Criminal Restraint Attorney in Hudson County


New Jersey takes allegations of criminal restraint very seriously. In fact, criminal restraint is a lesser included charge of kidnapping. The only main difference is that a kidnapping case will often involve someone held against their will for a prolonged period of time, while criminal restraint is normally for briefer time period. For instance, a typical example of criminal restraint is when a husband and wife get into a verbal argument that allegedly becomes physical and the husband locks his wife in their bedroom for several minutes to try and prevent her from leaving the house or calling the cops. For this reason, criminal restraint is actually considered a crime of domestic violence and is regularly alleged by plaintiff’s as a reason they need a Final Restraining Order when they go to court against the defendant. It is not uncommon to see criminal restraints charged along with simple assaultharassmentterroristic threatscriminal mischief and other allegations of domestic violence. If you or your loved one has been charged with criminal restraint then it is important you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn your options and discuss potential defenses. The attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law offer free consultations and protect your privacy because every call is confidential.


A person commits a crime of the third degree if he knowingly:

a. Restrains another unlawfully in circumstances exposing the other to risk of serious bodily injury; or

b. Holds another in a condition of involuntary servitude.

The creation by the actor of circumstances resulting in a belief by another that he must remain in a particular location shall for purposes of this section be deemed to be a holding in a condition of involuntary servitude.


Criminal restraint under 2C:13-2 is a crime of the third degree in New Jersey. This means that your case will be heard in the Hudson County Superior Court and handled by the County Prosecutor’s Office. Moreover, if convicted, a third degree crime carries 3 – 5 years in state prison and a permanent felony record. These allegations are serious and our attorneys take them very seriously when we defend these cases. Depending on the facts of the case, sometimes the charges are able to be downgraded and remanded back down to the municipal court in the town or city in which they took place. However, if the prosecutor’s office is adamant about pursuing the felony charges then our lawyers often look to secure our client’s admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention, which can result in the entire case being dismissed at the conclusion of the program.


The New Jersey Domestic Violence Protection Act enumerates certain underlying offenses that constitute an act of domestic violence under NJ law. These underlying offenses are referred to as “predicate acts,” which can form the basis of a temporary or final restraining order against the perpetrator. One of these specific acts is the crime of criminal restraint.

As explained above, criminal restraint is a third degree indictable offense that can be charged when an individual exposes a person to risk of serious bodily injury while unlawfully restraining them or keeps another person in a condition of involuntary servitude. Involuntary servitude is defined as using restraint, threats, or physical abuse to force a person to work.

It is an affirmative defense if the individual retrained is a minor and you are their parent or related to them and acting solely to assume control of the juvenile. However, this affirmative defense is not applicable in the context of a domestic relationship between spouses or significant others for charges constituting a domestic violence offense.

If you are charged with criminal restraint in a domestic relationship, you may be convicted and have a restraining order issued against you to protect the victim. The underlying facts constituting an act of criminal restraint may also lead to a charge of false imprisonment, another domestic violence offense, carrying penalties of up to 6 months in prison and fines of $1,000.


If you are facing charges for criminal restraint and/or a restraining order and interested in learning more about how we may be able to help you, call (201) 793-8018 now or contact our office today for a free no obligation consultation.