Domestic violence continues to be a disruptive problem in the Chicago, IL, area and throughout the United States. Every day, thousands of people living in the United States experience all types of domestic violence, sometimes with devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of incident of domestic violence, you need legal representation you can trust to take full advantage of the legal protections available in this situation.
Johnson O’Keefe has years of experience representing Chicago area clients in difficult family court cases, including those pertaining to domestic violence. Any incident of domestic violence can cause many long-term effects on the family in question, and the party responsible for engaging in domestic violence faces severe criminal penalties for their actions. If you need legal counsel after any type of domestic violence in the Chicago area, our firm can assist you in holding the responsible party accountable for their actions. We can also provide comprehensive legal representation in any family court proceedings that unfold in response to your experience.
“Domestic violence” is a relatively broad term that applies to any form of physical violence, sexual abuse, or other intentional harm inflicted by one family or household member on another. The parties involved in a situation like this do not necessarily need to be married or otherwise related for the situation to qualify as domestic violence, nor must they live in the same household. Domestic violence can arise between any family or household members regardless of whether they live together.
These cases may erupt between parents, children, siblings, and other extended relatives. It is also possible for domestic violence to arise between former spouses, romantic partners, and roommates. Domestic violence can include physical abuse such as hitting, slapping, and strangling the victim, sexual abuse of any kind, neglect, psychological abuse, and isolation.
The penalties for domestic violence typically mirror those applied to the standard versions of these offenses. For example, the state of Illinois makes a legal distinction between simple assault and domestic assault, the latter of which carries harsher penalties due to its designation as a domestic violence offense. If a standard offense would typically result in fines and jail time, a domestic violence offense of a similar nature is likely to incur a greater fine and longer incarceration term. However, the offense is also likely to generate family court proceedings in addition to a criminal case filed by the state.
An order of protection, commonly called a restraining order, is a formal court order that prohibits a specific party from contacting or coming into physical proximity of another party. For example, when Illinois police officers respond to calls for domestic violence, they have a legal duty to remove the alleged abuser from the situation and protect the victim from further harm. This usually entails contacting a judge to secure a temporary protective order.
This order will prohibit the abuser from coming near the victim, their home, and their work, and it will prevent them from contacting the victim as well. This temporary order will expire on an assigned hearing date, and during this hearing, the judge will decide whether to transform the order into a permanent protective order or rescind the order. An order of protection includes very specific terms and conditions. If a party subject to an order of protection fails or refuses to abide by the terms of the order, they face severe penalties, including fines and jail time.
Domestic violence occurs in many ways, but it is most often reported as occurring within immediate family circles and single households. If your spouse hurt you in any form of domestic violence, this is likely enough for you to justify filing for divorce, and the domestic violence you experienced will have a very strong influence on the final outcome of your divorce.
When any party is convicted of domestic violence, they will face very harsh penalties assigned by the criminal court and civil liability for the victim’s damages. Additionally, their actions will also affect any custody or visitation rights they may have previously held. This is especially likely if the defendant engaged in domestic violence against their own child or any other child. Once parental rights are involuntarily terminated in Illinois, it is difficult, if not impossible, for that parent to regain those lost parental rights.
When domestic violence plays a role in a divorce case, it is crucial to have legal representation you can trust. Your Chicago domestic violence attorney can help you ensure that your experiences receive appropriate attention from the court. The judge overseeing your case must evaluate any domestic abuse you have experienced, and this will undoubtedly influence various aspects of your case.
Unfortunately, it is relatively common for false accusations of domestic violence to be levied during divorce proceedings and custody disputes. For example, a parent may claim their co-parent has been abusive in an attempt to gain sole custody of their child. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence of any kind, it is easy to feel as though the entire system is working against you. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to resolve this challenging situation and prove the truth of the matter. In addition, when you have an experienced Chicago domestic violence attorney representing you, you will be better equipped to address any such issues that might arise unexpectedly in family court.
Do not underestimate the value of reliable legal counsel, no matter what your domestic violence case entails. Whether you have been wrongfully accused and are convinced you can prove your innocence, or you have experienced domestic violence and believe your abuser’s guilt is clear, you need experienced legal representation to navigate your case successfully.
Johnson O’Keefe has years of experience representing Chicago area clients in emotionally charged family court cases, including those that involve domestic violence. No matter what your case entails, contact Johnson O’Keefe today to schedule a consultation with a Chicago domestic violence attorney you can trust with your case.
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