Orders of Protection Attorney in Edwardsville, Illinois
Domestic violence is an unfortunate but common occurrence in Illinois. According to CDC data for the state, 42% of women and 26% of men have been harmed by an intimate partner in their lifetime. In these situations, a victim may need to obtain an Order of Protection to ensure their well-being and safety.
At Hawkins Law Office, P.C., we go to battle to keep our clients safe, proudly serving the Edwardsville, Illinois, community. Let’s collaborate to understand your needs fully and take necessary action. We will not back down until our clients get the protection they need. Hawkins Law Office, P.C. also serves those in Belleville, Carlinville, Jerseyville, Vandalia, Hillsboro, and Greenville.
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Orders of Protection in Illinois
In Illinois, an Order of Protection, also known as a restraining order, is a legal order designed to protect an individual from abuse, harassment, or stalking. This order requires the person who has been accused of abuse, harassment, or stalking to stay away from the victim, stop contacting the victim, and avoid other behaviors that could be harmful.
Additionally, an Order of Protection can grant the victim temporary custody of any children involved, order the abuser to pay child support or spousal support and order the abuser to relinquish any firearms.
Who Can File for an Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection can be obtained by any person who has been a victim of abuse, harassment, or stalking by a family or household member or by someone with whom they have had a dating relationship.
The following individuals are eligible to file for an Order of Protection:
A victim of abuse. These victims include individuals who have been physically abused, threatened with physical abuse, or subjected to any other form of abuse, such as sexual or emotional abuse.
A victim of harassment. Harassment victims include people subjected to conduct meant to annoy, alarm, or intimidate them, such as repeated phone calls or text messages.
A victim of stalking. This victim type includes a person who has been followed or monitored by another person or has received unwanted or threatening gifts, messages, or other communications.
What Can an Order of Protection Do?
An Order of Protection is a legal order that can provide several forms of protection to a victim of abuse, harassment, or stalking in Illinois. Orders of Protection can do the following:
Restraining the abuser. An Order of Protection can order the abuser to stay away from the victim and to avoid all contact with them. This protection can include ordering the abuser to stay a certain distance from the victim’s home, workplace, or other locations where the victim is known to spend time.
Providing temporary custody. An Order of Protection may grant the victim temporary custody of any children involved.
Requiring support. Orders of Protection require the abuser to pay child or spousal support to the victim.
Prohibiting firearm possession. An Order of Protection orders the abuser to relinquish any firearms they possess.
Granting access to the property. Orders of Protection provide the victim access to the property they share with the abuser, such as a shared residence or vehicle.
Prohibiting further abuse. An Order of Protection requires the abuser to stop all abuse, harassment, or stalking behavior and avoid any conduct that could harm the victim.
How Long Does an Order of Protection Last?
In Illinois, the length of an Order of Protection can vary depending on the type of order that is issued:
An Emergency Order of Protection can last up to 21 days.
An Interim Order of Protection can last up to 30 days.
A Plenary Order of Protection, a more permanent type, can last up to two years.
The Process of Obtaining an Order of Protection in Illinois
The process of obtaining an Order of Protection in Illinois typically involves the following steps:
Consulting With a Professional Family Law Attorney
The first step is to consult with a professional family law attorney. While hiring an attorney to file for an Order of Protection is not legally necessary, getting the right legal counsel can help victims get the representation they need. With victims already dealing with so much, getting a top attorney helps ease the burden.
Filing a Petition
The victim files a petition for an Order of Protection with the court. The petition includes information about the victim and the abuser and details about the abuse or harassment that has occurred.
If the court believes the victim is in immediate danger, it may issue an Emergency Order of Protection, which can provide immediate protection for up to 21 days. If an Emergency Order of Protection is not issued, the court may schedule a hearing within 14 days to consider a request for a temporary order.
Service of Process
The abuser must be served with a copy of the petition and any temporary or emergency order issued. This step typically involves a law enforcement officer or a process server delivering the documents to the abuser in person.
A hearing is held to determine whether an Order of Protection is necessary. Both the victim and the abuser may present evidence and testimony. If the court finds that the victim has been subjected to abuse, harassment, or stalking, it may issue a Plenary Order of Protection for up to two years.
If the abuser violates the Order of Protection, the victim can contact law enforcement and seek to have the abuser held in contempt of court. The abuser can be fined or even jailed for violations.
Orders of Protection Attorney Serving Edwardsville, Illinois
At Hawkins Law Office, P.C., our attorney collaborates with clients to ensure their protection from abuse. Don’t wait another moment. Get an experienced attorney on your side today. Call now to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.