Many times when someone is arrested and charged with a Domestic Battery the Court will issue an Order of Protection that seeks to protect the person claiming to be abused (Petitioner) from being harmed or harassed by the person who is being charged with the Domestic Battery. When I have a client (Respondent) that has an Order of Protection entered against them they often get confused and do not fully understand what this means and what they can and cannot do. I want to discuss what an Order of Protection is and what you need to do to protect yourself from Violating the order and getting into deeper trouble.
Basically an Order of Protection is a Court Order which prohibits someone from doing something. There’s two ways for an Order of Protection to come into existence. The most common way is when someone is arrested and charged with a Domestic Battery. At the first court date, which is usually the Bond Hearing, the court will enter an Order of Protection . This initial Order of Protection is only for a limited time until the Court conducts a hearing to determine whether to extend the Order of Protection or enter an Order of Protection that will last for as long as the Domestic Battery criminal case continues in court. This is called a Plenary Order of Protection. Another way for an Order of Protection to be issued is when someone goes to court and files a Petition asking the court to issue a Temporary Order of Protection. In cases like that, the Order of Protection is often issued without the other person being present in court and is only for a short period of time so that the other person can be notified to appear in court so that a hearing may be conducted to determine whether the Order of Protection should be extended or issued for up to two years.
Not every Order of Protection is the same. From my experience there’s basically two types of Orders of Protection that are usually entered. The most common Order of Protection is a “full no contact” Order of Protection. That type of Order of Protection provides that the Respondent is not allowed to have any contact whatsoever with the Petitioner. The other type of Order of Protection that is commonly entered prohibits any harmful or offensive contact. The full no contact Order of Protection means what the title says. If you have that type of Order of Protection entered against you this means that you cannot have any contact whatsoever with the other person. Those types of Orders usually provide that you cannot be within a certain number of feet of the other person, that you cannot go to their residence, that you cannot go to their place of employment and other places where they may be. It also means that you cannot contact them by electronic means whatsoever. This includes email, social media, telephone calls, and text messages. The reason that you are trying to contact that person is irrelevant. The mere fact that you tried to contact them by sending an email or a text message, or posting something on their Facebook page is enough for you to be considered in Violation of the Order of Protection.
If you have the other type of Order of Protection entered against you, the Order of Protection which prohibits any harmful or offensive contact, then this usually means that you can have have limited contact with the Petitioner. I have had such orders entered in cases in which the husband and wife have to make contact with each other because of visitation issues with minor children. I’ve had cases where the husband and wife work in the same place or even continue to live together. When you have an Order of Protection like that entered against you it is very important that you look carefully at the exact language contained in that Order. I have had cases where the Order of Protection states that contact can only be made for specific reasons. I have a case right now where the Order of Protection says that the Respondent can only contact the Petitioner when it comes to issues involving the minor children. Contact for any other purpose is specifically prohibited. So each case is different and you need to look very carefully at what is allowed and what is not allowed in the language of the Order of Protection. But regardless of what is allowed you have to make sure that any contact or communication that is allowed in such a order is not going to be considered harmful or offensive by a Court.
If a court finds that you violated an Order of Protection by doing something that you are prohibited from doing, or by not doing something that you were supposed to do you can be charged with a crime. Most criminal charges involving the Violation of an Order of Protection are a Class A Misdemeanor in Illinois. The maximum punishment is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. Under limited circumstances you can be charged with a felony but most cases are misdemeanors.
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, Violation of an Order of Protection lawyer with over-27 years of experience handling Violation of an Order of Protection cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.” The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois”. James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney.” Expertise named James Dimeas a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago.” The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” The American Society of Legal Advocates have named James Dimeas a “2018 Top 100 Lawyer.” The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer.” AVVO rates James Dimeas as “Superb”, the highest rating possible for any Violation of Probation lawyer in the United States.
If you are facing Violation of an Order of Protection charges in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and Kane County, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405.
Violation of Order of Protection, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.4.
More Blog Posts:
Domestic Battery in Illinois, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, November 16, 2017.
What Does it Mean to be Guilty of Interfering with the Reporting of a Domestic Battery?, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, October 11, 2017.