Allegations of domestic violence can have serious consequences for the accused, especially if they result in a conviction for a criminal offense like assault or battery. However, in some cases the consequences can start to take effect much sooner. If you are accused of domestic violence, you could be immediately arrested and detained, and it is important that you understand your rights.
Are Domestic Violence Arrests Mandatory in Illinois?
Many states have mandatory arrest laws for cases involving allegations of domestic violence, requiring a responding law enforcement officer to take the accused into custody if there is probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred. Illinois law is not as strict in this regard, but officers still have the discretion to make an arrest, with or without a warrant, if there is cause to believe that a person has committed an act of domestic violence.
Law enforcement officers are also required to take all reasonable actions to protect an apparent victim from further abuse. Depending on the circumstances, this could include the arrest of the alleged aggressor, as well as the seizure of any weapons that were likely used. Even if an officer does not make an arrest, they are required to file a police report of the allegation and advise the apparent victim of their right to press charges.
If you have no prior history of domestic violence and the incident that the officer is responding to appears to be relatively minor, you may be able to avoid arrest. However, if the incident occurs while you are subject to an order of protection, you will almost certainly be arrested for violating the order, and you could face additional misdemeanor or felony charges....