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Cook County Restraining Order

Fighting Criminal Charges: A Guide to Dealing With an Order of Protection

If the Cook County circuit court issued you a restraining order, it’s normal to feel furious and question its legality. But before doing anything harsh and irreversible, read and understand the details of the restraining order. There are proper and legal ways to fight a restraining order, and questioning the petitioner is not one of them.

Contesting an order of protection in Illinois requires the knowledge and experience of a domestic violence defense lawyer.

Are you a defendant or respondent in a civil or criminal complaint where a protective order has been issued? The Hirsch Law Group is here to defend you and work hard to get the best possible outcome for your case.

Understanding Restraining Orders in Cook County

What Is a restraining order?

A restraining order, also called a protective order, is issued by a court. The order is filed with the Clerk’s Office and served on the respondent by the Sheriff’s Office. It prohibits one person (the respondent) from approaching, communicating with, or doing certain behaviors toward another person (called the petitioner).

Usually, a restraining order is sought in cases of domestic violence. These orders may be granted on an emergency, interim, or permanent basis.

  • An emergency protective order is issued by the judge without the need for the alleged abuser to appear in court. This is effective for two to three weeks.

  • Interim orders of protection are effective for 30 days. They require that the respondent be served with a copy of the petition or after it has been shown that attempts were made to serve the respondent.

  • plenary order of protection can last up to two years. A judge issues this order after a hearing with both the person seeking safety and the alleged abuser.

Legal Implications of a Restraining Order

A restraining order prevents the respondent from doing specific acts. The person asking for a restraining order or order of protection (the petitioner) may file it in a criminal or civil court. If they file a criminal case, they will be represented by the State’s Attorney’s Office, which handles the criminal prosecution.

When you receive a restraining order, the first thing to do is to remain calm. A restraining order usually includes the following documents:

  • Petition for order of protection

  • Emergency order of protection, if applicable

  • Any supporting pieces of evidence

Carefully read the protection order to know what acts are allowed and what are not. The order includes the reasons the petition was granted and the exact acts you are prohibited from doing. The order also includes a date when you can go to the court to file a petition to rehear the emergency order of protection.

A violation of a restraining order can have legal consequences. Violators may face jail time, hefty fines, and community service. They may also be required to undergo counseling sessions.

The Legal Process of Contesting a Restraining Order

Getting an order of protection is easy and relatively quick. Also, it is based on the petitioner’s statement alone. That is why it is essential to show up in court on the date stated by the court; otherwise, the judge will most likely enter a plenary order in favor of the petitioner. A plenary order, once issued, cannot be challenged.

Given the profound implications of a restraining order, it is crucial to consult with a domestic violence defense lawyer to explore your options. Even if you believe the order is unjustified, strict adherence is necessary. Here’s a guide on the legal process to challenge a restraining order.

  1. Talk to your lawyer. Your attorney will help you understand the terms contained in the order and the legal remedies that are available to you, depending on your situation.

  2. Make sure to act promptly and take note of the dates mentioned in the order. Usually, the protection order issued by the court is temporary. Even if it is temporary, follow every instruction in the order to avoid legal consequences.

  3. Gather supporting evidence showing why a plenary protection order should not be issued against you. Your evidence may include videos, text messages, emails, photographs, and testimonies of witnesses.

  4. On the date set by the Illinois domestic violence courthouse, attend the hearing with your attorney. Here, your attorney will argue against the Cook County State’s attorney why the protection order should not be granted.

  5. Wait for the decision: If a permanent protection order is granted after the initial hearing, you may file an appeal.

If you or someone you know needs help fighting orders of protection or restraining orders, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer.

Consequences of Violating a Protective Order

Violating the terms of an order of protection may be considered a criminal act.

In most cases, violation of the terms of a restraining order is considered a Class A misdemeanor. It can result in imprisonment of up to one year and payment of up to a $2,500 fine.

If this crime is a second offense and/or a victim sustains a physical injury due to the violation, it can also be charged as a Class 4 felony. The punishment for this is 1 to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Navigating Complex Situations

When a petitioner applies for an emergency order of protection, the respondent’s presence is unnecessary, considering the urgency of the matter. After the emergency protection order is issued, the respondent can present evidence on his behalf.

If you have been named a respondent in an order of protection, seek immediate legal assistance from a domestic violence defense lawyer. Situations happen when protective orders are used to harass respondents to get custody of a child. There are also instances of false accusations against the respondent.

Being represented by an experienced domestic violence defense attorney could be crucial to make sure that your rights are protected.

Let the Hirsh Law Group Help Defend Your Case

When a petitioner applies for a Cook County restraining order, it usually involves domestic abuse cases. Restraining orders are considered legal remedies for victims who fear for their safety or their children’s well-being. The petition to issue a protective order may be filed in a civil court as an independent action or in conjunction with criminal prosecutions or other civil matters, such as divorce petitions.

If you are prohibited from doing certain acts due to a restraining order, the Hirsch Law Group will help you defend your case. Our aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorneys are committed to helping you get the optimum outcome for your case.

Over the years, we have helped respondents of protection orders to dissolve the orders against them. Our defense attorneys understand that false accusations can result in respondents losing their jobs, children, and the entire family. Because of our dedication to our clients’ causes, we have defended them and fought for them from start to finish.

Being represented by competent defense lawyers could help protect your rights and your future. Let the Hirsh Law Group handle your case in Cook County. Contact our law firm today, and let us help you defend your case.