lawyer holding protective orderThis is the next post in my series on the handling of Class “A” misdemeanor charges in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed defending against the crime of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. It is important to understand how to proceed once charged with a crime. In this article, I will address the process of defending against a charge of violating a protective order. One who is convicted of these types of charges faces the risk of incarceration, fines, and a permanent criminal record. This is why it is crucial to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you are arrested.  If you or someone you know requires assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Violating a protective order can result in a Class “A” misdemeanor as well as additional Illinois felony counts

Protective orders are often put in place by the Court when a defendant has been arrested for charges of domestic violence. These orders can be automatically issued without a hearing and are usually temporary. If the victim seeks a permanent restraining order, the Court will require notice and a hearing. Restraining orders restrict the defendant from contacting the victim and may require the defendant to stay away from the victim’s work or school. A defendant will be considered as having violated the order even if they have others attempt to contact the victim. A violation of a protective order is a class “A” misdemeanor in Illinois and is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or $2,500.00 fine. If the violation occurs after the conviction of a serious crime against a family member, it can constitute a felony and carry more substantial jail time.

Suppose someone is arrested for the first time for the crime of domestic violence in the presence of their children. The Court will likely issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting the parties from contacting one another. The protective order may also prevent the alleged abuser from visitation with their children or visiting their spouse’s workplace. If the defendant drives by the children’s school when the spouse is present and waves to them, it is possible that they can be charged with violation of the protective order. This could result in up to one year in jail. If the defendant attempts to call their partner to discuss the matter, this could result in a second violation of the protective order and the court may require mandatory 24 hours in jail. These crimes will show permanently on your criminal record and carry consequences outside of jail time. It is possible these crimes will interfere with job or housing applications as they constitute serious allegations.

Common issues which arise in Peoria cases involving the violation of a protection order

If another person feels they have been harassed or stalked by another individual, they can easily obtain an order of protection. This is generally the beginning of a larger process where that person may accuse another of stalking and harassment. Usually, these allegations are made by someone you know or were in a relationship with. They may seek to use these allegations to get an advantage in a domestic dispute. If you take no action to defend yourself, the Court will have no evidence to consider when considering the claims against you. Such claims are sometimes based on false accusations. To show that the accusations are false, your attorney will gather information such as screenshots from social media or text histories between the parties. Testimony from witnesses can also be vital. If you are contacted by a person who has an order of protection against you, you still cannot respond. You are legally prohibited under a court order, and by contacting them you are subject to penalties including jail time. It is important to discuss these matters with counsel to protect your rights if you have been accused of a crime that leads to a restraining order.

The risk of receiving longer jail time will also depend on how strongly you are able to defend your case. It is imperative that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. Attorneys with experience in this area of the law will have the skill and ability to help you receive the best possible outcome. I am a former prosecutor who devotes his practice to defending the rights of the accused. I appreciate that your current situation can significantly impact your future and my office will act promptly to prepare a defense. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with a lawyer. We look forward to speaking with you. I also serve the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington, as well as the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Shuyler, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.