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A Civil Order of Protection Can Become a Criminal Case

Posted on in Domestic Battery

order of protection, Lake County criminal defense attorneyOrders of protection are often considered a family law issue, as they seek to protect individuals from the dangers of domestic violence. However, they can often become much more complicated than that. If you have been the subject of any type of order of protection out against you, you may find yourself in the middle of a criminal investigation.

Understanding the Process

Regardless of the circumstances leading to its issuance, once the court has issued an order of protection, a law enforcement officer will formally serve the order on you. From that point forward, you must obey all of the provisions in the order. If you are currently living in the same household with the alleged victim, you may be ordered to leave the residence and to find another place to live until the order is dismissed or expires.

The order itself is a matter of public record. It is possible that having a civil order of protection against you could impact your job or ability to do certain activities that require a background check. The issuance of the protective order may also prompt a criminal investigation into claims of domestic violence.

Violating the Order

You do not necessarily need to make physical contact to violate a protective order. Depending upon the exact terms of your order, calling on the phone, leaving a voicemail, sending an email, sending a text, and trying to make contact through social media could all potentially be order violations.

A violation of a protective order is a crime. Based upon the specifics of the order and the violation, the offense can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 3 felony. This could mean a maximum penalty of between up to a year and jail and five years in prison. It is important to keep in mind, such penalties may be in addition to those imposed if you are convicted of a separate domestic violence offense such as stalking or domestic battery.

Criminal Investigation

When there is a criminal investigation, law enforcement will want to speak to you about the alleged incidents of domestic violence. You, of course, have a right to remain silent. It may not be in your best interest to discuss the case with the police without legal counsel present. If the police want to interview you, you should politely decline and tell them you want to speak with your lawyer.

Keep in mind that if you choose to challenge the civil protective order, anything you say in civil court can be used in a criminal case against you. It is important that you protect yourself by contacting an experienced Lake County criminal defense lawyer as soon as allegations of domestic violence have been made against you. Call 847-239-4703 to schedule a free, confidential consultation at the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C.. today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=500000&SeqEnd=4200000

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