Hudson County Domestic Violence Attorney
Being accused of threatening, abusive, or violent acts toward your spouse, romantic partner, child, family members, or other people in your household can have significant and lasting consequences. In Hudson County and throughout New Jersey, a domestic violence accusation is one of the most serious crimes you can be charged with. But one misunderstanding, mistake, or false allegation does not have to ruin your life.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. The Hudson County domestic violence attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law will vigorously defend your rights and reputation. Criminal cases are our firm’s sole focus. We have extensive experience in courts throughout Hudson County and across the state. Contact us immediately to discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation.
How a Hudson County Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help You After an Arrest
A good domestic violence attorney knows their role goes beyond representing you in court. A Hudson County domestic violence lawyer from our firm can help with your case from day one by:
- Explaining what you have been charged with and the potential penalties – There can be significant differences in what penalties you face in a domestic violence case depending on what you have been charged with, and what charge you face can depend on crucial but small details. A domestic violence lawyer at William Proetta Criminal Law can go over the charges with you. So you can get a better understanding of your case and the potential outcomes.
- Carefully examining all the evidence in your case – As you would expect, the evidence gathered by police plays a critical role in domestic violence cases. A defense attorney from our firm can go over the evidence, dig for additional evidence that supports your defense, and develop a strategy to argue for the charges against you to be reduced or dismissed.
- Suppressing any evidence obtained through an illegal search – There are certain rules police and prosecutors must follow when it comes to obtaining evidence in criminal cases. If any evidence in your case was obtained through an illegal search, your lawyer at William Proetta Criminal Law can seek to have it dismissed, which could greatly impact your case.
- Protecting you from intimidation – It’s scary to find yourself in a room with police or prosecutors pressuring you to confess to a crime. Having a lawyer present in these meetings can protect you from intimidation, as well as keep you from saying or doing anything that could incriminate you.
- Working out a plea deal with prosecutors – Cooperating with prosecutors may be in your best interest, depending on a range of factors particular to your case. If your lawyer and you agree that it’s beneficial to strike a plea bargain, your attorney can attempt to reach a deal with prosecutors to reduce the charges you face and the corresponding penalties.
- Preparing a strong defense for trial – Should your domestic violence case go to trial, you need to be well prepared. An experienced Hudson County domestic violence lawyer at William Proetta Criminal Law can develop a strong defense strategy to fight for you.
Understanding New Jersey Domestic Violence Laws
The governing law concerning domestic violence cases in New Jersey is the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991. Information from the New Jersey State Police indicates domestic violence is broadly defined as any pattern of verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse against a member of your household. This includes:
- Spouses (current or divorced)
- Romantic partners (current or former)
- Other family members
- Anyone who lives with you permanently
Generally speaking, abuse includes making threats, acting violently, isolating someone from their friends or family, or taking control of their finances. Some of the specific crimes mentioned in the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act are:
- Threats and intimidation
- False imprisonment or kidnapping
- Sexual assault or other forms of unwanted sexual contact
- Burglary and robbery
- Harassment (in person, over the phone, online, or through other means)
Lastly, the law indicates that domestic violence includes any criminal act that involves the risk of serious injury or death to anyone who’s protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.
Will Domestic Violence Accusations Result in a Mandatory Arrest in Hudson County?
Because victims of domestic violence are often reluctant to accuse abusers of a crime, sometimes police are required to make an arrest if they suspect someone is being abused. According to the state court system, police are required to make an arrest if any of the following conditions are met:
- There’s probable cause to believe an act of domestic violence has occurred.
- The alleged victim shows signs of being injured due to some type of domestic violence.
- There’s evidence to show an offender has violated a restraining order.
- An alleged offender has a warrant out for their arrest.
- There is sufficient proof that an alleged offender used a deadly weapon during an act of domestic violence.
It’s important to know that even if a domestic violence victim does not want to press charges or says their injuries weren’t caused by domestic violence, police in Hudson County may be required to make an arrest regardless. Police are trained to look for signs of injuries like scars, cuts, bruises, and how the victim acts and speaks. If police cannot determine who committed a crime because multiple parties show signs of injury, they can arrest everyone involved.
New Jersey Domestic Violence Penalties
Domestic violence offenses are taken seriously in New Jersey, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe. Some potential penalties for a domestic violence conviction include:
- Mandatory counseling
- Having a restraining order filed against you
- Removal of your guns
- Being barred from purchasing guns in the future
- Being sued for medical bills or lost wages
- Losing custody of your children
There Are Many Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges
There are many effective defense strategies that may be used in domestic violence cases, including:
- Justifying your actions as self-defense or defense of someone else
- Proving the accusation was false
- Showing the victim suffered their injuries on accident
- Showing someone else committed the offense
At William Proetta Criminal Law, we take a personalized approach to every one of our clients’ cases. We will discuss all options available to you based on the facts of your case, and we will work closely with you to come up with an effective strategy.
Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped?
There are some types of crimes where a victim can ask the charges against you to be dropped. However, domestic violence is not one of them. If you have been charged with domestic violence, only prosecutors can ask for your charges to be dropped.
This provision is in place to prevent victims from being intimidated into letting an abuser back into their homes. But it means those falsely accused of domestic violence often have a hard time having the charges dismissed.
What Are the Common Charges Related to Domestic Violence?
Some of the charges to related to domestic violence we handle at William Proetta Criminal Law include:
- Domestic assault — New Jersey defines assault as threatening to injure someone using intimidation or fear, as well as injuring someone through negligence. Bear in mind that making threats may be enough to have you charged with domestic violence in certain cases.
- Endangering the welfare of a child — If you put a child in danger through your actions or injure them directly, that can be deemed an act of domestic violence.
- Stalking — Following a member of your household or someone you are dating when they don’t want you around can be considered domestic violence.
- Sexual assault — Sexually assaulting a spouse, dating partner, or other member of your household is among the most serious domestic violence offenses. These crimes can carry harsh penalties if you are found guilty.
- Criminal sexual contact — Unwanted touching or other forms of sexual contact that does not meet the standard for sexual assault can still be considered domestic violence.
- False imprisonment — If you hold someone you are dating or who is a member of your household in their home against their will, you can be charged with false imprisonment.
- Kidnapping — Kidnapping and false imprisonment are quite similar, but kidnapping is defined as taking someone from their home or out in public to a new location.
- Criminal restraint — If you hold someone against their will in a manner that could injure them, you could be charged with domestic violence if the victim is a member of your household.
- Lewdness — Making unwanted lewd comments, gestures, or acts toward a member of your household can constitute domestic violence if they happen repeatedly.
- Criminal trespass — Being on someone’s property or entering their home without their permission can be treated as domestic violence if you do it to someone who is part of your household. Trespassing is similar to burglary, but the victim has to be present in the home for it to be considered trespassing.
- Burglary — If you break into someone’s home when they are not present and they are a member of your household, that can be seen as an act of domestic violence.
- Harassment —In the context of domestic violence, harassment is a broad category that includes things like verbal threats, online harassment, and any alarming conduct meant to seriously annoy someone.
- Restraining orders —Violating a restraining order is a serious offense and will often lead to additional charges in domestic violence cases.
Our Hudson County Domestic Violence Lawyers Are Here to Help You
A domestic violence conviction can send you to jail and have severe social repercussions for years afterward. If you have been arrested on domestic violence charges in Hudson County, New Jersey, contact William Proetta Criminal Law today to speak with one of our skilled defense attorneys in a free consultation.