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IL defense lawyerBeing charged with a crime you did not commit can be a nightmare. One of the most common offenses that innocent people are charged with is domestic violence. It is shockingly easy to be arrested for domestic violence based on a false accusation, often by an angry romantic partner. There are a number of reasons that people make these false accusations. It is extremely easy for a simple fight between a couple to spiral out of control. Perhaps a neighbor called the police because they heard yelling and the police arrested you for lack of a better solution. Or maybe your romantic partner intentionally filed a false police report out of spite. However it happened, it is extremely important that you focus on building a strong defense. A domestic violence conviction is heavily stigmatized and can impact the rest of your life.

Steps Innocent People Can Take After a Domestic Violence Arrest

How you handle the accusation will make all the difference. Steps you should take include:

  • Get a lawyer - The most important thing you can do to help yourself is to find a good lawyer. A domestic violence charge is far too serious to handle on your own.
  • Obey the protection order - If you were arrested for domestic violence, you were most likely served with a protection order that prevents you from contacting the alleged “victim” or going to their home. If you lived with the liar, this means you cannot return home. As difficult as it may be, it is extremely important that you strictly obey the terms of the restraining order. A violation can get you arrested again, and that charge might stick even if the original domestic violence charge goes away.
  • Do not post about it - As tempting as it may be to lambast the person who made the false accusation on social media, or to vent about the situation to your followers, do not do this. It is best to avoid mentioning the charge or the alleged “victim” on social media entirely.
  • Show up for court - As frightening and uncomfortable as it may be to appear before a judge for something you did not do, you absolutely must show up for court dates. If at all possible, try to find an attorney before your first court date.
  • Prepare for trial - Domestic violence charges are very rarely just dropped. You may need to go to trial to fight the charge.

While being charged with a crime you did not commit is incredibly scary, dismissal or acquittal is possible. However, you must handle your case correctly.

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IL criminal lawyerThere is no doubt that domestic violence is a real concern in the Chicago area. On average, more than 500 people call domestic violence hotlines every day in the Chicago area.

The state of Illinois takes domestic battery and family violence very seriously. Individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses often face lengthy prison sentences and other serious consequences. Sadly, some people use Illinois’s strict policies to “punish” or get revenge on others by reporting false accusations of domestic violence.

If you or a loved one were accused of domestic violence by a current or former romantic partner, household member, or family member, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away for personalized legal guidance.

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IL criminal lawyerFebruary is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, which brings to light domestic abuse issues. This past year has been difficult for many people due to the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Unfortunately, this hardship has led to more reports of domestic violence in U.S. households. Spouses or romantic partners who have lost relatives to the virus or who are facing financial crisis due to a job loss may take out their anger and frustrations on each other. Arguments are normal within relationships, but when disputes turn to physical altercations, criminal charges can be filed. In some cases, however, a person may be falsely accused of abuse by a family or household member. If you are facing charges of domestic violence in Illinois, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you avoid a conviction.

Accusations of Violence

Uncertain and trying times like what Americans experienced in 2020 after the coronavirus spread throughout the country can take their toll on even the most optimistic people. The stress of being quarantined can put stress on any couple, leading to allegations of domestic violence, which is a crime in Illinois. It is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving a spouse or partner. Anyone who hits, kicks, chokes, harasses, threatens, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member has committed this offense. Under Illinois law, family or household members are considered those related by blood or people who are married or were married at one time.

Alleged acts of domestic abuse can take any of the following forms:

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IL defense lawyerThe first thing people think of when they hear the phrase “domestic violence” is often a spouse abusing their partner. However, it is just as common for children under the age of 18 to be victims of the abuse or neglect. Minors can be affected in a number of ways by not only being a victim of domestic violence, but also if they are a witness to the abuse or neglect. Side effects vary based on the age of the minor, but some include:

  • Increased crying or signs of terror such as hiding;
  • Bed-wetting or thumb-sucking;
  • Drop of self-esteem or feelings of guilt;
  • Trouble in school or becoming anti-social;
  • Less participation in activities;
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse;
  • Depression or behavior changes; and
  • Mimicking the abusive behavior.

As with adults in a domestic violence case, an order of protection can be ordered to keep the abuser away from any minor in an abusive situation. However, it is the responsibility of a parent or guardian to issue an order of protection.

How the Court Handles Cases of Domestic Violence of a Minor

In the state of Illinois, there are several steps to determine whether a child should be allowed time with a person accused of domestic abuse. After an order of protection goes into effect, the court will:

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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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