Finding out that someone has filed an order of protection against you may come as a shock. You may feel that your altercation didn’t warrant such a drastic measure. Perhaps you weren’t involved in an altercation at all and are being faced with false accusations of violence. If you believe the order of protection is unjustified for any reason, here’s what you can do.
Hearings for Protective Orders in Illinois
You will not always have the opportunity to respond to a protective order in court. If an emergency order of protection is filed against you, you will not be notified of a court date. However, this type of order only lasts for a maximum of 21 days. Once it expires, the petitioner may move forward with a plenary protection order. This is a long-term order and can be valid for up to two years.
If a plenary order is being pursued, the respondent or alleged abuser must be notified about a hearing. The respondent may choose whether or not to attend. If you choose to contest your protective order, you will have to attend the hearing where you can share your side of the story.
Preparing for the Hearing
There are some steps you should take prior to the plenary order of protection hearing. First, contact a defense attorney. It’s beneficial to have a knowledgeable attorney by your side who can advocate on your behalf and who has experience attending these types of hearings.
Second, begin collecting evidence. In many cases, the most commonly used evidence is verbal testimony from both sides. However, you should look for any additional evidence that may help your case.
This may be:
- Police reports
- Evidence of your injuries caused by the petitioner
- Text messages or phone calls
- Photos or videos
- An alibi
Lastly, continue to follow the active order. Do not attempt to reach out to the petitioner to handle the matter outside of court. More importantly, do not threaten or otherwise negatively communicate with the petitioner. Though you may believe the order of protection is unwarranted, it is still legally binding, and you must follow the conditions.
Chicago Order of Protection Attorneys
If you have recently been alerted of a protective order filed against you, contact us at The Toney Law Firm, LLC. Our defense team can help you prepare for your upcoming hearing and support you throughout this trying time.