Terroristic Threats and Domestic Violence: the Connection


Terroristic threats and domestic violence often overlap in New Jersey. In fact, terroristic threats is considered a “predicate act of domestic violence,” which means it is recognized under the law as a domestic violence crime if it occurs in the context of certain current or former relationships. When terroristic threats allegations occur, this may lead to both a criminal charge and a restraining order occurring together in the same case. It is vital to understand the parallel court proceedings that can arise in criminal and family court as a result of terroristic threat allegations related to domestic violence. If you have been accused of terroristic threats and are wondering how best to defend your case, contact our experienced team of defense attorneys in Hudson County, NJ. You can reach out local Jersey City office anytime at (201) 793-8018 to receive a free consultation. We have dedicated our careers to defending clients charged with crimes like terroristic threats and those facing restraining orders. For more on the terroristic threats, domestic violence, and their relationship to one another, read on.

Charges for Making Threats in Hudson County NJ

Terroristic threats often occur in the context of domestic violence, but a person can make illegal terroristic threats in other contexts as well. You can be convicted of making a terroristic threat if you threaten to kill someone in a situation where that person has reason to believe you may actually carry out the threat, or if you make certain other serious threats of harm against a person. You can make a terroristic threat orally or in writing, including text messages, emails, and on social media. Terroristic threats can be made to a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, parent or child, coworkers, neighbors, etc. These crimes are typically charged as serious indictable offenses, and a conviction exposes you to years in prison and staggeringly steep fines.

Terroristic threats are often linked to domestic violence in New Jersey. New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act criminalizes the commission of certain acts, including burglaryassaultsex crimes, and many others, including making terroristic threats against a current or former spouse, a current or former household member, a person with whom you share a child, or a person who you have a past dating relationship with. Making a terroristic threat against someone with whom you share this kind of domestic relationship can subject you to both a conviction for the terroristic threat crime and a final restraining order.

What Are the Consequences of Terroristic Threats in a Domestic Violence Case?

There are a number of differences between a terroristic threats offense and a terroristic threats offense involving domestic violence in New Jersey. A prosecution for terroristic threats can result in your conviction for a serious indictable offense, subjecting you to jail time and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. For example, if you get into a bitter feud with a coworker or neighbor, and eventually, things boil over to the point where you seriously threaten to kill that other person, and they have reasonable cause to believe you may carry out that threat, you can likely be convicted of making a terroristic threat.

But if you get into bitter divorce proceedings and threaten to kill your current or former spouse, and they have reason to believe that you are serious, that can be even worse. Not only have you committed the crime of making a terroristic threat, you have also committed an act of domestic violence. Consequently, you may face parallel court proceedings in New Jersey Superior Court and in family court.

The serious consequences of terroristic threats criminal charges can be compounded by additional family court proceedings if you are accused of making terroristic threats against a spouse or other person with whom you are in a domestic relationship. A domestic violence victim may request a restraining order in family court proceedings if you are alleged to have made terroristic threats against them. Normally, the court will first enter a temporary restraining order preventing you from coming near or contacting the victim. Then the court will hold a hearing, and if the judge determines the need, you face entry of a permanent restraining order, which makes the temporary order permanent or even expands it in certain cases.

Accused of Terroristic Threats in Hoboken, What Should I Do?

In any situation, a terroristic threat offense is a serious criminal charge, but it can become even more complicated if the threat at issue was made against someone with whom you share a domestic relationship. The parallel family court proceedings and final restraining order can have a significant and permanent impact on your life. If you are facing terroristic threats allegations in Hudson County or elsewhere in New Jersey, you need to get dedicated legal guidance in order to protect yourself from lasting repercussions. Contact us today online or by calling (201) 793-8018 for immediate assistance. We can help if you have accused of threatening someone, whether a family member or anyone else, in Hoboken, Jersey City, Secaucus, Bayonne, Weehawken, Kearny, Union City, and throughout New Jersey.

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.