Domestic Violence Attorney for Restraining Orders in New Jersey
When you are accused of domestic violence, one of the most immediate consequences is that the accuser can obtain a restraining order against you. A judge can issue a temporary restraining order ex parte (meaning without both parties present); and, if you have a final restraining order issued against you, this can impact all aspects of your family and professional life. The best protection is to hire a qualified Essex County domestic violence attorney like Scott Gorman.
When a spouse, partner or other family member files for a restraining order against you, this is a civil case. This means that the burden of proof is a mere “preponderance of the evidence.” As a result, all your accuser needs to show is that it is more likely than not that: (i) act of domestic occurred, and (ii) a restraining order is necessary to protect the accuser from further abuse. This is a lesser standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that applies in criminal cases, so you can become subject to a restraining order even if there is insufficient evidence to convict you of a crime at trial.
When Can Someone File for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in New Jersey?
You can become subject to a domestic violence restraining order in New Jersey under three circumstances. A judge can issue a temporary or permanent restraining order against you if: (i) you live in New Jersey, (ii) your accuser lives in New Jersey, or (iii) the alleged domestic violence occurred in New Jersey.
How Can I Avoid a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
In order to avoid a domestic violence restraining order, your Hackensack domestic violence attorney need to convince the judge that your accuser has not met his or her burden of proof. Depending upon the circumstances involved in your case, this can be done by:
- Challenging the accuracy or sufficiency of your accuser’s evidence or allegations
- Presenting testimony from witnesses who can contradict your accuser’s story
- Presenting evidence that you were not present when the alleged domestic violence occurred
- Presenting other evidence that calls into question the legitimacy of the allegations against you
- Demonstrating that your accuser does not need a restraining order to protect against future acts of domestic violence
What are the Penalties for Violating a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in New Jersey?
Along with enhanced restrictions under your restraining order, if you are accused of violating a domestic violence restraining order, you can also potentially face criminal penalties. Under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA), and the contempt provisions of the New Jersey Criminal Code of Justice, an intentional violation of a temporary restraining order or a final restraining order can be prosecuted as a fourth-degree offense. Pursuant to Section 2C:29-9 of the Criminal Code of Justice:
“[A] person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if that person purposely or knowingly violates any provision in an order entered under the provisions of the [PDVA] or an order entered under the provisions of a substantially similar statute under the laws of another state . . . when the conduct which constitutes the violation could also constitute a crime or a disorderly persons offense. . . . In all other cases a person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if that person purposely or knowingly violates an order entered under the provisions of the [PDVA or] a substantially similar statute.”
In New Jersey, fourth degree indictable offenses carry penalties of up to 18 months of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. If your violation is charged as a disorderly persons offense, you can face up to six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine. In either case, due to the potential for severe criminal and non-criminal consequences, it is critical that you seek representation from an experienced domestic violence lawyer immediately.
Speak With a New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorney for Free
If you are facing a domestic violence restraining order, domestic violence attorney Scott Gorman can help. Scott is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who has represented hundreds of clients throughout New Jersey at our Essex County and Morristown office locations. To schedule a free and confidential consultation at The Gorman Law Firm, please call (201) 489-9199 or contact us online now.