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Oak Brook restraining order lawyerRealizing that you are in an abusive relationship often takes much longer than many people expect. Due to the emotional ties and feelings of obligation that people in such relationships often experience, they may deny that abuse is occurring. In addition to enduring abuse, victims often struggle to gather the courage and strength to break ties with their abuser. For some, ending an abusive relationship is not only emotionally difficult, but it can also be physically dangerous. In these cases, a victim may be able to protect their safety by obtaining an order of protection.

Orders of Protection in Illinois

An order of protection is what many people commonly call a restraining order. While a restraining order may be obtained to protect against an abusive spouse or partner, these types of orders are not limited solely to those who are romantically involved. An order of protection can be obtained against the following people:

  • Anyone you are related to by blood or through marriage.
  • Those who you are tied to through having a child together.
  • Someone you are seeing romantically or have dated in the past.
  • A person acting violently or threatening to act violently towards one of your employees while at work.

If a judge approves the order of protection, this can mean multiple things for the accused. The judge can order the abuser to stop abusive acts, not contact you, physically stay away from you, attend counseling, pay child support, and/or move out of the home you share. Because not all of these stipulations apply to every abusive relationship, the details of an order of protection can vary based on the situation. 

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illinois domestic violence attorneyOn a lot of occasions, people who are charged with a crime might only be familiar with the offense because of television and pop culture. This is especially true for many domestic violence defendants, who are often unaware that what they have allegedly done even falls under the specter of domestic violence. If you have been charged, being able to separate fact from fiction about Illinois’ domestic violence law can make all the difference.

Domestic Violence Law

Contrary to what one sees on television, Illinois’ domestic violence law is far-reaching, covering much more than just spouses. The statute defines domestic violence as a crime against a household member and specifically defines household members as including spouses, but also many others. Household members include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, any other blood relative, and many other categories of a person both related and not related by blood to the alleged abuser.

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At one time or another, everyone comes across a situation where you just don’t like or get along with a neighbor. But for one Lake Villa neighborhood, the disputes have escalated into accusations of stalking, criminal charges and an issuance of a restraining order. What makes this an even more headline grabbing story is that the defendant in this case is a state senator.

State Sen. Suzi Schmidt, 60, was arrested by deputes from the Lake County Sheriff’s office on June 12 and charge with misdemeanor criminal damage and trespassing. The accusations come from her next door neighbors, who earlier this month, filed for and received an emergency stalking no contact order which barred Schmidt from coming within 500 feet of their property. This order made it impossible for her to return to her home since the two properties are adjoined.

The neighbors filed for the emergency order, alleging that for over a year, Schmidt has been harassing them with phone calls, text messages and emails. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the couple claims that Schimdt believes that the woman was having an affair with Schmidt’s estranged husband. The woman has denied she was involved with Robert Schmidt, who filed for divorce shortly after a domestic dispute call to the Schmidt home on Christmas Day, 2010. Records show that police had responded to reports of domestic dispute to the home on two other occasions.

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