Woman holding hands trying to defend herself

Jersey City Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Relationships can be complicated. However, when a relationship takes a turn and accusations of threats or violence are involved, you may find yourself drawn into a relationship with law enforcement. When you’re accused of a crime in Jersey City, you may suddenly find your freedom and stability in jeopardy.

The important thing to remember when you’ve been accused of domestic violence is that you have legal rights. At William Proetta Criminal Law, our defense lawyers stand ready to painstakingly protect your rights.

Have you been arrested and charged with domestic violence in Jersey City? You need immediate legal representation from a knowledgeable Jersey City domestic violence defense attorney. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law today for a free and completely confidential case review.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Jersey City?

The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act characterizes domestic violence as the systematic physical, emotional, sexual, or verbal abuse of an intimate partner.

 Domestic violence comes in many forms, such as threats, intimidation tactics, and isolation. It can also involve physical altercations, beatings, and sexual assault. Many people don’t realize that domestic violence can also take the form of financial abuse when a partner uses money or financial control to trap or intimidate an intimate partner.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone and spans the range of race, age, sexual orientation, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Common Domestic Violence Charges in Jersey City

Technically, “domestic violence” is an umbrella term that covers an array of New Jersey criminal offenses. Although the term describes what most people consider criminal charges, an individual does not get charged with the crime of domestic violence. Instead, depending on the circumstances of the situation, they are charged with one or more domestic abuse crimes under New Jersey law. 

Examples of New Jersey domestic violence charges include:

  • Domestic assault – Assault is the attempt to cause bodily injury to another individual, in this case, a spouse, former spouse, intimate partner, or family member. The criminal offense can be more severe if it involved a deadly weapon. 
  • Stalking – Maintaining physical or virtual proximity to a partner against their will or without their permission can be considered stalking. 
  • Kidnapping – Kidnapping occurs when an individual takes a person to another location against their will or with threats of violence. 
  • Sexual assault – Sexual assault involves penetration or sexual acts without the consent of the victim. 
  • Criminal sexual contact – Sexual contact by force or coercion constitutes criminal sexual contact. 
  • Lewdness – Performing indecent acts in public by flashing genitals, having sex in public, or urinating in public are forms of lewdness when the individual reasonably expects to be observed by non-consenting individuals. 
  • Endangering the welfare of a child – Misconduct like sexual assault, neglect, causing physical harm to a child, abuse, abandonment, and malnutrition are examples of endangering the welfare of a child. 
  • False imprisonment – This crime includes preventing someone from leaving a specific location. 
  • Criminal restraint – This is a more significant variation of false imprisonment involving bodily harm. 
  • Harassment – Physical contact in an offensive manner that is meant to irritate or alarm an individual is harassment. 

How Our Jersey City Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help If You’re Facing a Domestic Violence Charge

In addition to potential jail time, you can face significant financial penalties and have your life turned upside down by a criminal conviction in a domestic violence case. The number one way to protect yourself and fight back against the domestic violence charges against you is to retain a skilled criminal defense attorney.

At William Proetta Criminal Law, our Jersey City criminal defense team will prioritize your case. We can help you by explaining your legal rights and providing straightforward legal advice about your situation. We’ll thoroughly review the facts and look for potential procedural errors and inconsistencies that may result in a reduction of your charges or a complete dismissal. We’ll begin crafting a compelling and robust defense for you. 

Remember that law enforcement is not on your side. Before you talk to anyone, speak to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney at our law firm. 

Penalties for Conviction on Domestic Violence Charges in Jersey City, NJ 

The penalties for a domestic violence-related conviction vary depending on the severity of the crime.

Some criminal offenses like harassment and stalking constitute a disorderly persons offense, the equivalent of a misdemeanor. Most disorderly persons offenses carry penalties of up to six months in jail and fines between $50 and $500. Individuals may also be required to remain on probation or attend anger management courses.

Other domestic violence-related charges can rise to felony-level offenses that come with more severe penalties. New Jersey recognizes four degrees of indictable offenses. The penalties for each offense are as follows:

Fourth-degree indictable offense 

  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Up to 18 months of prison time

Third-degree indictable offense 

  • Fines up to $15,000
  • 3 to 5 years of prison time 

Second-degree indictable offense 

  • Fines up to $150,000
  • 5 to 10 years of prison time

First-degree indictable offense 

  • Fines up to $200,000
  • 10 to 20 years or life in prison

In addition to criminal penalties, a domestic violence conviction can also make it challenging to find a job or place to live due to having a criminal record. You can also lose custody of your children, have trouble furthering your education, and lose the right to own a firearm. 

Potential Defenses in Jersey City Domestic Violence Cases

Individuals accused of sexual assault or facing other charges are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means the state has the burden of proving your guilt for the alleged offense. 

Depending on the circumstances of your case, your domestic violence attorney might be able to use these defenses:

  • Someone else committed the crime.
  • Your constitutional rights were violated by the police or prosecutors.
  • The allegations were false.
  • You acted in self-defense, defending yourself or someone else in your household.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights When Charged with Domestic Violence 

First, secure aggressive legal representation immediately. Don’t wait to see if the incident “blows over.” You need an experienced attorney in your corner protecting your rights and helping you navigate the Jersey City criminal justice system.

You can also take additional steps to protect yourself and help your attorney craft a strategic defense plan. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Never talk to law enforcement without your attorney present.
  • Do not post anything on social media.
  • Avoid talking about your case with others.
  • Do not attempt to confront the person who accused you of domestic violence.

You have the right to remain silent. Exercise that right and discuss the specifics of your case only with your domestic violence criminal defense attorney.

Contact Our Jersey City Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Attorneys 

A domestic violence-related conviction can change your life. Discuss your situation immediately with a knowledgeable Jersey City domestic violence criminal defense attorney from William Proetta Criminal Law. 

Contact our law office for a free consultation now. The case review is completely confidential and comes with no strings attached.