Defense Lawyer for Restraining Order Charges in South Jersey
Reputable New Jersey Defense Lawyer Represents Clients in Cases Involving Restraining Orders in Camden County
After a person has been accused of a crime involving domestic violence, he or she may find that one collateral consequence is the imposition of a temporary restraining order (TRO) that usually prevents contact with the accuser. While many clients may be inclined to brush off the implications of the TRO itself, a hearing will usually be held within ten days of the issuance of that order in order to determine whether a final restraining order is appropriate in the case. Because of the substantial restrictions imposed by a restraining order, it is important to take the restraining order just as seriously as the underlying domestic violence that precipitated the need for the order. A lawyer with experience handling restraining orders can be critical to ensuring that a TRO does not become a final restraining order, or that the terms of the final restraining order are not overly restrictive.
At Gelman Law, LLC, we understand how sensitive and emotionally charged the nature of cases involving domestic violence and restraining order charges can be. Although restraining orders are technically handled in civil court, we take these cases just as seriously as the underlying criminal matter in your case. Our substantial experience handling domestic violence and criminal defense cases can spell the difference between successfully having a TRO dismissed and spending years being subject to the potentially harsh conditions imposed under a final restraining order.
Obtaining a Restraining Order in New Jersey
It is relatively easy for an individual to obtain a temporary restraining order in New Jersey. Any party who alleges that another person has committed an act of domestic violence against them may apply for a TRO, which may include:
- Parties who resided together or reside together,
- Those who share or have shared a dating relationship, or are currently or were formerly married,
- Individuals who have a child together or are expecting a child.
If the courts find sufficient evidence to support the claim that an act of domestic violence did occur, the TRO will be issued to provide temporary protection from further acts of violence between the parties. In order to establish that the TRO should become final, the alleged victim will be required to establish the following the hearing:
- The defendant committed at least one prior act of domestic violence against the alleged victim,
- A prior history of domestic violence, although this element is not always necessary in cases where the single act of domestic violence giving rise to the restraining order was serious, and
- The restraining order is reasonably necessary because the alleged victim fears for his or her continued safety.
Once the restraining order has been issued, the possibility of appeal remains, but violation of the order is a fourth-degree criminal offense that can carry up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
Skilled Defense Lawyer Committed to Mitigating Negative Side Effects of Restraining Order Charges
While the restraining order itself is not technically a criminal issue, the restraining order can have significant negative side effects, especially if it becomes final. The final restraining order may:
- Prevent any contact between the alleged victim and the defendant,
- Require that the defendant submit to fingerprinting and included in a database listing domestic violence offenders,
- Prevent the defendant from owning any firearms, including seizure of those currently owned,
- Prohibit the defendant from visiting certain locations, including a home, business and/or place where the alleged domestic violence occurred,
- Prohibit the defendant from visiting his or her children,
- Require temporary child support payments from the defendant to the accuser,
- Prohibit contact or communication with the accuser’s relatives or other parties.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our criminal defense lawyer is a former prosecutor who is skilled in handling cases involving restraining orders and will take every available action to prevent the TRO from becoming final or mitigate the consequences of a final restraining order. This may include challenging the opposing party’s evidence and the underlying claim of domestic violence in many cases. We can also help if you are facing charges for assault or aggravated assault.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation to Discuss Options for Fighting a Restraining Order in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout NJ
It is important that individuals facing restraining orders in New Jersey understand that these orders can impact much more than the defendant’s ability to see the alleged victim. The restraining order can impact your freedom of movement, as you will generally not be entitled within a certain distance of the alleged victim. Importantly, the restraining order can also impact your ability to spend time with family and your children.
Because of these important implications, if you are currently subject to a TRO, it is important to obtain the counsel of a skilled restraining order charges lawyer who can go to work immediately to minimize the chance of that TRO becoming final. Acting quickly is especially important in these cases because of the swift timelines involved—remember that the hearing to finalize the TRO will be set within ten days of the TRO’s issuance. Call or contact our offices today if you would like to discuss options for fighting a restraining order or appealing an existing final restraining order in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restraining Orders in New Jersey
FAQ: What is the difference between a restraining order and a no contact order?
Restraining orders and no contact orders are different but related prohibitions from contacting an alleged victim. While a restraining order is issued in civil court, a no contact order is generally issued in conjunction with an arrest and prohibits the defendant from contacting the alleged victim as a condition of bail. Violating either has consequences, though violation of a no contact order will generally result in forfeiture of bail and contempt of court charges.
FAQ: What is the relevance of the standard of proof in a restraining order case?
In order to issue a restraining order, the judge need only decide that the required elements have been shown by a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. This generally means that the events alleged were more likely than not to be true. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard. Essentially, this means that a restraining order can be issued even if the prosecution is unable to prosecute you criminally for the domestic violence charges underlying the need for the restraining order itself.