Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see a question/answer to your question, please feel free to call our Victim/Witness Coordinator at 618-498-5571 Ext 174 and she will get back to you as soon as possible.

  1. Why did the police arrest my Significant Other when I didn't press charges?
  2. I'm the victim of a domestic violence crime. Will the case get dismissed if I don't show up for court?
  3. I have no family in the area and don't want to come to court alone. Is there someone who can assist me?
  4. Can a person arrested for a Domestic Violence related crime bail out of jail and return home the same day?
  5. If I invite my significant other to have contact with me, is that a violation of the order?
  6. How much is bail on a Domestic Violence Crime?
  7. I just received a Subpoena to appear for court. What do I do?
  8. I cannot appear on the date specified on the subpoena?
  9. What do I do if I suspect someone is the victim of Child Abuse, or someone is abusing a child?
  10. What are the administration hours?
  11. Can you explain what is happening to my case now that I am waiting for charges to be filed against the suspect?
  12. Why doesn't someone arrest the suspect in my case and book them in jail?
  13. How long will a suspect spend in jail, if they are convicted?
  14. Why haven't the suspects that I named in the case been charged, since I filed a report with the police?
  15. How can I prevent myself from being a victim of forgery or fraud?
  16. My checks have been lost or stolen what should I do?
  17. How can I get an Order of Protection?

1. Why did the police arrest my Significant Other when I didn't press charges?

State law requires that officers arrest a suspect who has committed domestic violence. This occurs even if the victim does not want the suspect arrested.

2. I'm the victim of a domestic violence crime. Will the case get dismissed if I don't show up for court?

The case will probably not be dismissed. The Jersey County State's Attorney aggressively prosecutes its cases and relies on evidence rules, other witnesses, photographs, medical records, paramedic's testimony, and suspect admissions to prove our cases. We desire full participation of the victim in prosecution but it is not absolutely necessary to obtain a conviction.

3. I have no family in the area and don't want to come to court alone. Is there someone who can assist me?

The Jersey County State's Attorney provides a victim witness coordinator to accompany victims and witnesses to court and to keep them apprised of proceedings. An advocate from the Women's Oasis Center is also available to provide confidential advocacy to victims.

4. Can a person arrested for a Domestic Violence related crime bail out of jail and return home the same day?

They probably will not. When a person is arrested and booked into jail a temporary no contact order is placed into effect. This order forbids the assailant from having contact with the victim of the assault.

5. If I invite my significant other to have contact with me, is that a violation of the order?

Yes it is. The sole responsibility for following the condition of the No Contact Order is on the respondent (defendant) of the no contact order. That person (respondent) shall be arrested even if invited to violate the order.

6. How much is bail on a Domestic Violence Crime?

The judge sets the mandatory bail amount for any Domestic Violence Crime. At arraignment the court may reduce this amount.

7. I just received a Subpoena to appear for court. What do I do?

Follow the instructions included with your subpoena. If you still have questions call our victim/witness coordinator at 618-498-5571 Ext 174.

8. I cannot appear on the date specified on the subpoena?

Call our victim/witness coordinator at 618-498-5571 Ext 174 and we will attempt to accommodate you.

9. What do I do if I suspect someone is the victim of Child Abuse, or someone is abusing a child?

The State of Illinois and the Jersey County State's Attorney's Office understand that this is a very serious problem. Child Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual. An example of physical abuse is injuring a child on purpose, causing cuts, welts, or bruises. Examples of emotional abuse include over-controlling, intimidation, giving conditional love, and placing excessive or unrealistic demands on a child. Verbal abuse includes name calling, negative gender references, unnecessary criticism, and excessive yelling - all cause damage to a child's self esteem. Physical and emotional bullying can be abusive. Child neglect includes depriving a child of basic food shelter, supervision, education or medical care by choice rather than necessity. It is not considered child neglect in the United States when parents lack the resources to meet the child's basic needs. If you suspect child abuse you may call the Department of Children and Family Services at 1-800-25-ABUSE; and remain anonymous. You may also call 9-1-1 if the situation needs immediate attention. If you want a police officer to come out in a non-emergency basis you can call your local police department

10. What are the administration hours?

The office is open five days a week from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The phone number is 618-498-5571 Ext 147.

11. Can you explain what is happening to my case now that I am waiting for charges to be filed against the suspect?

The decision to file charges is made by state's attorney's office. They review the case and assign it to a prosecutor to review. The prosecutor reviews the case and requests additional follow-up from the detective investigating the case or files the case for charging. It usually takes several months before the case goes to trial. In complex cases the delay can be longer.

