Articles Tagged with Chicago domestic violence attorney

quentin-kemmel-445082-copy-300x200Juan Lopez, the man who gunned down a police officer and two hospital employees (one of whom was his former fiance) before turning the gun on himself, is now known to have had an order of protection filed against him by his ex-wife. The same day, the man entered her home, stole some of her property, and then destroyed everything else. His ex-wife told officers that the man responsible for destruction and theft had a key to the place and that she had a protective order issued for her husband. Detectives never questioned Lopez, however, who would have been the key suspect in any follow-up investigation.

Reports Unearthed Years After Shooting

The Chicago Tribune unearthed the report years after the shooting after an open records request. The details raised renewed concerns about how seriously law enforcement takes restraining orders. In this case, the wife had a restraining order against her husband and the husband appeared to violate that restraining order, in the process, committing a serious crime. However, police never followed up on the lead and Lopez went on to commit an even more serious crime.

larry-tseng-183721-unsplash-300x225Because domestic violence is a very real and pervasive threat in the U.S., the Illinois legislature has concentrated on making domestic violence laws more stringent. Law enforcement in the state has created dynamic new policies. Prosecutors are now responsible for enforcing new laws in addition to ones that are already on the books.

Many people do not realize that the state files the criminal charges for domestic violence, not the victims. It is important that you have a clear understanding of the laws governing domestic violence and what may be ahead if you are convicted of such a crime. A Chicago domestic violence attorney can help assess your case and guide you through building your defense.

What You May Not Know About Domestic Violence Laws in Illinois

simon-migaj-423321-unsplash-copy-300x200On January 21, an individual was arrested for allegedly kicking his girlfriend in the stomach and killing her unborn child.

A neighbor told police that she heard a woman screaming at approximately 3:30 in the morning on January 19 before calling authorities. A 19-year-old woman then informed law enforcement that she had severe pain in her stomach because her boyfriend kicked her multiple times after the two had an argument in their apartment.

After the altercation, the boyfriend, 22-year-old Kahlil Ellison, fled the scene but was swiftly apprehended and taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies. Authorities reported the argument was over a cell phone.

matt-popovich-60437-copy-300x162The 2017 Annual Report released by the Illinois Courts showed 2,790 new domestic related cases in the state. Contrary to popular misconceptions about domestic violence, the laws in Illinois that govern this crime reach much further than abusive spouses.

Illinois statute 750 ILCS 60 addresses domestic violence and defines it as a crime against another member of the same household. It also explicitly defines household members as former spouses, blood relatives, children, parents, and stepchildren, in addition to current spouses.

Domestic violence law in Illinois is differentiated from the same law in other states in that it encompasses harassment, intimidation, and other actions that do not involve physical harm. The determining factor is whether the assailant harasses, threatens, or inhibits the personal liberty of the victim. Regularly, verbal abuse or threats meet this criteria.

kira-auf-der-heide-352824-unsplash-copy-200x300A man from Aurora with a history of domestic abuse was convicted of punching and strangling his girlfriend while their child was in her arms.

The Kane County State’s Attorney’s office stated that 30-year-old Daniel Benson, Jr. allegedly assaulted his girlfriend after the pair had an argument. The victim was holding their child when Benson punched her in the ribs while in the kitchen of their home. The girlfriend then ran to the living room in an attempt to put the child in a bassinet.

Benson punched her again causing her to fall to the ground. According to police, Benson then strangled her for approximately 30 seconds, but stopped when he heard police.

tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224Chicago domestic violence cases are some of the most stressful and frightening for everyone involved. Not only is the defendant facing years in prison for the alleged crime, but the victim has to face his or her attacker once again. What many people do not realize is that when someone calls 911 to report domestic violence the police, have to arrest the accused even if the caller does not want to press charges. The state is the entity that winds up pressing charges against someone accused of domestic violence. Let us take a look at what to expect in a domestic violence case in Illinois.

First Court Appearance

If you have been charged with domestic violence in Chicago you will notice that the first court appearance will be a bond hearing in front of a judge. Many charged with domestic violence for the first time will be surprised that they can not post bond at the police station, which is how it is done for almost all other types of misdemeanor crimes. Instead, the defendant will need to wait until a bond hearing can be scheduled with a judge.

ben-white-194220-copy-300x200Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects thousands of people each year in the Chicago area. It is a crime that comes with hefty fines and lengthy probation or jail time. When you are involved in a relationship that could wind up ending in a domestic violence incident and charges, you need to know what the common causes might be. The following will outline the causes of domestic violence so you are aware of your actions and prepared for what is to come if ever charged with this crime.

Control

One of the most common causes of domestic violence is that of control. When one person in a relationship needs to have control of the other, it can wind up leading to domestic violence. Control can include needing to know the whereabouts of the other person, whom they talk to, whom they are allowed to hang out with, where they can go after work, and so much more. Abusers often feel a need to control the other person due to low self-esteem, issues with jealousy, feelings of inferiority, problems with anger, and many other emotional issues.

ben-white-194220-copy-300x200The state will always interfere in domestic relationships if there is a threat of harm or actual harm to one of the parties. The most common trigger for a prosecution is physical violence. However, lately there has been some consideration of what other forms of abuse might mean for legislation in Chicago. Currently there are some civic domestic violence laws that are focused on both physical and non-physical forms of abuse. Sexual abuse between domestic partners is normally handled under the legislation covering sexual assault and rape.

Most members of the public will first hear about a domestic violence case by way of an order of protection, which is sometimes accompanied by relevant restraining orders. It is important to note that these orders can be issued by the criminal courts as well as the civil courts. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act is the leading piece of legislation covering this area. The act is known for covering many relationship types beyond marriage including but not restricted to:

  • Former spouses

Illinois has some of the strictest domestic violence laws in the country – enacted to recognize the serious negative impact of domestic violence on thousands of Illinois families and children. Unfortunately, with increased awareness and enforcement surrounding  these important domestic violence issues comes a greater chance of wrongful convictions.27554520141_9b38f83133

Our firm takes domestic violence allegations very seriously, while at the same time understanding that false accusations do occur, especially in emotionally charged situations like child custody disputes. If you find yourself facing domestic violence charges in Chicago, our criminal defense attorneys with experience fighting false claims of family abuse can help you seek to clear your name.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Illinois?