Jan 12

An order of protection in Illinois is a legal mechanism available to victims of domestic violence. Commonly referred to as a restraining order, an order of protection is a legal command from a judge to cease domestic violence or other family abuse.

Who is Eligible for an Order of Protection for Domestic Violence?

An order of protection is available to victims of domestic violence to prevent further abuse. This type of order is only available to family members or people living together. Victims of domestic violence can obtain an order of protection if they:

  • Have a blood relation to the abuser;
  • Are currently or were previously married to the abuser;
  • Live or lived with the abuser;
  • Share parental rights with the abuser for a child or multiple children;
  • Have a blood relation to the abuser through a child or multiple children;
  • Are currently or were previously in a romantic relationship with the abuser; or
  • Have a disability and suffered abuse from a custodian or family member.

How Does an Order of Protection Help Victims of Domestic Violence?

If a victim of domestic violence qualifies for an order of protection, a court of law can apply 18 different remedies. In granting a request for an order of protection, a judge can:

  • Require the abuser to cease any and all abuse of the victim;
  • Award sole and exclusive possession of a shared residence;
  • Prevent the abuser from going to the victim’s home or work;
  • Compel child support or other support payments;
  • Revoke the abuser’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID); and
  • Restrict the ability to damage shared property or harm shared pets.

Overall, the judge has wide discretion to action to protect the victim. Consequently, the individual circumstances of each case will often dictate which remedies are available to the victim.

What are the Penalties for Violating an Order of Protection?

If the abuser violates an order of protection for domestic violence, there are substantial legal penalties.

  • First Offense: Constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, for which the penalties include up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines and 24 months of probation.
  • Second or Subsequent Offense: Constitutes a Class 4 felony, for which the penalties include a sentence range of 12 to 36 months in jail, an extended term of 36 to 72 months, $25,000 in fines, a mandatory supervised release term of 12 months and 30 months of probation.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.

(image courtesy of Jad Limcaco)