A common form of criminal offense is domestic assault. Police are called hundreds of times every day throughout New Jersey to investigate domestic disturbances that mushroom into charges for assault, as well as entry of a restraining order. The purpose of this article is to provide you with a basic understanding of New Jersey domestic assault charges. If you would like to speak to an attorney with decades of experience defending domestic assault charges, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall for a free consultation at 877-450-8301.
What Is Considered Domestic Assault in New Jersey?
A case falls within the definition of “domestic assault” where the victim is a person protected by the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act. Protection under this law applies if the victim and the accused have or had any of the following relationships: (1) wife or husband; (2) boyfriend or girlfriend; (3) dating relationship; (4) household member; or (5) share a child in common.
When Does a NJ Domestic Assault Result in a Felony?
An individual can be charged with aggravated domestic assault in several ways under New Jersey law. This occurs if the incident involves choking, point a firearm, causing significant bodily injury, causing serious bodily injury or recklessly causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. The misdemeanor variety of domestic assault arises when someone is charged with simple assault. This is a disorderly persons offense, the term in New Jersey to describe a misdemeanor, and falls under the jurisdiction of the local municipal court of the town where the incident allegedly occurred.
Can A Victim Drop a Domestic Assault Charge?
No. Once the police are summoned to investigate an incident and issue a criminal complaint, they assume control over whether or not a charge is dismissed.
How Can Someone Get Arrested for Assault and Also Face A Restraining Order?
A victim of domestic violence is afforded the opportunity to secure a restraining order in New Jersey. It is important to keep in mind, however, that this is not a criminal proceeding but rather a civil one. The determination as to whether a temporary restraining order becomes final and permanent is decided in the Family Division of the Superior Court. This is a proceeding that runs parallel to one to decide whether the accused committed a criminal act against the alleged victim, for example, simple assault, harassment, aggravated assault or terroristic threat.
What Penalties Does Someone Face In a New Jersey Domestic Assault Case?
The severity of the penalties for domestic assault is predicated on the degree of offense. A second degree crime for aggravated assault carries 5-10 years in prison, a third degree crime results in 3-5 years in prison and a fourth degree crime triggers up to 18 months in prison. The jail term for simple assault is up to 6 months.
Are There Immigration Consequences to a Conviction for Domestic Assault?
Absolutely. We are discovering more and more just how negative an impact a conviction for domestic assault, even misdemeanor simple assault, can have on someone’s immigration status. It is common for individuals to be denied re-entry into the United States or denied a change in status (e.g. renewal of a Visa or Green Card) after they have been convicted for a New Jersey domestic assault offense. It is therefore imperative that a domestic assault case be handled skillfully to avoid this potentially disastrous collateral consequence.
New Jersey Domestic Assault Attorneys
It should be more than apparent to you from this article that domestic assault has the potential to cause severe complications in your life. You clearly want to consult a lawyer who is experienced in this area whether your charge is for simple assault or aggravated assault. Our team has the qualifications needed to help you with over 200 years of combined experience defending domestic assault charges, 12 lawyers who dedicate their practices exclusively to criminal defense and a slew of members who are former prosecutors who know how the system works from both sides. Call us at 877-450-8301 to speak to an attorney about your case.
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