When you violate an order of protection in Illinois, you can go to jail and the judge can order you to pay fines. The length of time you spend behind bars depends on how many times you’ve violated your order of protection. This guide explains.
What Happens When You Violate an Order of Protection in Illinois?
First things first: If you’re accused of violating an order of protection in Illinois, you may want to speak to a domestic battery defense attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can give you the guidance you need – and he can represent you in court.
With that said, there are two distinct categories of violations: First-time violations and subsequent violations.
Violating an Order of Protection for the First Time
Generally, the first time you violate an order of protection – which means you did any of the things the order specifically said you couldn’t (like contacting the person who filed the order against you or destroying property you weren’t supposed to destroy), or that you failed to do something the order told you to do (such as attending counseling or showing up in court) – you’re looking at a Class A misdemeanor.
The penalty for a first-time violation of an order of protection is typically up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. However, the judge doesn’t have to send you to jail or fine you; the judge’s decision will be based on the circumstances of your case.
Subsequent Violations of an Order of Protection
If you violate an order of protection two or more times, you’re looking at a Class 4 felony. In that case, the judge in your case can send you to prison for up to three years and order you to pay fines of up to $25,000. Just like misdemeanor violations, the judge isn’t required to send you to jail for that long or to slap you with a $25,000 fine – it all depends on the circumstances of your case.
That’s why it’s so important to consult with an attorney. If you have a valid reason for violating the order, or if you simply made a mistake, your attorney can ensure that your side of the story comes out in court. Sometimes explaining your situation to the judge makes a big difference.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Defense?
If you need to talk to a domestic battery defense attorney in Illinois, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and talk to you about your options.