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What Should I Do if Served With an Order of Protection in Illinois?

 Posted on June 10, 2019 in Family Law

Oak Park order of protection lawyer

A divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, especially if abuse is one of the reasons for the end of the marriage. Orders of Protection (also known as restraining orders) can be common in some high-conflict divorce proceedings. This type of court order can prohibit the abuser from physical abuse, stalking, or contacting the victim for a specified length of time. An Order of Protection also creates a criminal record for the abuser and prohibits him or her from lawfully owning a firearm, even for work. Since there are different types of Orders of Protection, it is important to understand the ramifications of each. If you have been served with an Order of Protection, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal options.  

Types of Orders of Protection

There are three types of Orders of Protection in Illinois: Emergency (14 - 21 days), Interim (30 days), and Plenary (2 years). Under Illinois law, someone can only take out an Order of Protection against a family or household member, not a stranger or acquaintance. The “Petitioner" is the named victim of abuse on whose behalf the petition is brought. The “Respondent” is the person whom the order is brought against.

An Emergency Order of Protection can be obtained without giving notice to the other person, depending on the circumstances. Abuse does not just have to be physical; it can include harassment, intimidation, obstruction of personal liberty, or neglect. Orders of Protection are most often obtained in divorce or family court, but any judge in Illinois can enter an Emergency Order of Protection.

An Interim Order of Protection basically starts when an Emergency Order ends, and it can last for one month or until a hearing can be held to determine if further protection is necessary. The Respondent must be served with an Emergency Order before an Interim Order can be issued.

With a Plenary Order of Protection, the respondent must be given notice of the legal proceedings and an opportunity to appear before the court. A hearing will be held in which both sides can present their case, and the judge will determine if further protection is necessary.

In addition to prohibiting the respondent from contacting the petitioner or anyone else named in the Order, an Order of Protection can require the respondent to pay child support or spousal maintenance or attend counseling or alcohol/drug abuse treatment. A violation of an Order of Protection can result in criminal consequences, such as immediate arrest without a warrant. A first offense is usually a Class A misdemeanor, but in some scenarios, it may be elevated to a Class 4 Felony.

Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney

If you are involved in a high-conflict divorce, unfortunate events may lead to you facing an order of protection. You need to speak to a skilled Oak Park order of protection lawyer to discuss the details of your situation. We will review the circumstances of your case and provide you with representation in any court hearings, working to reach a positive outcome to your case. Call 708-480-9651 today for a free consultation.




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