The 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.
What Typically Occurs When the Police Department Responds
By law, authorities who respond to a domestic violence call are obligated to complete a report. That report is then sent to the district attorney for a course of action. A knowledgeable domestic violence attorney in Chicago would advise you to ask the police officers for the case number prior to their departure. Those involved have a legal right to obtain a full copy of their report within five days of the incident.
Authorities will ask if there are any guns in the home and are required to remove all firearms from the residence.
An arrest must be made if there is a visible injury, even if the damage is minor and superficial. Authorities must also make an arrest if there is a violation of a restraining order. In Illinois, authorities are required to offer the victim an Emergency Protective Order, which is an order of protection issued immediately until a more formal restraining order can be issued.
If both parties in a domestic violence dispute show visible signs of injuries, authorities are required to take the primary aggressor into custody, regardless of who started the actual argument or physical altercation.
The incident will be thoroughly investigated which will include documenting any prior incidents of domestic violence. Witnesses will be interviewed, photos will be taken, and the 911 audiotape and medical records will be placed into evidence.
The Best Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Chicago
If police simply think there has been an incident of domestic violence and a victim is even scratched, they are required to take the assailant into custody. Scrutiny of cases involving domestic violence has never been higher. The laws have evolved greatly and you must be able to protect your rights by working with an attorney who has extensive experience in this area.
Domestic situations are always complex and frequently, the recounted facts never align. The police are not present at the time of the alleged infraction and do not have the resources available at the time to determine who is telling the truth.
If you or someone you love has been charged or arrested on domestic violence charges, contact Attorney David L. Freidberg who has handled dozens of cases like yours in the Chicagoland area.
For more information on how we can help, call (312) 560-7100 or schedule a free consultation today.
(image courtesy of Matt Popovich)