What Happens if an Abuser Violates an Order of Protection?

violating, Rolling Meadows domestic violence attorneysFamily law disputes such as a custody battle, parental rights dispute, divorce, or separation can be emotionally taxing for everyone involved. Sometimes a spouse with a history of abuse or a hot temper can become dangerously hostile when he or she is facing [BW1] possible family changes. Domestic violence affects about 10 million men and women each year. In fact, studies show that approximately one third of all women and one quarter of all men will be victims of intimate partner violence at least once in their lives. It may be helpful to know that there are several legal options for those who wish to protect themselves or their children from an abusive spouse or other family member.

Orders of protection are legal tools which can help protect a person from the threat of imminent harm by an intimate partner. An emergency order of protection (EPO) can be easily acquired and is often the first step for a victim of domestic violence in seeking help. An EPO can be obtained without the permission or even notification of the alleged abuser. An emergency order is only meant to be temporary and can last up to 21 days.

In Illinois, a plenary order of protection is usually the next step after an emergency protection order. Obtaining a plenary order requires a hearing but the order can last for up to two years and is able to be renewed. Such protection orders can include various terms but usually require the alleged abuser to remain a certain distance away from the victim, as well as the victim’s home, children, and other family members.

Violating an Order of Protection Is a Criminal Offense 

In Illinois, it is illegal to “commit an act which was prohibited by a court or fail to commit an act which was ordered by a court as a remedy in an order of protection” when you “have been served notice of the contents of the order or [have] acquired actual knowledge of the contents of the order.” Violating an order of protection is most often charged as a Class A misdemeanor criminal offense. This means that someone who violates the terms of an order of protection can be punished by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If the circumstances warrant it, sometimes violating an order of protection can be charged as a Class 4 Felony. In this case, the person violating the order can be punished by fines of up to $25,000 and incarceration for one to three years.

Protection Against Domestic Violence

If you or your children are a victim of domestic violence, you should know that there are legal tools such as orders of protection which can help you. If you have further questions about how a protection order can help you and your family get their lives back, contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Rolling Meadows. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation at Cosley Law Office today.







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