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Victims cannot drop charges. Domestic violence charges are brought and presented by the State of Illinois. Only the Prosecutor’s Office or the Judge may drop the charges. Charges are brought not only to protect current victims but also to protect possible future victims.
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The person will be brought before the judge, who will explain the defendant’s legal rights. The court will sign an order granting bail and the conditions of the defendant’s release. The judge may order the defendant to have no contact with the victim. Victims cannot change the court order.
The maximum jail penalty is 11 months and 29 days. The actual sentence will depend on the facts of the case and any prior criminal record. Regardless of any jail time imposed, the defendant will generally be required to participate in a Domestic Violence Counseling Program.
If the abuser is on probation, you should report any new incidents to the East Saint Louis Police Department. New charges can be filed and probation revoked. If you are afraid to call from home, use a friend’s phone or call from work.
The Violence Prevention Center at 618-482-6793, can help you prepare a request for an Order of Protection. Project Heaven at 618-274-7307 can also help in preparing a request for an Order of Protection. Issued by a Judge, it will forbid the abuser from bothering you, If the offender violates the order, jail penalties are enforced. If you have filed for divorce, you should seek the order of protection in civil court. Project H.E.A.V.E.N. also offers Counseling, Referrals, Courtroom Advocacy, and Support Groups.
Court is held at the Saint Clair County Court Building, Number 10 Public Square, Belleville, Illinois. For additional information contact the County Court Clerk’s office at 618-277-6600.
The East Saint Louis Police Department works in concert with Social Service Agencies to address Domestic Violence. A primary objective is to provide the tools and information necessary to help victims escape abusive situations by prosecuting their abusers. We urge you to contact the Police Department at 618-482-6721.