Victims of domestic violence often get court orders of protection against their accused abuser. If an order of protection has been issued against you, you must follow its requirements or risk arrest.
In order to be convicted of violating an order of protection, there is a requirement that you knowingly went against the judge’s order. A prosecutor would need to show that you were either properly served with the order of protection, or that you had actual knowledge of the terms of the order. If you were unaware that a particular action would cause you to be in violation of an order of protection, you should consult with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney to see whether you may have a defense.
Different Ways an Order of Protection Can Be Violated
There are several ways that an order of protection can be violated. If you fail to complete a particular activity required by the court, such as attending counseling, or if you carry out an action that is explicitly prohibited in the order, such as visiting the alleged victim’s place of work, you can be arrested and charged with violating an order of protection.
If you have an order of protection from a judge in another state, this order still applies in Illinois, and if you are found to be in violation of another state’s order while in Illinois, you will be convicted and sentenced in an Illinois court.
If you order another person to carry out an activity that violates an order of protection that has been entered against you, you will be held liable for the violation, as if you had done it yourself, regardless of the mental state of your accomplice.
Under Illinois law, violating an order of protection is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. If you have a prior conviction for domestic battery, or for another serious violent crime, a protection order violation can be tried as a Class 4 felony instead, carrying a sentence of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000.
For help defending yourself against misdemeanor or felony charges of alleged violation of a protection order in Illinois, you should contact Goldman & Associates today. Our team of experienced and diligent defense attorneys will help explain your options, and can offer skilled representation in court to defend you and your reputation.