If you’ve been threatened with or experienced domestic violence, the attorneys at Granholm & Gynac can be your advocate, helping you to obtain an order of protection or no-stalking order. Over the years, our lawyers have helped clients protect themselves from situations that include but are not limited to physical abuse, mental or emotional abuse, verbal abuse, harassment, stalking, intimidation, deprivation of personal freedom and many more.
Depending on your situation, we can help you put safety measures in place to protect you and your dependents. Let’s take a look at your options.
Emergency Orders of Protection
If you, your children or another dependent’s life or safety is in danger, immediate emergency relief may be needed. Anyone can file an Emergency Order of Protection (OP), and be heard by a judge same day, often within an hour or two of going to the courthouse. The court will consider the petitioner’s sworn statement about what’s happening and determine if immediate relief is required even though the defendant is not present to answer the allegations.
If the court determines an OP is warranted, it can be granted on the spot. The alleged abuser will then be prohibited from contacting the petitioner whether in person, via phone, e-mail or text message. The defendant can also be forced to immediately vacate a residence. Emergency orders can only last at most a few weeks before the court requires a full plenary hearing. At that time, everyone needs to come to court to argue the case, and the defendant will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and testify on their own behalf.
Interim and Plenary Orders of Protection
After a case is brought to a full hearing, the court may decide to extend an Emergency Order of Protection on an interim or plenary basis, potentially up to a maximum of two (2) years. Plenary OPs may also be subject to an extension beyond even that if the petitioner requests such an extension once the initial period of time has elapsed and if the victim can convince the court that such an extension is necessary.
No Stalking Orders
Orders of protection can technically only be brought between parties when there is some blood, family, intimate or household relationship between the parties. However, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers may be harassing someone to the point where legal protection is needed. Fortunately, Illinois also provides no-stalking orders, popularly known as restraining orders, that can be obtained against nearly anyone. This requires the petitioner to prove abuse, harassment or intimidation over a course of two or more incidents as defined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
If You’ve Been Served an Order of Protection
For those wrongfully accused of domestic violence, Granholm & Gynac can help defend you. Having an order of protection entered against you can negatively impact your life in many ways.
You may be forced to move out of your home. If you are a teacher, nurse or police officer, you might lose your job. And no matter what the outcome, accusations can often irreversibly harm your reputation in the community and with your family. If you are faced with defending against an OP that has been filed against you, the lawyers of Granholm & Gynac are ready to help you clear your name.