New Illinois Domestic Violence Law

DuPage County Family Law Attorneys

The Illinois legislature has recently taken critical, necessary steps to ensure the safety of women suffering from domestic violence. In August 2014, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that aims to protect victims of domestic violence by enforcing orders of protection. The law was one of many of the domestic violence initiatives Governor Quinn advanced while in office, and will require certain criminal defendants to undergo a risk assessment evaluation as a condition of bail and/or require GPS monitoring to enforce restraining orders.

Diane’s Law

The law, “Diane’s Law,” is named after an infamous murder-suicide that occurred in 2013. The case brought to light the fact that orders of protection are really just that—orders with no true physical ramifications nor enforcement options. Diane, a long-term victim of domestic violence, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, against whom she had an order of protection. She had, in fact, renewed the order just several days prior to her murder and his subsequent suicide. Despite the existence of the official court document that has legitimate legal implications, Diane’s ex-boyfriend violated the order, killed Diane, and then killed himself.

Illinois Orders of Protection

In Illinois, an order of protection may be entered if someone has a reasonable fear of physical, emotional, mental, or sexual abuse. These orders may offer protections in the form of preventing the abuser from being in the victim’s home, disallowing the abuser to visit with his children, or may require the abuser to attend counseling or to pay child support. These orders are entered formally though a court of law and may be done during a criminal trial for divorce proceedings.

Temporary Restraining Orders

Unlike orders of protection, which must be entered through formal court proceedings with both sides usually present, a temporary restraining order offers immediate protection at the time of a threat. These types of orders may be entered the same day and can make it so the person threatening cannot come within a certain distance of the individual who filed the order or his or her minor children. There is an accompanying hearing that will determine if an order of protection or more permanent solution is warranted in the particular circumstances.

Illinois Law

Diane’s Law adds requirements for conditions of bail bond of criminal defendants accused of domestic violence, including domestic battery, kidnapping, stalking, harassment, and attempted murder.

The law, under 725 ILCS 5/110-5, specifically explains what happens if an accused was under an order of protection at the time of the incident in addition to 725 ILCS 5/111-8, which provides both temporary and long-term remedies for domestic violence victims. (See also the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986). The newly added language includes provisions pertaining to violent crimes, incidents involving use of a weapon, and conditions that may be imposed on certain types of domestic violence offenders.

These conditions may include psychological evaluations ordered by a judge, required reporting, probationary restrictions, or may require use of a monitoring device for those who have demonstrated failure to comply with protective orders in the past. The new language explains: “Upon making a determination whether or not to order [the defendant] to undergo a risk assessment evaluation or to be placed under electronic surveillance and risk assessment, the court shall document and record the court’s reasons for making those determinations.” In addition to these new laws, there will remain consideration of factors such as background, character, reputation, work history, involvement with children, and other factors deemed relevant by the state of Illinois.

If these terms are not complied with in full, such privileges may be revoked and punishments may increase if there are subsequent order of protection violations. The idea is to incentivize cooperation with orders of protection to ensure the safety of domestic violence victims.

Domestic Violence in Illinois

Domestic violence, as defined by the Illinois Attorney General, is any physical, verbal, or mental assault on another family or household member. Domestic violence is severely under-reported, and reported cases alone reached 43,201 in 2014, according to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If you are one of the thousands of individuals suffering domestic violence in your home, you do have people that are on your side.

Contact An Experienced DuPage Domestic Violence Attorney

The DuPage County domestic violence attorneys at Abear Law Offices have the knowledge of the court system that is necessary to navigate a domestic violence case. Our compassionate attorneys understand how terrifying it can be to be involved in domestic violence, and will work tirelessly toward long-term solutions that will keep you safe in the future. We understand the complexity of these cases and how they affect children and a family emotionally, physically, and financially. To learn more about your rights as a domestic violence survivor, contact one of our five convenient offices located in Wheaton, St. Charles, Warrenville, Chicago, or Naperville, Illinois today.

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