12. Why doesn't someone arrest the suspect in my case and book them in jail?

Detectives can book a suspect into jail on probable cause to believe that a suspect committed a crime. Many times the detectives do not book a suspect because they need enough information to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that a suspect actually committed a crime. Law enforcement officers have to legally determine that a crime has been committed. Officers investigate to build a case that proves a suspect guilty by the evidence and/or and by the admissions of the suspect involved. Most victims believe that someone is guilty and want justice done. Law enforcement officers and victims are well aware that justice is seldom served by arresting someone before all the facts are presented.

13. How long will a suspect spend in jail, if they are convicted?

There are many factors involved in determining jail time for a convicted suspect. These can include mitigating circumstances, prior convictions, and the nature and number of crimes committed. In more serious offenses a formal sentencing hearing is held before a judge with recommendations being made by the prosecuting attorney.

14. Why haven't the suspects that I named in the case been charged, since I filed a report with the police?

Filing the police report does not constitute "charging." The report initiates the investigative process; the report must contain all pertinent information, facts, and evidence. If there is enough information and the facts show "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the facts are accurate, then the state's attorney's office actually files the "charges". The suspect has the option to negotiate with the prosecutor's office for various options, (plea bargain, plead guilty, diversion, court) or to go to trial.

15. How can I prevent myself from being a victim of forgery or fraud?

Never have your SS # printed on your checks. Do not put outgoing mail, especially those containing bill payments in your home mailbox. Mail them at the post office or put them in a postal drop box. Do not throw away credit card offers, credit card courtesy checks or any other pages which contain personal information about you into the garbage without first shredding or tearing up the information. Consider a locking mailbox at your home or a post office box if you are not home to pick up your mail shortly after it is delivered. Do not keep PIN numbers with your credit/ATM cards or anywhere near them in your purse or wallet. Keep a complete list of all your credit cards and each company's Customer Service phone number so that if your cards are lost or stolen, you can immediately call and cancel them. Never give out personal information on the phone unless you initiate the call and know whom you are talking to.

16. My checks have been lost or stolen what should I do?

Immediately contact your bank or credit card company to alert them and close your accounts! If your checks or cards have been used, fill out the appropriate affidavits of forgery with the banks, credit card companies or the appropriate law enforcement agency. When the bank or credit card Company reimburses your account, they technically become the victim because they have suffered the financial loss. They must then file the necessary police reports. You will still be required to complete a statement and/or affidavit of forgery because the case cannot proceed without your cooperation. Sometimes several law enforcement agencies are involved because the forgeries occur in different jurisdictions. This can be very frustrating for victims. If numerous checks have been written on your account, the businesses receiving those checks initially may not know that the checks are forgeries and may send them to a collection agency. When you get calls from businesses or collection agencies, give them your police case number and ask them to file a police report on the forgery if they have suspect information. Notify the major check verification systems listed below that you have been the victim of check forgery.

17. How can I get an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection (OP) is a court order issued by a judge to a victim of domestic violence. It orders a person to stay away from the victim and stop any violence, threats of violence or any type of harassment. To be eligible for an Order of Protection the person must be a spouse, former spouse, roommate, family member or one whom you have dated.

There is no cost for an order an Order of Protection and there is trained staff at the State's Attorney's Office that can help.

In order for our office to assist victims with filing an Order of Protection, the following requirements must be met:

There must be some type of relationship between the alleged victim and perpetrator. The following is a list of relationships that qualify:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Having allegedly having a child in common
  • Stepchild
  • Sharing or formerly sharing a common dwelling
  • Having or having had a dating relationship
  • Other person related by blood or marriage
  • Sharing a blood relationship through a child
  • Personal assistant to person with disabilities or a person who has responsibilities for a high-risk person with disabilities

There must be some type of charges that have been filed against the perpetrator where the person applying for the OP is the victim. The types of charges that qualify may include:

  • Domestic battery
  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Residential burglary
  • Home invasion
  • Any of the sex offenses
  • Criminal damage to property or trespass (in some circumstances)

There should be no pending charges against the Petitioner, including child support actions.

There should not be a pending divorce UNLESS it is an emergency and the divorce attorney cannot be reached.

Petitioner must have an address for perpetrator or some way in which the perpetrator may be served with the OP.