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What the police can, and might not, do after domestic violence

Many people in Lake County and the rest of the greater Chicago area might not want to contact the police after their spouse or significant other physically or otherwise abuses them. For those who do take the courageous step of speaking up for themselves, it may be hard to understand what the police can and cannot do when they respond to reports of domestic violence.

Illinois law enforcement officers are actually required to do certain things to make sure that victims of domestic violence are appropriately protected. One rule they must observe is that if they feel after responding that there is enough information to believe someone broke Illinois's laws about domestic violence, then they must arrest the suspect. Referring the matter to the prosecutor without making an arrest will not happen.

Another thing police do is help a victim with the removal of belongings and affects, should the victim decide he or she needs to get out of the home in order to prevent further abuse. Police should provide security during the removal of the goods and should also either take or get transportation for the victim to go to a secure location.

Although the presence of the police is very helpful in the aftermath of domestic violence situations, one thing the police cannot do without a court order is legally force the suspect to stay away from the victim. This is especially true when, for whatever reason, no criminal charges get filed. In these sorts of situations, a victim will likely need the help of an experienced domestic violence attorney to get the help needed.

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