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What Are the Penalties for Violating an Order of Protection in Illinois?

Posted on in Domestic Violence & Orders of Protection

Kane County domestic violence attorneysUnfortunately, physical and emotional abuse occurs in many marriages. This can lead to a spouse filing for divorce in some cases. Victims of domestic violence have certain legal options to protect themselves. These can be in the form of protective orders issued against the alleged abuser.

Commonly referred to as restraining orders, orders of protection offer a level of safety by forbidding the accused abuser from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the alleged victim for a designated period of time. However, that does not always mean the person issued the order will abide by it. He or she may still try to harass his or her spouse. If an order of protection is violated, it can result in criminal consequences in Illinois.   

Domestic Violence Laws

The ways in which a defendant can be charged with violation of an order of protection will depend on the specific terms of the order, but they generally include making contact with the protected person either in person or via phone, email, or text message. Another means of violating an order of protection may be going within 500 feet of a protected party, residence, or workplace. Also, simply having another individual pass along a message to the petitioner can result in a violation. In order for someone to be charged with violating a court order, there must be proof or evidence that he or she did not obey the terms of the order. This may include voicemail messages, video, or photos. 

Under Illinois law, if someone violates an order of protection, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, the court may sentence the defendant to probation, counseling, and community service depending on the circumstances of the case. Supervision may also be an option, which means that a first offender may be eligible to have this charge expunged from his or her record.
A second or subsequent violation of a protective order may be charged as a Class 4 felony, which carries one to three years in jail and a potential fine of $25,000. 

Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer

A divorce can be challenging in many ways, and especially if domestic abuse is a factor in it. A victim may petition for an order of protection in order to stop any violence during the proceedings. Violating a court order can lead to problems, including criminal penalties for the violator. At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC, we are well-versed in all types of family law matters, including contentious cases. Our accomplished Algonquin family law attorneys will explain the ramifications for violating a court order as well as how to enforce one. Call our office today at 630-200-4882 to schedule an initial consultation.





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