One of the likely consequences of being accused of domestic violence is having an order of protection against you. Also known as a restraining order, it can prohibit you from:
- Being within a certain distance of the petitioner
- Attempting to contact the petitioner
- Entering your shared home
- Seeing your children without supervision
The court may grant your accuser an emergency order of protection before you have been charged with any crimes if the court is convinced that you may be an immediate threat. You will get the opportunity to defend yourself against the accusations before the court decides whether to grant a long-term order of protection. Regardless of your opinion of the order, it is important that you comply with its terms. Violating an order of protection will result in criminal charges and possible jail time.
How Does a Violation Occur?
The order of protection should give you a detailed explanation of what type of interaction is not allowed with the petitioner and their dependents. The petitioner can contact the police if they believe you have violated the terms of the order. Directing a third party to make contact with the petitioner on your behalf may also be a violation of the order. The responding officer may arrest you if they believe the allegation against you is credible.
What Are the Penalties?
Violating an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of as much as $2,500. If you have previously been convicted of domestic battery or violating an order of protection, the charge becomes a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by one-to-three years in prison and a fine of as much as $25,000.
What Are the Defenses?
To be guilty of violating an order of protection, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly committed the violation. You could argue that:
- You had not yet been notified of the order
- Your contact with the petitioner was accidental
- The terms of the order were unclear and open to different interpretations
In some situations, the petitioner falsely accuses the defendant of violating the order, which you can disprove by presenting the truth and showing that the accusation lacks supporting evidence.
Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you dispute the domestic violence accusations against you and the terms of the order of protection, you need to voice your concerns to a lawyer and not your accuser. A Wheaton, Illinois, criminal defense attorney at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, can get to work on contesting the order of protection and the criminal charges against you. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-260-9647.
The post What Happens If You Violate an Order of Protection? appeared first on DuPage County Criminal Attorney | Wheaton Traffic Crimes Lawyer.