Your ex-spouse has an order of protection against you. You thought it was still okay to call her best friend, but now the police have arrested you for violating the order.
What is the law? What can you do?
You can be charged with violating an order of protection if you 1) knowingly commit an act prohibited by the order or fail to commit an act ordered by the order, and 2) you have been served notice or have actual knowledge of the contents of the order. To avoid trouble, you should read any order carefully and err widely on the side of caution before doing anything that could possibly fall within its terms.
For example in People v. Nelson, an order of protection barred the defendant from sending mail to his infant daughter’s mother. The defendant attempted to evade the order by addressing letters to his daughter. The letters, however, discussed subjects such as the couple’s sex life and the mother’s drug use. The court found the letters were intended for the mother so that the defendant had violated the order. For one thing, the infant daughter could not read. As a result, the defendant was sentenced to six years in prison.
In People v. Mortensen, the defendant violated an order by placing flowers and cupcakes on his estranged wife’s doorstep. The order had required defendant to stay 1000 feet from her residence. The court rejected defendant’s argument that this provision only applied when his wife was at home.
If you have been charged with violating an order of protection or similar crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Were you properly served with the order? If not, did you know about it? Did you knowingly commit the act that violated it? Through a careful reading of the order, an attorney may be able to make a good faith argument that your actions fell outside the order’s terms.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email email@example.com.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)