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WITH THE NEW YEAR, New Law in IL to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence, Stalking!

NEW LAW MAKES IT EASIER TO PROSECUTE, ADDS CYBER-STALKING DEFINITION!

Across the State of IL, a new lL Anti-Stalking Statute offers new legal protection for victims of stalking and domestic violence. 

As reported by Megan Twohey in last Friday's Chicago Tribune, stalking is a crime that touches an estimated 3.4 Million victims across the U.S.  While anti-stalking laws are considerably stronger here in IL versus many other states, the new law expands the definition of the crime.  Protections are also added for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

In the past, a stalking victim had to prove two independent incidents of following or surveillance, as well as an actual threat of harm, to initiate prosecution.  Beginning in 2010, such victims must only prove that the alleged stalker committed at least to acts or behaviors that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or suffer emotional distress.

Cyber-stalking has been defined as a minimum of two acts of behavior involving the Internet or other forms of electronic communications that produce such a feeling of fear or emotional distress.

Prior to this year's law, a stalking victim could only get an Order of Protection if the stalker formerly had an intimate relationship with their victim, was a household member, or had committed the crime previously.

Under reform of laws protecting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, victims can now obtain a protective court order not only against the original offender, but also against any third party who might have been been an accomplice in the crime.  Victims can also receive protection for other members of their family.

In assault cases involving minor students in Elementary, Junior High, or High School, the judge can now order a school transfer for the offender. 

Further, the Illinois State Police must now deny or revoke an offenders Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) Card while that owner is subject to an Order of Protection.

DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Sunday, January 03, 2010 9:28 PM by Dean's Team

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