Have You Been Accused Of Domestic Violence?
If you have been accused of domestic violence and named as a defendant on a Domestic Violence Complaint and Temporary Restraining Order in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County or Mercer County, it is imperative that you consider all potential ramifications and hire an attorney.
Understanding New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Act
Domestic violence is treated very seriously in the state of New Jersey. According to the New Jersey Supreme Court, “there is no such thing as an act of domestic violence that is not serious.”
New Jersey courts also recognize that the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the state law regarding domestic violence, is one of the toughest domestic violence laws in the United States and has a very severe consequences for those accused.
For instance, if a police officer responds to an alleged incident of domestic violence in New Jersey and finds signs of physical violence (e.g., cuts, scratches, bleeding, redness of the skin, etc.), the officer is required to arrest the alleged aggressor.
The alleged victim is then asked if he or she wishes to file a domestic violence complaint and application for a restraining. If the victim so chooses, the application will most likely be granted and a temporary restraining order entered naming the alleged victim as the plaintiff and the alleged aggressor as the defendant.
Top Three Consequences Of A New Jersey Restraining Order
The temporary restraining order will bar you from:
- Having any contact with the plaintiff
- Appearing at the scene of the act, even if it is a home you own
- Having any contact with the child(ren) you may have in common with the plaintiff
Further, if you and the plaintiff work together at the same location, the temporary restraining order will also bar you from even going to work.
However, you will have the opportunity to fight the temporary restraining order. You will receive a notice of the accusations, the date, time and location of the court hearing. At the hearing, a judge will decide whether to convert the order into a final restraining order.
Understanding Final Restraining Orders Mean And Serious Consequences
Entry of a final restraining order can have catastrophic, life-altering consequences for you. Penalties can include the following:
- Permanent surrender of your firearms and any firearms purchaser identification cards
- Loss of your home or the right to be in it, regardless if you are the sole owner of the property
- Inclusion into the registry of domestic violence offenders which allows all law enforcement and future employers to access
- Prohibition against travel, as you could be subject to additional processing by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airports
- Impacts to future parenting time or custody schedules with your children
Including those consequences referenced above, there are 16 additional penalties the court can impose upon you as the accused.
Consequences For Violating Terms Of A Final Restraining Order
A violation of any of these provisions (e.g., you are caught with a weapon, or you make or attempt to make contact with the plaintiff) is considered a contempt. If convicted, you will likely be required to serve a mandatory minimum jail sentence of thirty days per contempt.
Lastly, it is very important to be aware that final restraining orders in New Jersey are essentially permanent and do not expire. Vacating a final restraining order is very difficult and generally requires the consent of the plaintiff or costly litigation.
The Importance Of Getting An Attorney To Advocate For You
If you find yourself accused of domestic violence, it is imperative for you to take it very seriously and secure legal representation with a qualified domestic violence defense team.
At Musulin Law Firm, LLC, attorney Christopher Rade Musulin, Esquire, and his legal team have decades of collective legal experience. The firm has earned a reputation for providing trustworthy representation with successful results. Let them advocate for you.
Call 609-267-0070 to schedule a consultation today.