Apr 25, 2018 | Family Law

It is an unfortunate reality that marriages and other relationships can sometimes be very messy affairs. However, when they blow up into abusive situations, it is important for those who are the victims of abuse to know their legal rights, as they might need to seek out immediate legal relief.

On the other hand, people who are falsely accused of domestic abuse will want to know how to protect themselves from those allegations. Even though an order for protection is not a criminal matter, any allegation of abuse should be taken very seriously.

Illinois law offers three types of orders of protection for the benefit of its residents. All three types of orders accomplish the same purpose in that they can serve to prohibit someone accused of abuse from communicating with or being around the victim of the alleged abuse. They can also be used to handle related family law issues, like parental responsibilities. However, they differ in the amount of time they last.

For instance, an emergency order can only last up to three weeks. However, the advantage is that a judge can grant one without a hearing or even letting the accused person know, provided the person asking meets the legal requirements. On the other hand, a “plenary” order lasts for two years, but the person who is accused is going to have the opportunity to present a defense in court.

These orders give the police an additional tool to stop further abuse before it happens, since they can make an arrest on the basis that an order for protection was violated, even if no further abuse has actually occurred.