If you have been accused of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis, you are not alone. According to The Economist, while overall crime rates have fallen by as much as 25 percent in major cities during the crisis, reports of domestic violence have increased by five percent during this same period.
What should you do if your spouse or partner (or another member of your household) has accused you of assault, sexual assault, harassment, stalking or any other domestic violence offense? While the present circumstances are unique, your case will move forward; and, as a result, it is important that you speak with a Morristown domestic violence lawyer right away.
Domestic Violence Cases May Be Handled on an “Emergency” Basis
While New Jersey’s court system is operating in a limited capacity during the COVID-19 crisis, it is continuing to prioritize domestic violence cases. With regard to these cases, The National Law Review recently reported:
“While it is currently difficult to gain access to the court system, all police departments in New Jersey have the capability of placing victims in contact with emergency judges who can issue temporary restraining orders and place necessary distance between victims and abusers. This can be done at the police station or by calling 911 and having the police officers facilitate the process from your location.”
When an alleged victim of domestic violence seeks emergency relief in the New Jersey courts, the judge will issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that prohibits contact between the alleged abuser and the alleged victim. The New Jersey Courts website currently notes that seeking a domestic violence restraining order is the sole reason why a person can currently go to the courts without an appointment.
These TROs are usually in place for about a week, until a judge can hold a contested hearing and the alleged abuser can tell his or her side of the story. However, The National Law Review is also reporting that, “the court closings associated with COVID-19 have delayed scheduling substantially. Until the hearing is eventually scheduled, the temporary restraining order remains in full effect to protect the victim.”
Protecting Yourself Against the Consequences of Domestic Violence Allegations During the Coronavirus Pandemic
With this in mind, if you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to protect yourself. This begins with speaking to an attorney who can explain your situation and assess what defenses you have available. There are many potential ways to defend against domestic violence allegations. However, as these defenses tend to be highly fact-specific, your attorney will need to learn the details of your case in order to determine how best to move forward.
Have you been falsely accused of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic? Click here.
Speak with Morristown Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Scott Gorman in Confidence
Scott Gorman is a criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals who have been accused of all forms of domestic violence. If you are facing such allegations, you need experienced legal representation. To discuss your case with Scott in confidence, call our Morristown, NJ law office at 973-796-3800 or contact us online today.
Published in Categories: Domestic Violence