A person who may feel their safety is in danger may request the court to issue them an Order of Protection.
The legal order will prohibit a person from committing any domestic violence acts or contacting the people protected by the order. The order also serves several protective reliefs like removing licensed firearms from the home, adding other people to the order, and general use of the home.
Once the court issues the orders of protection, it will require the person to stop certain behaviors like contacting or abusing the person requesting the order. Most restraining orders are related to domestic violence or issues within family relationships such as harassment, physical abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
There are other ways someone can get an order of protection. They include civil matters that may prohibit a person from contacting a non-family member or intimate partner or doing a certain service or professional’s office. This post focuses on how you can defend yourself against any order of protection.
Protective Orders Are Serious Matters
Once you become a subject of an order of protection, keep in mind that it’s a very serious matter that will require prompt attention. However, you have important rights such as getting notified of the request, having a court hearing, and defending yourself. You will also have the right to an attorney. However, you are not eligible to free counsel during proceedings or offered a court-appointed attorney as the matter is civil in nature.
Try as much as possible to get more information about your rights and options instead of ignoring the order. After violating a restraining order, you could face charges for crimes the protected party accuses you of as long as it is in effect. The order will also show up in your background checks.
In Illinois, courts can enter a temporary protection order that lasts from a few days to a few weeks. During this time, the court can hold a hearing without the presence of the accused. The judge may decide to conduct a formal hearing before they enter a permanent order.
The respondent will receive notifications for the hearing and then get a week to ten days to make decisions and prepare for the hearing.
Fighting a Protective Order
To fight an order of protection, you must appear in court with evidence that shows the order is not warranted. There are specific steps to follow and defend yourself from an order of protection issued against you.
An order of protection will remain valid for a year in which you will get one hearing. You can file a written request to the court that issued this order to get a hearing and defend yourself.
Here are some steps to help get prepared:
- Understand all the timelines for contesting order protection. It enables you set immediate actions whenever you get served an order.
- Follow the rules of the order to the letter even after filling a written request to the court. Any violation can lead to criminal charges or jail time. Also, the breach shows the judge that the order was necessary.
- Get objective proof to assure the judge that what you are accused of would not have occurred or did not occur. For example, if the accuser files for phone harassment, obtain your phone records to show it did not happen.
- Gather any relevant physical evidence related to the incidents or events of petitions. This may include photos, clothes, videos, or objects.
- Make a list of possible witnesses to the cases. It would be best to include anyone you feel may have information about the incident and obtain their contact information. These would be helpful if the accuser made a false accusation.
- The final step is to hire an experienced order of protection defense attorney. The lawyer will help you understand more about what the laws require you to do. They will also help you file a request to have your order modified, changed, or dismissed.
Talk to A Defense Attorney Today
Looking for a lawyer with the experience you need? Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC is a premier law firm in Libertyville, Gurnee, and Wheaton. We are ready to serve you and help you navigate issues you may face with an order of protection. Contact us today to learn more.