What is considered domestic violence in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, threats or physical harm against a family member or someone living in the same house, is an act of domestic violence and in some cases, criminal charges may be warranted. Domestic abuse can take many forms, but the most common are harassment, physical abuse, and threats of violence.

Whether you have been the victim of domestic violence or need to defend yourself against fabricated allegations of abuse, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer.  Our attorneys have extensive training and experience in the area of domestic violence and have a keen understanding of the level of complexity allegations of abuse can add to any family law related matter.

Obtaining help when you need it is paramount and we will protect you against your abuser or against unjust accusations. 

What should you do if you are a victim of domestic violence?

If you are a victim of domestic violence and have been harassed, abused, or threatened by your partner or a family member living in your house, you can obtain an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection is a court order that prohibits an abuser from physical abuse, harassment, interfering with personal liberty, and other remedies.  It can also prohibit an abuser from contacting the other party, coming to his or her residence, school, place of employment and the like. The Order is intended to keep victims of this type of abuse safe and is different from other court orders because a party can be immediately arrested by the police for violating this type of order.

There are three main types of Orders of Protection:

  • Emergency – If you are in immediate danger, you can obtain an Emergency Order that can last up to 21 days.  After that, a hearing will be held to determine whether a more permanent solution is needed.
  • Interim Order – Between an Emergency Order and a final order (which is called Plenary), an Interim Order may be issued to extend an Emergency Order.
  • Plenary Order – This happens after a full hearing takes place during which testimony and evidence is presented by both sides. These can be put in place for up to two years (or longer in rare circumstances)

What should you do if you’ve been accused of domestic violence?

Unfortunately, there are times when Orders of Protection are used to gain the upper hand in a custody disagreement or during the divorce process. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to challenge an order of protection, our domestic violence lawyer at Citino Family Law is here to help.

First and foremost, if an Emergency Order has been issued, you need to follow it.  If you violate an order of protection, you will be subject to serious consequences, which could include arrest,  fines and possibly jail time.  Most likely, there will be a court date set and you need to decide if you are going to attend the hearing with or without an attorney.

If you do decide to challenge the Order in court, you will want an attorney to represent you.  Your domestic violence lawyer will help you respond to the petition and present your side of the story to the judge. A false accusation of abuse can be devastating for you and your children.  It could potentially affect your employment as well.

Whether you have been the victim of domestic violence or need to defend yourself against fabricated allegations of abuse, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable attorney, like those at Citino Family Law LLC.