If you are looking for someone to help you petition or respond to a Will County Order of Protection or Restraining Order, look no further. For a free consultation, contact our criminal defense firm's office to discuss your Will County domestic violence case at (312) 466-9466.
Our Will County lawyers know how help clients on both sides of a Will County order of protection case. Over our years of experience, we have advocated on behalf of order of protection petitioners and respondents, as well as individuals who are arrested for violating an order of protection.
An Order of Protection case is often the result of a domestic dispute. If granted by a judge, the order can place several restrictions on a respondent. For example, the accused must limit his contact with the accuser and often must avoid the petitioner's place of employment or residence.
An order of protection may also turn into a criminal prosecution. In the most extreme cases, an order can force the defendant to leave home if it is shared with the accuser or to have no contact or limited contact with any children of the relationship. Many other restrictions are also possible.
There are two types of orders of protections that a judge might grant: an Emergency Order of Protection and a Plenary Order of Protection.
An emergency order of protection is short-term and meant to hold a petitioner over until a hearing, at which point both sides will have the opportunity to testify in front of a judge. Often, an emergency order will be imposed immediately after a reported incident of domestic violence, but you can also request one by going to Will County Courthouse. The next section explains this petition process in more depth.
A standard, or Plenary Order of Protection lasts longer and requires a hearing before a judge. If someone files an Order of Protection against you, you will be served with papers providing the details for a court hearing. A respondent in an Order of Protection case has the right to dispute the imposition of the order and provide counter testimony in front of a judge.
In Will County, there is a specific process for filing each type of order of protection. The next section will outline the differences between the two procedures and describe Will County Court's specific order of protection process.
If you would like to file a standard Order of Protection and it is not an emergency, you may begin the process online at the Illinois Criminal Court website.
To request an Emergency Order of Protection in Will County, you must go to the Will County Courthouse at 14 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, Illinois 60432. The Order of Protection Office is located on the first floor in room 115 and is open weekdays between the hours of 8:30am and 3:30pm. The office can also be reached by phone (815) 740-8064.
The procedure to file for a Will County Emergency Order of Protection takes between one and two hours depending on business. Petitioners are received on a first-come first-serve basis.
When you arrive, you will be asked to fill out and file a form. Next, there will be a hearing with a judge. The judge will review the evidence in your case and may award you an Emergency Order of Protection. But if the judge finds your case inadequate, he or she may also deny your request for an Emergency Order of Protection.
If you are granted the emergency order, the court will schedule another hearing 14 to 21 days later. These hearings always take place in Courtroom 313 of Will County Main Courthouse. The next section describes in more detail what happens during this domestic relations hearing.
If you are the respondent to an order of protection, you will be served papers by the Will County sheriff indicating the date and time of this hearing so that you may attend and make your case.
The Will County Circuit Court Clerk's office does not charge a fee to file for an emergency order of protection. It is also free to file a Civil No Contact Order as well as a No Stalking Order, two slightly different types of orders of protection.
Two to three weeks after an initial Emergency Order of Protection is granted, there will be a hearing before a Will County judge to determine whether the order will be extended and what its terms will be.
You have the right to bring an attorney to represent you at this hearing, and we recommend that you do so in order to ensure that your side of the story is heard. It is important to come prepared with witnesses or evidence that will demonstrate what happened. An experienced Will County criminal defense attorney can help you identify how to present airtight testimony and prove your case successfully.
At the hearing, the judge will listen to the testimony of both parties and then issue a decision, either granting an Order of Protection for a of period of up to two years or denying the petition. If you do not appear for this hearing, the order will be automatically dismissed.
Will County order of protection cases shouldn't be taken lightly. Unlike some other legal matters, an order of protection can be permanent on your criminal record and may never be removed.
For instance, if you lose an Order of Protection hearing and the order is granted against you, it will be placed on your permanent record and can never be expunged. The only circumstance under which a person is eligible for expungement is if a judge dismisses the order of protection.
In addition, there are other consequences for respondents. For example, anyone who has been the subject of an Order of Protection will be ineligible to obtain a Firearm Owner's Identification Card.
These realities make it all the more important to come prepared to court on the day of your order of protection hearing with an aggressive Will County criminal lawyer by your side.
There are several tactics for challenging the order, including effective cross-examination, presentation of additional evidence, and a general knowledge and understanding of Illinois Order of Protection statutes. Our offices provide consultation about which strategies will be most effective for your particular Will County domestic relations case.
Our criminal defense team has developed a strong track record, assisting clients who are dealing with Orders of Protection, including avoiding them in the first place and dealing with the damaging accusation of having violated an Order of Protection:
Although it is possible to obtain or dispute a Will County order of protection without a lawyer, it is always wise to understand what you are getting yourself into before walking into a courtroom and testifying before a judge. Our offices have advocated for clients on both sides of Order of Protection. This experience gives us unique insight and provides an edge in fighting a Will County domestic relations case. If you would like a free domestic offense consultation, our Will County criminal defense attorneys can be reached at (312) 466-9466.