Domestic Violence in NJ
In New Jersey, all crimes are taken seriously, but the penalties associated with domestic violence are especially harsh. If you have been arrested based on allegations of domestic violence, you will likely face time in jail, removal from your home, hefty fines, and other financial obligations. Domestic violence involves one person who is in an intimate relationship trying to exercise control over the victim through physical violence, physical or emotional threats, and/or mental abuse. You may not realize how serious this charge can be, but it can permanently change the relationship that you have with your children and other members of your family. The entry of a Final Domestic Violence Restraining Order can have long lasting effects upon how you may deal with your children and the other party.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are encouraged to take action to end it. The law is in place to help you, and there are also many other resources available to assist you.
What is Classified as Domestic Violence?
In the state of New Jersey, domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of a certain number of crimes against another person who is defined by the state as a domestic violence victim. These crimes include:
- Sexual Assault
- Terroristic threats
- False imprisonment
- Criminal Trespassing
A domestic violence victim is someone who:
- Is currently or was formerly married to the perpetrator of the crime and is at least 18 years old.
- Is an emancipated minor of the perpetrator.
- Is currently or was formerly dating the perpetrator.
- Has a child or is expecting a child with the perpetrator.
Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)
The first step in a domestic violence case occurs when an individual is issued a temporary restraining order (TRO). The victim of domestic abuse will be required to provide evidence of the abuse to the court and a temporary restraining order can be issued at any time of the day or night by the municipal or superior court. The order may require you or your spouse to leave your home, or refrain from contact with family – including your children. Once a TRO is issued, New Jersey law mandates that a final restraining order hearing be heard within 10 days. It is extremely important that you do not attempt to represent yourself in that hearing, whether you are the victim or the defendant, as the repercussions of a final domestic violence restraining order being entered against you can be very severe.
It is also important not to violate the terms of the TRO, which is considered a fourth degree crime and can result in fines of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
If you are the victim of abuse, facing allegations of abuse, or if a temporary restraining order is entered against you, contact Himelman & Himelman today to discuss your options.