful restraint.
Who can request an order of protection?
Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence, or fears that they may be the victim of domestic violence, can request an order of protection. Victims of domestic abuse can include:
- Spouses and former spouses;
- Parents who have a child together;
- Roommates or former roommates;
- Dating partners and former dating partners;
- Engaged couples;
- Other family members; and
- Caretakers of elderly and/or disabled individuals in a household.
Are there different types of protective orders?
There are three different types of protective orders in Illinois. The type of order of protection that will be issued will depend on the facts and circumstances that are specific to your case.
Emergency Order of Protection
A judge has the discretion to issue an emergency order of protection based solely on the testimony of an alleged victim. Emergency restraining orders are issued to prevent victims from imminent and dangerous harm. These orders will last for up to 14 days.
Interim Order of Protection
A judge has the discretion to issue an interim order of protection when a full hearing cannot be held before an emergency order expires. An interim order of protection can last for up to 30 days.
Plenary Order of Protection
A judge may issue a plenary order of protection only after a full hearing has been held to determine if a restraining order is necessary to protect a victim of domestic violence. An alleged abuser and alleged victim must both have the opportunity to state their case to the judge. The judge will weigh the evidence and testimony that is presented and determine what is in the best interest of the parties. A plenary order of protection can last for up to 2 years.
What happens when an order of protection is issued against me?
Orders of protection are issued to keep alleged victims of domestic violence safe from harm and danger. These orders are designed to keep alleged abusers away from their victims. When you are the subject of an order of protection in Chicago your rights and freedoms can be seriously limited. You may find it difficult to go about your day-to-day activities and live a normal life. An order of protection can:
- Require you to maintain a certain distance from the alleged victim;
- Prohibit you from contacting the alleged victim in any way, shape, or form;
- Require you to leave your home for a specified period of time;
- Require you to stay away from certain locations, including those open to the public;
- Revoke your right to own or possess a gun;
- Require you to pay your victim for any financial losses that were suffered because of abuse;
- Require you to pay spousal or child support; and/or
- Require you to undergo counseling.
What happens if I violate an order of protection?
An order of protection is issued by a civil court. This does not mean, however, that there are not criminal penalties for violating an order of protection in Chicago. If you do not follow the rules and regulations imposed by an order of protection you can face serious and debilitating consequences. Potential consequences for violating a restraining order can include:
- Jail time for contempt of court;
- Monetary fines;
- Criminal charges;
- Loss of custody of a child or pet;
- Loss of gun ownership rights;
- Eviction; and
- The loss of your job.
How can I fight an order of protection?
Judges have a great deal of discretion when they are asked to issue an order of protection. A judge can issue an order of protection if they believe that the victim’s allegations are reasonable. Courts have demonstrated a greater interest in protecting victims from alleged abuse than protecting the rights of alleged abusers. This means that orders of protection can be issued improperly or without cause if the accuser is persuasive.
If someone you know has successfully petitioned a court for an order of protection against you it is important to speak with an attorney. Since orders of protection are a civil matter, you are not provided with an attorney to defend yourself. This means that it is up to you to find and hire a Chicago domestic violence attorney to contest the order of protection.
Finding an Experienced Chicago Domestic Violence Attorney
At Kostopoulos Law Group, we understand that an order of protection can really screw up your life. We also know that orders of protection can be abused and based on false accusations or insufficient evidence. Our skilled legal team will investigate your alleged act of domestic violence and collect evidence to support our argument. We will fight to get the order of protection against you dismissed so that you can continue to live your life as you normally would. Contact our Chicago office today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your order of protection, ask for your side of the story, and explain your legal rights.