O’Dekirk Allred and Associates in Joliet knows how important it is that you understand domestic violence and orders of protection in Illinois.
If you are involved in a case involving these issues, we can help whether you’re facing a threatening situation or have an order of protection filed against you. During an initial consultation with us, we’ll help you understand the laws surrounding domestic violence and orders of protection, as well as provide information regarding moving forward with our firm as your legal representation.
Legal Definition of Domestic Violence in Illinois
The State of Illinois defines the five types of domestic violence as: physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty, and willful deprivation. Knowing the definitions of each type will help you understand if your situation may fit one or more of these categories. If you are uncertain, seeking legal assistance is a wise choice both for guidance and help.
- Physical abuse: This includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, confinement, and restraint. Physical abuse also encompasses actions that create a risk of physical and immediate harm as well as unnecessary, repeated, and purposeful sleep deprivation.
- Harassment: Necessary behavior that results in emotional distress such as creating a disturbance, repeated phone calls, following you, and keeping you under surveillance. Harassment can occur at your home, work, or school. Other types of harassment include threatening, confinement, or restraining you. Hiding your child or threatening to take your child away can also be a form of harassment. If someone is accused of doing this, but was fleeing from a domestically violent situation, there is an exception for such a circumstance.
- Intimidating a dependent: If an abuser forces a dependent to participate in or watch physical force, confinement, or restraint of another person, this is considered to be intimidation of a dependent.
- Interfering with personal freedom: Forcing you, by threatening intimidation, violence, suicide, deprivation, or restraint, to do something you don’t want or not allowing you to do something you have a right to do.
- Purposeful deprivation: Putting a person at risk of emotional, physical, or mental harm by willfully denying medical care, shelter, food, medication, or other necessary help.
Orders of Protection
If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence, there are several types of protection orders available. Orders of protection provide a legal safeguard from a household or family member who has committed domestic violence against you or a minor or dependent. Seek legal advice if you are uncertain which type you should pursue or if you need assistance.
Emergency Orders Emergency orders can be given by a judge based on just your testimony. In most situations, the abuser does not get any prior notice and is not required to be present in court for the order to be granted. These are granted if the harm you are trying to prevent would be likely to occur if the abuser were notified. To get an abuser out of your shared home, the judge must believe that the hardship to the abuser is outweighed by the immediate danger to you. The emergency order can allow you to obtain your personal property, if you have an immediate and pressing need, as part of this order or if the judge believes the abuser would likely get rid of the property once he or she discovered you were asking for it. Emergency orders can be filed on weekends, holidays, or even at night. The emergency order remains in effect until you can have a full hearing, often in 14-21 days, for a plenary order.
Interim Orders A full court hearing is not required for an interim order to be granted; however, the abuser must be notified of your court hearing date and the abuser or his or her lawyer must have made an appearance before the court. Interim orders can last for up to 30 days and are often used to fill the time between your emergency order and a plenary order.
Plenary Orders This type of order is good for up to two years and can be renewed as many times as is needed. A court hearing where both you and the abuser have an opportunity to present evidence is required. It is a good idea to have a lawyer present at plenary hearings, particularly if you suspect the abuser will bring a lawyer. Our lawyers here at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates have represented both sides of plenary orders and are ready to take on your case.
Common Questions About Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection
Can an advocate come to court with me for support? In most cases, victims of abuse can use a domestic abuse advocate or lawyer to help you prepare your petition and you may have an advocate with you in court to confer with during your court hearing unless the judge does not allow it.
In which county am I allowed to file a protection order? You may file for a protection order in the county you reside in, the county where the abuser resides, the county where the abuse took place or even where you are temporarily located. Filing in your temporary county is allowed if you left your home to avoid additional abuse and could not obtain safe temporary housing in the county of your residence.
If you are requesting the abuser be removed from your residence as part of your protection order, you can only file in the county of the residence or in a neighboring county or you must meet one of the following exceptions: you are filing for divorce and the order of protection; you have fled the county to avoid abuse and can only qualify for exclusive possession as part of an emergency order of protection.
Understanding the laws about domestic violence and orders of protection in Illinois can help you navigate your situation and ensure the best possible outcome. If you find yourself on either side of a domestic violence case and need legal assistance, advice, or support, contact O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates. We offer free consultations and if needed, thorough representation.