New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer
What You Need to Know About New Jersey Domestic Violence Laws
A single charge of domestic violence in New Jersey can have a devastating, permanent effect on your life. If convicted, it could result in jail time, the loss of your job, the inability to find a new job, and being labeled by society. It’s important that you know and understand New Jersey domestic violence laws.
The Definition of Domestic Violence in New Jersey
In New Jersey, domestic violence is defined by law as the occurrence of one or more criminal offenses listed in the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1990 against another person. The listed offenses include assault, murder, kidnapping, terroristic threats, criminal restraint, sexual assault, false imprisonment, lewdness, criminal sexual contact, burglary, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, harassment, or stalking.
Victims of domestic violence are also defined under New Jersey state law. They are defined as someone who is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor who experienced violence by a:
- Former spouse
- Any person who is part of their present or former household
Although New Jersey domestic violence law applies to people 18 years of age (or older) or emancipated minors, there are some instances where age isn’t considered. If there is a shared child between the victim and alleged perpetrator, if one of the parties is pregnant, or if the parties believe they will have a child together, the age restriction is void. If the parties are dating and the victim is under the age of 18 years old, it is still classified as domestic violence.
Domestic Violence in New Jersey Means a Mandatory Arrest
If you’re accused of domestic violence in New Jersey and law enforcement takes a criminal complaint against you because they see signs of domestic violence, state law indicates that a mandatory arrest must be made. Law enforcement may also seize weapons just for safe keeping if they are called to the scene of an alleged incidence of domestic violence. Law enforcement may also seize weapons from the alleged perpetrator if the victim receives a court order for the perpetrator to surrender a specific weapon.
New Jersey Domestic Violence Charges May Result in a Protective Order
A victim of domestic violence may pursue an emergency protective order. The judge may include provisions that keep the alleged perpetrator from returning to the premises, seizure of weapons, stop the alleged perpetrator from possessing a weapon, give possession of shared pets to the victim, give the victim exclusive possession to the home, list temporary child custody and parenting plan, order the perpetrator to compensate the victim for losses that resulted from the incident, order the perpetrator to counseling or to have a psychiatric evaluation, prohibit contact with the victim, and require the perpetrator to pay the victim’s living expenses.
Not all New Jersey protective orders will include all of those provisions. Every case is unique and if you’ve been accused of domestic violence, you should seek the services of a qualified and experienced New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer.
Penalties for Violating a Protective Order
If a protective order is issued against you by the court, it’s important that you do not violate it. If you knowingly violate the protective order, you could be found guilty of criminal contempt unless the violation is related to parenting time, monetary compensation, psychiatric care, or giving specific property to the victims. You could serve up to 18 months in prison and be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Jail or prison time isn’t mandatory for the first violation, but if you have subsequent violations, you will serve a minimum of 30 days behind bars.
Facing an Accusation of Domestic Violence in New Jersey?
If you’re facing an accusation of domestic violence in New Jersey, you need to take the allegation seriously. New Jersey domestic violence laws are extremely serious in nature. Do not wait to contact a New Jersey family lawyer who specializes in domestic violence. When you prepare for your free consultation with New Jersey domestic violence lawyer Tanya L. Freeman, bring a copy of the complaint that was filed against you. You should also bring a copy of the police report or any other documents.