Ocean County Domestic Violence Attorney
Ocean County Restraining Order Attorneys Defending Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence is often referred to as a “quasi-criminal” matter in New Jersey, as these cases can involve both criminal and civil components. In a domestic violence case, the defendant can face a restraining order, as well as criminal charges for offenses such as simple assault, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, stalking, or harassment. Restraining orders and criminal convictions can each spell severe implications that interfere with your ability to freely interact with your children, live in your own home, and legally own guns. Additionally, a criminal conviction may result in penalties such as incarceration, fines, probation, community service, and other collateral consequences of a criminal record, including damage to your reputation and social stigma.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence?
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and 2C:25-19 identify 19 different crimes that are considered “acts of domestic violence”. Any one of these can be used as the basis for filing or granting a restraining order. The skilled Ocean County restraining order lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law regularly handle a wide range of domestic violence issues. If you are facing domestic violence criminal charges, a restraining order, or both, we can help. Our knowledge and experience is extensive in this area, as we have successfully resolved countless matters involving:
- Aggravated Assault
- Criminal Mischief
- Simple assault
- Terroristic threats
- Temporary restraining orders (TRO)
- Final restraining orders (FRO)
- How to File a Restraining Order
- Violations of restraining orders
- Vacating final restraining orders
- Civil Restraints
What To Expect in Your New Jersey Domestic Violence Case
Criminal Domestic Violence Charges: Depending on the severity of the charges against you, as well as the specific circumstances surrounding the incident, cases involving domestic abuse in New Jersey may be adjudicated in different venues. If you are charged with an indictable offense (felony), such as aggravated assault, your case will be heard in Ocean County Superior Court located in Toms River. Conversely, if the allegations involve a disorderly persons offense, which is often referred to as a misdemeanor, then your case will be heard and decided in the municipal court in the municipality where the alleged offense occurred. In other words, if you were arrested and charged in Brick Township, you will be required to appear in Brick Township Municipal Court.
Restraining Orders: Often, the alleged victim in a domestic violence case will apply for a restraining order, in addition to pressing criminal charges. In other cases, law enforcement officials will file a restraining order against the wishes of the suspected victim. Once a Temporary Restraining Order has been filed, a judge will decide whether or not to issue a Final Restraining Order at a restraining order hearing. If a Final Restraining Order is placed in effect, it will contain specific provisions and consequences to any violation of the stated provisions. Under New Jersey law, violation of a restraining order is a criminal offense called “contempt,” which may result in serious penalties if you are convicted.
The Do’s & Don’ts For Defending Domestic Violence Cases
Do Not Concede – It is rarely ever a good idea to outright concede to these types of allegations. In criminal domestic violence proceedings you have the right to plead “not guilty” and make the State try and prove the allegations against you beyond a reasonable doubt. In restraining order hearings, the same rights and standards of evidence do not apply but you still have every right to contest the proceedings brought against you by the plaintiff (alleged victim) and you should. By agreeing to the final restraining order, you are agreeing to be placed in the domestic violence database, agreeing to have a permanent restraining order on your record for the rest of your life and agreeing to be subject to future criminal proceedings if the plaintiff ever alleges you violated the restraining order.
Do Have A Lawyer – You never want to handle a domestic violence matter without competent counsel, if at all possible. In criminal domestic violence proceedings, since you face the possibility of a permanent criminal record and jail time, you can be appointed a public defender if you can not afford to hire your own private lawyer. However, defendants in restraining order hearings are not as fortunate and can not be appointed a lawyer if you cannot afford one. When searching for a domestic violence lawyer you not only want someone who is experienced in handling and trying criminal cases and restraining order hearings, but also someone who can dedicate the necessary time and effort to your case when it comes to reviewing evidence and preparing a defense.
Contact a NJ Restraining Order Attorney for a Free Consultation
Our law firm has successfully resolved numerous domestic violence matters across Ocean County by securing dismissals and downgrades, and we understand the nuances involved in restraining order cases. If you or your loved one is facing domestic violence charges and/or a restraining order in Ocean County, contact our Point Pleasant office at (848) 238-2100 for a cost-free consultation about your specific case. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day and seven days a week. In addition to availability on weekdays and during business hours, you can schedule a meeting with us on weeknights or weekends. We will work closely with you to build a case strategy customized to the particular facts of your case and designed to meet your needs.