Challenging an Order of Protection Based on False Accusations

false accusations, Illinois family law attorneyThere is no doubt that domestic violence continues to be a scourge on families throughout Illinois and across the country. Those who claim otherwise are sadly misguided. While domestic abuse affects millions of individuals and families, it does not necessarily happen in every household. The nature of the problem, however, means that accusations of abuse are often taken very seriously while claims of innocence by the accused tend to fall on deaf ears. Sometimes, such accusations can be formalized in an order of protection, resulting in the restriction of certain rights and freedoms for the accused. If the accused has done nothing wrong, this is not only unfair but also completely unacceptable.

Sadly, it is relatively easy for a person who feels betrayed or angry—including a spouse going through a particularly nasty divorce—to exaggerate or make up stories of abuse at the hands of a former partner. The accuser may be trying to gain an advantage in proceedings for the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) or he or she may simply want to make life more difficult for the accused. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is important to know what to do to protect yourself.

Do Not Violate an Order of Protection

According to Illinois law, a person can request and obtain an emergency order of protection based solely on testimony he or she provides in an affidavit and without the accused having to appear in court. In cases of bona fide abuse, this allows a victim to get the protection he or she needs when a threat is imminent. When the allegations are exaggerated or completely false, however, the law works against the innocent subject of the order.

An emergency order of protection can remain in place for up to 21 days or until a hearing can be held so a judge can hear both sides. In the meantime, absolutely do not violate any of the terms of the order. This is important enough that it bears repeating: do not violate any of the terms of the order. Even if the order prevents you from seeing your children or going into your own house, do not violate the terms of the order. Failure to comply with an order of protection will only serve to weaken your case, and you could even face criminal charges as a result.

Build Your Case

Once an emergency order of protection has been issued, you will be given the chance to appear in court to challenge the order. Your attorney can help you show the court that the allegations against you have been greatly exaggerated or are patently false. The affidavit submitted by the alleged victim should be made available to you—at least a redacted version—which will allow you and your lawyer to address each and every claim against you. Your attorney can also help you obtain testimony and affidavits from other witnesses who can vouch for your credibility and conduct, as well as that of the alleged victim.

When you are dealing with false accusations of domestic abuse, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Rolling Meadows and get the help you need. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation at Cosley Law Office today.

 

Sources:

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/victims.html

https://www.isba.org/sections/familylaw/newsletter/2013/01/ordersofprotectionthemostabusedarea

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