With the recent allegations of spousal abuse leveled against Johnny Depp by soon-to-be ex-wife Amber Heard, domestic violence is once again in the headlines of newspapers across the country. The topic of domestic violence is a tough one, mostly because everyone can relate to at least once instance of losing their temper, lashing out in anger, or fighting with a loved one. Human nature is not always compliant and loving, and sometimes, tension rises to the point of escalation, and a simple fight over household chores or personal disputes can turn into an ugly, all-out mess.
New Jersey has the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA), which was created to help victims of domestic violence remain safe from threats and abuse. The court will grant a final restraining order (FRO) under this Act, so long as two conditions are met—the victim has been subjected to at least one of the domestic violence acts listed in the PDVA, and that the victim has a need for ongoing protection.
Domestic abuse is not limited to physical actions. The PDVA also covers such non-violent conduct as stalking, terroristic threats, and harassment. Additionally, at a hearing on an application for a final restraining order the Act’s requirement for proof of domestic violence is a “preponderance of evidence,” which means that it only needs to be likely that abuse occurred, not that it was proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Suspected Domestic Violence
Whenever there is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic abuse has occurred, the local law enforcement agencies have a legal obligation to open a criminal investigation and to make an arrest. This legal obligation is obviously in place for the protection of potential victims of abuse, but it opens up a complicated web of issues for the accused.
Being accused of domestic violence has immediate consequences that can have a dramatic impact on how you live your life. Although everyone is innocent until proven guilty, your rights can be affected as a result of a mere accusation of domestic violence.
If you share custody of a child, or have visitation rights, these may be jeopardized by a pending domestic violence case—even if the allegations of domestic violence are meritless. Your job, your recreational activities, even applications for further education or future employment could be threatened if you have a domestic abuse charge pending.
Call Your Lawyer Now
If your spouse, partner, or ex has filed a domestic violence charge against you, it’s important that you act fast. Retaining a lawyer is not an admission of guilt, but it is a smart move to prevent you from losing your right to see your children or enter your own home. At The Gorman Law Firm, we represent clients who have been accused of domestic abuse and violence. For more information, contact Scott Gorman, a leading Essex County domestic violence lawyer, today.
Published in Categories: Domestic Violence