If the police fail to take a complaint of sexual abuse or assault or the State's Attorney refuses to prosecute, an alleged victim can seek a civil stay away order. Mr. Yetter maintains this is an important difference. These orders are typically sought when criminal remedies aren't available even when it is because of lack of evidence, he said. While well intentioned, this law makes it very easy to destroy an innocent person's life.
No notice needs to be given to the alleged abuser for the initial hearing. The accusations made in the initial petition for relief do not need to be substantiated through evidence. If the allegations are not contested, the emergency order enters and remains a permanent record which could significantly interfere with the accused individual's life. If they try to contest it, time, energy and money will be expended and the risk of further legal proceedings against are always present when having to testify.
John Yetter is a criminal defense lawyer with the law firm of Brucar & Yetter, P.C., which has offices in Wheaton, Rolling Meadows and St. Charles, Illinois. For more information about John Yetter, please visit his free website at http://www.brucarandyetter.com.
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