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Order of Protection Lifted on Appeal in Cook County Divorce

A man convicted of forced entry into the home he had shared with his estranged wife will have an order of protection against the woman lifted thanks to an appeals court decision that leaves a six-year sentence for spousal abuse intact. Judges in the 1st District agreed with Mario Laurence that the Cook County circuit judge who convicted him failed to follow the Domestic Violence Act when imposing the order, which came following the 2016 incident in Sauk Village.

Laurence broke into the home in the early hours of the day their divorce case was to be heard, accosted the woman’s boyfriend and physically assaulted her in front of the couple’s 10-year-old daughter. Cook County Associate Judge Luciano Panici imposed the order after finding Laurence guilty of the break-in, which he denied and despite evidence to the contrary that included proof the woman had changed the locks and a brick put through a garage window.

On appeal, Laurence claimed joint tenancy entitled him entry and challenged the order as Panici failed to elaborate as mandated by the act on the specifics of his granting the request in court records. The appeal panel concurred following an examination of transcripts. However, it left in place the guilty verdict, writing that Laurence’s permanent departure from the home six months earlier eliminated the possessory interest necessary to avoid the breaking-and-entering charge. 

The DuPage County Criminal Defense lawyers at The Chicagoland Law Firm defend clients against criminal charges in courts around the state, including in Cook County. Our expertise extends to family law, where the DuPage County Family Law Attorneys help clients overcome the difficulties that can arise during dissolution of marriage. Our DuPage County Family Law lawyers also handle issues of child custody and spousal support. To learn more about our Full Service DuPage County law firm, contact our offices in Downers Grove and downtown Chicago for a free consultation. When you retain us, we will represent you zealously and help you move on with your life.