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IL defense lawyerDomestic violence is a crime that is taken very seriously and has severe consequences for those who commit it. Though the type of punishments that offenders of domestic violence get are deserved, the extremely personal nature of the crime makes it difficult for those who are falsely accused to clear their name. In the state of Illinois, police officers are required to arrest a person if the officer has reason to believe that they have committed an act of abuse or neglect. Even if the officer makes no arrest during a domestic violence call, they must always fill out a police report with the alleged victim and the alleged suspect’s information and statements. If a person decides to file an order of protection against someone, this means they are telling the court that they have been abused and wish to seek charges against the abuser.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Though different states may have different definitions of domestic violence, Illinois defines domestic violence as any act of “abuse” perpetrated by a “family or household member.” An act of abuse can be:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Harassment;
  • Intimidation;
  • Interference with personal liberty; or
  • Willful deprivation.

Family or household members can include:

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Chicago criminal defense attorneyAs it perhaps ought to be, most people believe the accuser when charges of domestic violence are brought against a person. By not doing so, there is a risk of sanctioning significant harm to innocent victims. However, there are occasions when such charges are false, most often brought to attempt to impugn one’s character or otherwise take an opportunity away from someone. If you have been drawn into this unfortunate situation, it is vital that you take steps as soon as possible to attempt to clear your name.

Potentially Serious Consequences

Domestic violence in Illinois is defined very widely, encompassing “physical abuse, harassment … interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation,” and it applies not only to spouses but also to other household members. “Household members” include a diverse group of individuals such as current and former spouses and in-laws, as well as roommates, stepparents or stepchildren, and dependents including disabled family members. This wide net can assist true victims, but it can also make it easier for false accusations to be levied.

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