Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

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What Chicago Residents Should Expect When Arrested For Domestic Violence

This is my first post in a series on domestic violence arrests in Chicago, Illinois. Domestic violence charges can stem from family relationships or relationships with dating or sexual partners. Any offensive or harmful touching can lead to a charge if police become involved. These charges most commonly arise between sexual partners. This series will largely focus on what happens after arrest. It is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately if you are facing such charges.

This series is going to cover several topics, including:

  • What to expect after being arrested on domestic violence charges
  • Steps your attorney will take in your defense
  • Common types of false complaints
  • Claims of self defense

I understand it can be very stressful to face charges from loved ones. Contact a Chicago domestic violence attorney if you have been arrested or charged.

Chicago arrestees will be subject to a protective order after an arrest for domestic violence

When the police come to your house it can be a traumatic experience. If your partner, spouse, child, sibling or one-night stand accuses you of violence several things will happen all at once. The first thing is that the police will ask the other party if they want a protective order. If they say yes you will be barred from any physical, telephonic, electronic or third party contact (you cannot ask your best friend or your mother to call them) with the reporting party.

The case will be referred to the State’s Attorney and an Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) will determine whether or not to file charges. It is possible you will be incarcerated in the meantime. If the ASA declines to file then you will be released. If the ASA decides to file you will appear in court and a judge will set bail. At that time a full no-contact protective order will issue pending resolution of your case.

It is very important that you follow each of the conditions in the protective order very closely. Do not text, call, tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, email, or visit the protected person (this list is not intended to be exhaustive). If the protected person contacts you then do not respond. Instead, provide any proof of their attempts at communication to your lawyer. Keep in mind that if you violate the order you will potentially face new charges. The protected party will not. It does not matter to a judge if the protected party tells you “it’s okay”. There is no punishment to the other party if the call, ask you for money, apologize or otherwise entice you into contact. The consequence will solely lie with you. Do not have contact with the reporting party until a judge gives you permission or removes the protective order.

Chicago residents arrested for domestic violence will have to appear in criminal court

You will enter a “not guilty” plea at your first court appearance. While you are entitled to enter a guilty plea it is wise to consult an attorney and discuss all possible consequences and defenses before doing so. You are entitled to representation at your arraignment. A public defender will be appointed if you cannot afford counsel of your choosing. If you prefer retaining your own counsel, they will appear for you at your arraignment and argue bail. Your lawyer will also set dates for negotiation and a trial if necessary. We will discuss the negotiation and trial processes in more detail in post three of this series.

Domestic violence cases involve many consequences to your everyday life even before conviction. You may be required to find temporary housing or restructure time with your children. The issues are very case specific and it is important to find a compassionate and experienced domestic violence criminal defense lawyer to aid you in the process.

If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence then contact my Orland Park office today to speak with a Chicago attorney. We also handle matters in other areas of Cook County including Chicago Ridge, Glenview, Crestwood, Evergreen Park, Bedford Park, Palos Park, Oak Lawn, Burbank, Oak forest, Blue Island, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Alsip, Bridgeview, Lemont, Orland Hills, Country Club Hills, Hickory Hills, Summit, Richton Park, Midlothian, Worth, Posen, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Hometown, and Tinley Park, in DuPage County areas including Downers Grove, Naperville, Woodridge, and Darien, in Kane County areas including Aurora, Elgin and Geneva, and the Will County cities of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Mokena, Frankfort, New Lenox, Lockport, Homer Glen, Romeoville, and Manhattan.


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