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What Happens If You Violate an Order of Protection?One of the likely consequences of being accused of domestic violence is having an order of protection against you. Also known as a restraining order, it can prohibit you from:

  • Being within a certain distance of the petitioner
  • Attempting to contact the petitioner
  • Entering your shared home
  • Seeing your children without supervision

The court may grant your accuser an emergency order of protection before you have been charged with any crimes if the court is convinced that you may be an immediate threat. You will get the opportunity to defend yourself against the accusations before the court decides whether to grant a long-term order of protection. Regardless of your opinion of the order, it is important that you comply with its terms. Violating an order of protection will result in criminal charges and possible jail time.

How Does a Violation Occur?

The order of protection should give you a detailed explanation of what type of interaction is not allowed with the petitioner and their dependents. The petitioner can contact the police if they believe you have violated the terms of the order. Directing a third party to make contact with the petitioner on your behalf may also be a violation of the order. The responding officer may arrest you if they believe the allegation against you is credible.

What Are the Penalties?

Violating an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of as much as $2,500. If you have previously been convicted of domestic battery or violating an order of protection, the charge becomes a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by one-to-three years in prison and a fine of as much as $25,000.

What Are the Defenses?

To be guilty of violating an order of protection, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly committed the violation. You could argue that:

  • You had not yet been notified of the order
  • Your contact with the petitioner was accidental
  • The terms of the order were unclear and open to different interpretations

In some situations, the petitioner falsely accuses the defendant of violating the order, which you can disprove by presenting the truth and showing that the accusation lacks supporting evidence.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you dispute the domestic violence accusations against you and the terms of the order of protection, you need to voice your concerns to a lawyer and not your accuser. A Wheaton, Illinois, criminal defense attorney at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, can get to work on contesting the order of protection and the criminal charges against you. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.4

Posted in Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , ,

Using Discovery to Obtain Evidence in a Criminal CaseOne of the most important steps when gathering evidence for a criminal defense trial is the discovery process, which is obtaining evidence that the prosecution possesses. A law enforcement agency conducted an investigation into your case, which the prosecution will use as evidence in trying to prove the criminal charge against you. Some of the prosecution’s evidence may be impossible for you to obtain on your own, such as a police officer’s bodycam video footage from a DUI stop. You have the right to see that evidence before your trial in order to potentially use it as part of your defense strategy.

Sharing Requirements

The defense is responsible for requesting the evidence from the prosecution, and the prosecution must comply in a timely fashion. The prosecution does not have to provide evidence to the defense without a request unless it is material exculpatory evidence, meaning evidence that clearly shows that the defendant is innocent. The court may deny a discovery request if it believes that disclosing the evidence may put someone at substantial risk of harm or the usefulness of sharing the evidence does not justify the burden it would cause someone. A discovery violation happens when the prosecution willfully or unreasonably impedes the defense’s access to evidence by not responding to discovery requests or tampering with evidence. If the court determines that a discovery violation has occurred, it can order that the related evidence be excluded from the trial or dismiss the case.

Types of Evidence

According to Illinois’ court rules, the evidence that prosecutors must share if requested during discovery includes:

  • Tangible objects
  • Audio or video recordings from the arrest
  • The names and addresses of witnesses that the prosecution will use
  • The criminal records of the prosecution’s witnesses
  • Prerecorded or written statements from witnesses and experts
  • Official statements made by the defendant during the investigation
  • Minutes from the grand jury testimony

The prosecution is not required to turn over evidence of a sensitive nature, such as the names of informants, information of national security, or records that contain the opinions or theories of the state or its investigators.

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer

The evidence you obtain during discovery may be helpful or harmful to your case, depending on how you interpret it. A DuPage County criminal defense lawyer at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, knows what types of evidence are most important to obtain during discovery and what to look for in the evidence. To schedule a consultation, call 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_IV/ArtIV.htm

Posted in Criminal Law, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , ,

Five Important Facts About Recreational Marijuana in IllinoisStarting Jan. 1, recreational marijuana will officially be legal in Illinois. The state had previously allowed medicinal marijuana use and decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana by issuing fines instead of criminal charges. Now, it will be legal for anyone age 21 and older to possess marijuana, whether in leaf form or infused in an edible. However, Illinois will heavily regulate the use of marijuana in exchange for legalizing it. It will still be possible to be arrested or fined for violating the state’s laws regarding marijuana use and possession:

  1. Possession Limit: Illinois residents are allowed to possess as much as 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of cannabis-infused products. The possession limit is half that amount if you are a non-resident visiting Illinois.
  2. Use Restrictions: You are allowed to use marijuana products only in private residences and commercial properties where use is expressly permitted. You cannot use it in public places or in a vehicle. If you are renting your home, the property owner can forbid you from smoking marijuana or eating edibles in a common area. It is illegal to knowingly use marijuana products in the presence of someone who is younger than 21.
  3. Growth and Sale: You cannot grow marijuana plants in your home unless you are a medical marijuana patient. The growth and sale of marijuana are limited to licensed businesses, and each municipality will determine whether it will allow marijuana sales.
  4. Transportation: You are allowed to transport marijuana in your vehicle as long as it is not visible or easily accessible and it is in an odor-proof, child-resistant container.
  5. DUI: It is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, but the state is instituting a chemical test that is similar to measuring someone’s blood alcohol concentration to determine whether they are intoxicated. The law states that a driver is legally impaired by marijuana use if they have more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. However, some people are skeptical about the accuracy of this limit because THC can stay in a person’s blood for weeks or months, which is long after the impairing effects have worn off. Police may heavily rely on their observations of driver behavior as evidence in a DUI case.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Of the many laws related to recreational marijuana use, residents are most likely to have trouble with DUI laws. Police are unsure of how to objectively determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana or simply has traces of THC still in their blood. A Wheaton, Illinois, criminal defense attorney at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, can help you navigate all of the new rules regarding marijuana use in Illinois. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

https://wgntv.com/2019/12/17/qa-what-to-know-when-recreational-marijuana-becomes-legal-in-illinois-jan-1/

Posted in Criminal Law, Drug Crimes, DUI, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Marijuana, New Illinois Law | Tagged , , , ,