Cook County Restraining Orders Lawyer and Protective Order Attorney
Sometimes, the government needs to step in and stop harassment or harm that is happening to another individual. One avenue where this support can happen is in the form of a restraining order. Otherwise known as a protection order, these legally binding directives are designed to combat any form of domestic violence by preventing it from occurring again, especially during a divorce. There are different provisions that a restraining order can have, but most require an offender to stay a specific distance away from the victim who requested the protection. They can also prevent someone from engaging in any form of communication with them. By understanding the implications of these legal tools, individuals can confidently pursue obtaining one when they need to.
What Different Restraining Orders Exist in Chicago?
Because every alleged abuse situation is different, there are various types of restraining orders to accommodate. The following are some of the most frequently used in Chicago, IL:
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): When someone needs fast protection, and does not want to wait until the conclusion of a court proceeding, a temporary restraining order can provide relief. These are quickly granted based on the petitioner’s accusation of domestic abuse. It does not imply that the individual they are accusing is guilty, but it acts as a safety net to keep the individuals apart until a final verdict is reached.
- Permanent Restraining Order (PRO): If the court has decided that your original allegation is indeed true, a permanent restraining order will likely be put in place. This can last for a few years and is renewable for the rest of time if you still feel that formal protection is needed. If you do not request an extension, these will expire automatically.
- Emergency Protection Order (EPO): Rather than coming from the individual being abused, law enforcement can step in when there is a clear need to protect someone with an emergency order. These typically only last a short time until a longer temporary or permanent order is set in place by the petitioner. Having this in a police toolkit to protect the community can come in handy, especially when an individual has been harmed so badly that they might not be coherent enough to pursue an initial restraining order by themselves.
Keep in mind that these protection orders offer a ton of value, but they might not be the only action you should take to keep yourself safe. If you are worried that the alleged abuser will disobey the terms of the restraining order against them, you should consider other avenues to add to your protection, like staying in a new temporary residence or blocking the individual’s phone number and social media accounts.
What Evidence Can Prove That a Permanent Restraining Order Is Necessary?
You will need a collection of substantial evidence to help make your case for longer-term protection. Some common forms of evidence found in Chicago abuse cases include:
- Incidents That Are Clearly Documented: A jury will want to hear your side of the story. If you have been keeping a detailed history of incidents as they occur, it can help everyone else who wasn’t there know exactly what happened. It also helps demonstrate a pattern of behavior over time, or it can discredit a defendant’s timeline of the events as they claimed they happened.
- Police Report: Law enforcement is often viewed as a non-biased, credible source of information. They are also likely to be the first people to arrive on the scene who are not the abuser or victim if they are called afterward. Their report can contain a lot of interesting information that can help bring a jury to the scene of the crime, such as what behavior the police officers noticed or if they observed anything else out of the ordinary.
- Medical Records: If you had to go to the hospital for care related to your injuries, the reports generated by the hospital staff will contain relevant insights. It will likely detail the exact nature of your injuries when you entered the facility for care and the level of treatment that was necessary to help you begin a path of recovery. This can indicate how severe the violence committed against you was and can influence a court’s decision on how long additional protection would serve you.
- Witness Statements: In many cases, the crime is not reported right after it has occurred. In these instances, it would be difficult to use a police report or medical record to accurately reflect what happened. However, if there is anyone in your life who was ever suspicious of your condition, or was a bystander to any of the abuse, their vocal account of what happened can leave a huge lasting impression on the jury when making their final decisions.
- Any Violations of a Protection Order: One of the easiest ways to justify needing a permanent restraining order is to show how the temporary version was broken. Non-compliance with restraining orders is a serious crime and can result in different repercussions for the individual who broke the agreement. This will also make it very unlikely for them to repair their reputation and make the case that they no longer need to be under such strict guidelines.
Officially issuing a restraining order is not something that is taken lightly across the court system in Chicago. It requires significant evidence to make it clear that someone is in danger and that this formal protection can make a difference to their health and safety. Connect with a family lawyer to ensure the order can go into effect as quickly and compliantly as possible.
How Can I File for a Restraining Order in Chicago?
The following steps provide a general sense of what you can expect after making the decision to advance your claim. Each step will be much easier to advance through court when a Chicago protection order lawyer is advancing with you.
- Collect Evidence: One way that a guilty defendant can get away with their crime is by pointing out how some of the evidence a prosecutor is using was collected illegally. This step can truly make or break the case. To make sure that everything that points to what actually happened is allowed to be used in court, make sure you are allowing your attorney to guide you through this step.
- Complete All Necessary Paperwork: Advancing any legal case requires a ton of legal paperwork. There is no exception to this rule when trying to enforce a restraining order. Your attorney can make sure that you have access to all required paperwork and that everything is submitted on time to remain compliant.
- Attend a Hearing: A judge will help you issue a temporary restraining order until your official hearing. Once the hearing is in place to decide guilt, there will be a discussion on the long-term strategy for the petitioner’s safety if the defendant is indeed found to be guilty as charged. You and your attorney can make the case for whatever desired outcome you hold and to make sure that the defendant is not able to convince anyone in the court of something untrue or misconstrued.
- Enforce the Official Order: Once the restraining order is in effect, any violations must be communicated to law enforcement and the court as soon as possible. The severity of the violation will dictate exactly what repercussions the offender must face. It could lie anywhere between a verbal warning to keep their distance and time spent in prison if they continue to prove they cannot operate in a free society under the guidelines of a restraining order.
These steps may differ based on your unique circumstances. The only way to make sure you do not overlook any details, or miss a critical step in the process, is to work directly with restraining order attorneys who know how to get the job done.
What Makes a Court Decide to Remove a Restraining Order?
The most common reason why a court would remove a restraining order is because the original petitioner requested that they no longer feel that they need the protection. If the court agrees, they will remove it. The two most common criteria are:
- A Clear Change in Circumstances: If there has been a significant change in the underlying cause for the order to be issued in the first place, the court will likely be open to removing it. For example, they may end the order for an individual who was an alcoholic but has since completed a program and is on a healthy road to recovery.
- Compliance With the Order: If there were any violations of the original terms of the agreement, the court would be unlikely to end it sooner. However, if there is a removal request, and they have remained 100% compliant to date, there is a chance it can be terminated early.
Contact Stange Law Firm Today
If you are in Chicago, and looking for legal support with restraining orders, contact us today at Stange Law Firm. We have been on a mission for years to keep our city safe from violent offenders, and we would be happy to extend that mission to you in the form of a restraining order.
Cook County (Rolling Meadows), Illinois Office (773-453-9390) | 1600 Golf Road, Suite 1264, Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008 (by appointment only)