At Cores & Associates, we are experienced at prosecuting and defending allegations of domestic violence. Domestic violence may be threats, intimidation, or physical violence. Contact our attorneys as soon as domestic violence occurs so that we can help.
If you are the victim or alleged perpetrator in a domestic violence case, our attorneys can guide you through the system. We can explain what is required under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (NJPDVA) to obtain a restraining order or to oppose the entry of one.
Understanding New Jersey Domestic Violence Law
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior where a partner or member of your household tries to exert power and control through physical and emotional abuse. Domestic violence can involve physical harm, threats of harm, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse. Unfortunately, domestic violence is typically under-reported and misunderstood.
Like most states, New Jersey has rigorous domestic violence laws that protect victims from further abuse. Under state law, domestic violence is committed by a person who has been close to you in your life including a spouse, or ex-spouse, members of your household (past and current), any current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or the parent of your children (or expected child). While the majority of domestic violence victims are women, it can impact anyone.
If you experienced domestic violence, you may be eligible for a temporary restraining order that limits the other person’s ability to contact or interact with you. You should immediately go to your local police station or county courthouse. In order to obtain a final restraining order, the victim must establish that an “act” of domestic violence has been committed and that a restraining order is needed to protect the victim from future acts of domestic violence.
Acts of Domestic Violence
Under the NJPDVA, an “act” of domestic violence can be:
- (1) Homicide N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq.
- (2) Assault N.J.S.2C:12-1
- (3) Terroristic threats N.J.S.2C:12-3
- (4) Kidnapping N.J.S.2C:13-1
- (5) Criminal restraint N.J.S.2C:13-2
- (6) False imprisonment N.J.S.2C:13-3
- (7) Sexual assault N.J.S.2C:14-2
- (8) Criminal sexual contact N.J.S.2C:14-3
- (9) Lewdness N.J.S.2C:14-4
- (10) Criminal mischief N.J.S.2C:17-3
- (11) Burglary N.J.S.2C:18-2
- (12) Criminal trespass N.J.S.2C:18-3
- (13) Harassment N.J.S.2C:33-4
- (14) Stalking P.L.1992, c. 209 (C.2C:12-10)
- (15) Criminal coercion N.J.S.2C:13-5
- (16) Robbery N.J.S.2C:15-1
- (17) Contempt of a domestic violence order pursuant to subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9 that constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense
- (18) Any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c. 261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.)
- (19) Cyber-harassment P.L.2013, c. 272 (C.2C:33–4.1)
How Domestic Violence Impacts Divorce Cases
If you or your children are in immediate harm, law enforcement may help diffuse a dangerous situation and ensure your safety. Once victims are at a safe location, they should promptly consult with a domestic violence lawyer.
While safety is our predominant concern, a restraining order can also deeply impact your family law matters. Under New Jersey law, the courts can consider evidence of domestic violence when awarding child custody and visitation rights and alimony payments. Because many domestic violence matters lead to divorce, it is important to understand the wide-ranging impact of a domestic violence claim and craft forward-looking strategies that protect your legal rights.
If your spouse obtains a restraining order against you, you must obtain legal counsel to defend against the charges. Your rights of custody and access to your children may be implicated if a final restraining order is entered.
For this and many other reasons, you need to take domestic violence seriously — whether you are a victim or the alleged accused. For more information about your legal rights, contact a Freehold NJ domestic violence lawyer at Cores & Associates.
Restraining Order Protections
Restraining orders aim to protect victims of domestic violence (including children) from further harm. Depending on your unique circumstances, the court will establish specific parameters that limit the alleged abuser’s contact and proximity to protected individuals. These restrictions may include prohibitions against:
- Entering the victim’s home or residence (including a previously shared residence or family home)
- Visiting the victim’s workplace or school
- Contacting the victim or their children, including phone calls and digital communications
- Possessing firearms
Furthermore, the court may award the victim custody of their children, child support, and spousal support — even before a divorce is finalized. They may also receive exclusive access to shared property, such as a motor vehicle.
Sometimes, restraining orders will also require mandatory counseling services or a mental health evaluation for the accused.
How Do I Get a Temporary Restraining Order?
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you can protect yourself in the short term by obtaining a temporary restraining order (TRO). If you want to apply for a TRO between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm go to the county courthouse in the county where you reside. If you need a restraining order at other times, call the police or go to the police station.
Insist that they contact a judge to help you obtain a TRO. Only a judge or hearing officer can grant or deny a TRO (not an officer). If you have obtained a TRO or been served with a TRO as a defendant contact our office immediately for a consult.
After a temporary restraining order is granted, two things occur. First, the case will be scheduled for a Final Restraining Order (FRO) hearing within 10 days. Preparation for this hearing is important and, therefore, you should contact the New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorneys at Cores & Associates as immediately.
Second, the victim will have immediate protection from the abuser. If the alleged abuser contacts or comes near the victim, there is an automatic arrest and, in many cases, some jail time. These cases are incredibly important. If you appear in court and your case is heard by the judge you may not like the result and you may not be able to change that result. There are many variables.
What Is a Final Restraining Order?
The entry of a Final Restraining Order can give you temporary custody, financial support, and sole use and possession of your home. The denial of a restraining order would allow an abuser to return immediately to the residence. If you are the alleged abuser and a restraining order is entered against you, you will be fingerprinted and registered.
The later violation of a restraining order can result in criminal charges. This is a serious matter and requires serious and experienced attorneys.
Contact our office immediately at 732-414-6669 if you need legal advice about domestic violence.
Can I Fight a Restraining Order?
If you are facing charges of domestic violence, you cannot ignore them. A restraining order can limit your time with your children, restrict your access to your property, and damage your reputation. A domestic violence attorney can help you regain control and fight back against unfair allegations.
However, you should never intentionally violate the terms of a restraining order. This can deeply impact your family law and other legal rights. Instead, consult with an experienced and sophisticated NJ domestic violence lawyer who can educate you about your rights and options. At Cores & Associates, we believe that everyone deserves high-quality legal counsel, and we treat our clients with the respect they deserve. Initial consultations are free and confidential.
Request a Consultation With a Freehold NJ Domestic Violence Lawyer
At Cores & Associates, we handle domestic violence issues with a unique combination of aggressive legal strategies, practical advice, and emotional support. We understand how deeply domestic violence claims can impact everyone involved. That is why we aim to resolve these matters quickly and fairly. If you need assistance with a domestic violence issue, contact us to learn more about how we can help