Thursday, March 21, 2019

ILLINOIS EXPANDS ELIGIBILITY FOR PROTECTION UNDER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS

As you may imagine, domestic violence laws were intended to apply to the domestic front—people close to your home such as a family member or significant other.

Parties eligible for an Illinois order of protection from domestic abuse include: 1) any person abused by a family or household member; 2) any minor child or dependent adult in the care of such person; and 3) any person residing or employed at a private home or public shelter which is housing an abused family or household member.

As of January, 2019, the Illinois legislature expanded the list of parties eligible for an order of protection to include the following: 1) foster parents of a child placed by a state agency, 2) legally appointed guardians or custodians, 3) adoptive parents or 4) prospective adoptive parents. Furthermore, the law applies to any individual who would have been considered a family or household member of a child before a parent’s rights have been terminated.

If someone is seeking an order of protection against you or you have been accused of violating an order of protection, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. Do not try to talk your way out of your situation. What you may think is a reasonable explanation may give the state or other party the ammunition they need to enforce an order against you. An attorney can help present your situation to the court in its most favorable light.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

See: Amendment to Illinois Domestic Violence Act.

(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.)

Friday, March 8, 2019

WHEN DOES POLICE QUESTIONING MEAN I’M UNDER ARREST?

Something bad just happened in your neighborhood. Maybe it was an attack or a robbery. Since you were in the area, the police questioned you. You tried to cooperate, but then things started to get tense. The police seem to blame you. You want to walk away, but you are afraid the police will stop you.

When does police questioning become a seizure and cross the line into arrest?

The answer depends on whether you as a reasonable person would feel free to leave. Courts look at a variety of factors to determine when a seizure has occurred including: (1) the threatening presence of multiple officers, (2) the display of a weapon by an officer, (3) some physical touching of your person, and (4) the use of language or tone of voice indicating that your compliance might be compelled. The court may also look at other types of coercive police behavior.

In People v Sanchez, the defendant was convicted of murder. The court held that a police stop had become a seizure when police ordered the defendant to come to them in an authoritative tone of voice. Defendant was then handcuffed and ordered to sit on the curb. A reasonable person, the court said, would not have felt free to leave.

Establishing the exact point a seizure has occurred can be important in determining whether the police had the necessary probable cause to arrest you. If the officer lacked probable cause until after the seizure, the arrest itself might be illegal.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its possible defense. If the police seized you without probable cause, an attorney may be able to petition the court to suppress the evidence from the illegal arrest.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.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.)