What Are the Consequences of Violating an Order of Protection?
In many cases involving allegations of domestic violence or abuse, a judge may choose to issue an order of protection. These orders, which are commonly known as restraining orders, may place a number of restrictions on a person, including preventing them from contacting family members covered in an order. If an order of protection has been issued against you, it is important to understand the requirements that you will need to follow and the potential charges you may face if you violate the terms of the order.
Restrictions and Requirements in an Order of Protection
A judge may determine that an order of protection is appropriate based on claims that a person has committed domestic violence or other forms of abuse toward members of their family or people in their household. An alleged victim of abuse may request an emergency order of protection, and a hearing may be held without the alleged abuser being present. If an emergency order is issued, it will go into effect immediately, and it will usually be valid for 21 days. The person who is subject to the order will be notified, and a hearing will be scheduled to determine whether a long-term order of protection will be necessary.
An order of protection will include a variety of “remedies” meant to ensure that alleged victims will be safe from potential harm. The person named in the order will generally be prohibited from contacting their spouse, partner, or children in any way, including through phone calls, text messages, written notes, or messages passed through other parties. The alleged victim may also be granted exclusive possession of a couple’s home or other property. If a long-term order of protection is issued, a person may be required to pay financial support to their partner or restitution for injuries or damages they have caused, and they may be ordered to receive counseling or other forms of treatment. A person who is subject to an order of protection will be prohibited from possessing firearms or other dangerous weapons.
Criminal Charges for Violation of an Order of Protection
If a person knowingly violates the terms of an order of protection, including by engaging in activities that are prohibited or by failing to comply with certain requirements, they may face criminal charges. In most cases, violation of an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor, and if a person is convicted of this offense, they may be sentenced to up to one year in prison. However, if a person has previously been convicted of domestic battery, violation of an order of protection, or certain other types of violent crimes, they may face Class 4 felony charges, and if they are convicted, they may be sentenced to between one and three years in prison.
Contact Our Grundy County Order of Protection Defense Lawyer
If your spouse, partner, or another member of your family has accused you of domestic abuse, an order of protection may be issued against you. You will need to be sure to understand the requirements that will apply to ensure that you can avoid potential violations. As you work to defend against an order of protection or any criminal charges you may face, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can provide you with strong representation and help you resolve these issues in a way that will protect your rights and allow you to minimize disruptions to your life and your family relationships. Contact our Will County domestic violence defense attorney at 815-740-4025 to set up a free consultation.