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Chicago Order of Protection Attorneys

Helping Victims of Abuse Get an Order of Protection in Chicago

If you are in danger of suffering harm because of domestic abuse, the legal system can provide you with support and protection. You have the right to feel safe, and if you are being stalked, threatened, or put in danger of abuse, you can pursue legal support. In Chicago, for example, you can request an order of protection.

Obtaining an order of protection from an Illinois court not only creates a record of domestic abuse but also helps end future abuse. Whether you are a victim of domestic abuse or have been wrongly accused of committing domestic abuse, the Chicago order of protection attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP can help you.

Nottage and Ward, LLP has been providing sensibility and intelligence to the practice of family law for over 30 years. Our firm is listed by Martindale-Hubbell in its Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Reach out to us at (312) 332-2915 today.

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What an Order of Protection Means

An order of protection is a court-issued order that prevents a person from engaging in any type of activity that may affect your safety and security. The court may order the person harassing you to completely stop all contact or limit contact. For example, instead of visiting you, the court may allow them to only contact you via email. The order of protection usually applies to all locations, including your home, place of work, or school.

The court may also order the person harassing you to take other steps to make sure of your safety, like surrendering firearms or completing a court-approved domestic violence program. It’s important to understand that this protective order is a civil order as opposed to a criminal proceeding. Orders of protection may be renewed once. You may choose to reapply for a new order of protection when the previous one expires.

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Divorce Proceedings and Orders of Protection

A spouse may seek an order of protection before, during, or after a divorce proceeding to protect yourself and your children from violent or threatening behavior. Once there is an abuse finding, an order of protection will be granted. If a child has suffered any kind of abuse at the hands of the respondent, the court must deny the respondent any parenting time or decision-making power.

An order of protection may be granted when the offending spouse is:

  • Causing physical injury
  • Threatening to cause injury
  • Attempting to cause injury
  • Harassing the spouse or children
  • Causing emotional distress
  • Creating fear of imminent bodily injury

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Why an Order of Protection is Crucial

In Illinois, an order of protection gives police the authority to get involved in the event of intimidation, harassment, or violent behavior. This is because, in Illinois, law enforcement may not be able to help you when you feel threatened without a valid order of protection. On the other hand, if your ex threatens you when you have an active order of protection, which prohibits all contact, then the police will be able to make an arrest.

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What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence occurs when an ex-spouse or partner tries to physically or psychologically harm the other. Domestic violence includes forms of abuse, including physical abuse, use of force, harassment, or intimidation. While some forms of domestic abuse don’t involve physical violence, they may involve verbal threats, harassment, or even stalking. Examples of domestic abuse include:

  • Reckless endangerment
  • Child abuse
  • Threats of injury
  • Restraining someone
  • Trespassing
  • Emotional abuse

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Who Can Obtain an Order of Protection?

Under the provisions of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA), an order of protection is available for people who are involved in a domestic relationship. This may include:

  • Spouses
  • Ex-spouses
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Stepchildren
  • A romantic partner or significant other
  • A girlfriend or boyfriend
  • A person involved in a dating relationship
  • Current or former cohabitants

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Types and Duration of Protective Orders

There are three types of orders of protection in Illinois: emergency, interim, and plenary. An emergency order of protection is awarded right away based on the victim’s testimony and affidavit. These orders are effective for between 14 and 21 days, providing immediate action to prevent abuse.

Interim orders of protection provide temporary protection for up to 30 days. The person accused of abuse or their lawyer must appear before a judge for a victim to obtain an interim order in Illinois.

Plenary orders of protection are the final orders of protection that are granted only after both parties present their arguments at a hearing before a judge. Plenary orders may be effective for up to two years. You may file a motion to extend a plenary order of protection before it expires.

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How To Obtain an Order of Protection in Chicago

There are several ways to file an order of protection in the state of Illinois. You may wish to contact a domestic violence program for assistance. You may request an order of protection through divorce proceedings, and it may also be filed as part of a criminal prosecution.

You can request an attorney to file an order of protection for you, or you can go to your local circuit court clerk’s office and get the papers you need to seek an order for yourself. To be granted a protection order, you will need to fill out a petition and speak with a judge.

Your petition will tell the judge about the abuse you experienced, and you’ll want to include the following information:

  • What the abuser said
  • What the abuser did
  • Where the abuse occurred
  • If children were present
  • Names of anyone who witnessed the abuse
  • If the police were called
  • How the abuse made you feel
  • If there was anything that prevented you from seeking an order of protection sooner

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Consequences of Violating an Order of Protection

Violation of an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, but it becomes a Class 4 felony if the defendant has a prior conviction for an offense that could be charged as domestic battery or a violation of an order of protection in Illinois. A misdemeanor conviction carries up to one year in jail, and a felony conviction carries up to three years in prison.

Actions that may result in a conviction for violating an order of protection include:

  • Refusing to move out of a residence you share with the protected person
  • Failure to comply with court-ordered parenting time rules
  • Visiting the protected person’s place of employment
  • Contacting the protected person in any way, including in person, by phone, or using email
  • Responding to a social media post made by the protected person
  • Making threats

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Contact an Experienced Chicago Family Law Lawyer

To successfully obtain an order of protection, it’s important to gather enough evidence of abuse and threat. The experienced Chicago family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP can help you secure the evidence you need, including victim testimony, evidence of injuries, police reports, and medical records.

If you are looking for information regarding an order of protection and would like to discuss your case, contact us at (312) 332-2915 to schedule your consultation today.

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Client Reviews

Five Stars5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

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