Recently there has been a big effort throughout the nation to bring a stop to domestic violence, including physical abuse, spousal abuse and sexual abuse. The NFL and other organizations have made commercials and raised awareness through other events as a part of this effort. It is too early to tell how much of an effect these efforts will have, but the fact is that at this point in time there are many victims of domestic violence in Illinois.
Often times the victims of domestic violence do not know how to protect themselves from this violence. One way though is through an order of protection. We have previously discussed the benefits of these orders. However, the abusers will not always just follow these orders simply because they are ordered not to have contact.
There are, however, consequences for violating an order of protection. If it is a person's first violation then the person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. However, if it is the person's second violation of an order of protection, or if they had been previously convicted of crime involving domestic violence, then they can be charged with a Class 4 felony. They can also be sentenced to a minimum of 24 hours in jail as a consequence. In addition to the jail time, they will also likely have to pay a fine.
These consequences will occur even if the restraining order is obtained in another state or the abuser committed a violent crime in another state. Also, if the abuser violates the order by directing a third party to contact the victim, they will still be guilty of violating the order.
Unfortunately there are many victims of domestic abuse in Illinois. Orders of protection are designed to protect the victim and therefore a violation of the order can result in a felony and jail time for the offender. Obtaining an order of protection can thus be very important for a victim. Experienced attorneys understand this importance and may be able to guide one through the process of obtaining the protection she or he needs.
Source: Illinois General Assembly, "720 ILCS 5/12-3.4," accessed Feb. 9, 2015