We have mentioned on our Illinois divorce blog that allegations of domestic violence can have far-reaching effects on those who have been accused. Due to the nature of the process, law enforcement officials often don't wait to see if the charges stick or have any merit; instead, they will intervene first, sometimes willing to impinge upon the freedom -- at least temporarily -- of a person accused of domestic violence, most often a husband or boyfriend. Conventional wisdom holds that the legal issues that might arise for a person in this situation are less crucial, at least on an immediate basis, than the consequences should law enforcement fail to act.
Tougher domestic violence laws are slated to take effect on Jan. 1 in Illinois. Under the new law, repeat offenders will face more serious charges than they currently do; all repeat offenses will be charged at the felony level. Four or more convictions can result in up to a 14-year prison sentence. As the state prepares to crack down on domestic violence in 2014, several county and city governments in Illinois also have local efforts underway.