Act of Domestic Violence In New Jersey: What Constitutes It?

Act of Domestic Violence In New Jersey: What Constitutes It?

Our Highly Talented Restraining Order Defense Lawyers Are Ready To Assist You

The first requirement to obtain a restraining order in New Jersey is proof that the defendant committed an “act of domestic violence” against the plaintiff.  The term “domestic violence” has a specific meaning under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et. seq. (“Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991) and this definition must be met before relief may be granted. There is no basis for a restraining order absent a factual finding by the court that a predicate act of domestic violence occurred.

The attorneys at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, have extensive experience defending restraining orders and how to effectively challenge a plaintiff so that they are unable to satisfy their burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that an act of domestic violence took place. The plaintiff must establish that one or more of the following offenses (i.e. acts of domestic violence) was committed:

  • Simple Assault
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • False Imprisonment
  • Criminal Coercion
  • Burglary
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual Assault
  • Criminal Mischief

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Terroristic Threat
  • Criminal Restraint
  • Trespass
  • Cyber-harassment
  • Robbery
  • Homicide
  • Criminal Sexual Contact
  • Lewdness


N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19 provides that the commission of a disorderly persons offense in contempt of a domestic violence restraining order also constitutes “an act of domestic violence” under New Jersey Law.  Lastly, an individual commits an act of domestic violence if they engage in any criminal activity that poses a risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991.

It is important to keep in mind that the commission of a predicate act (i.e. domestic violence) does not warrant the issuance of a restraining order by itself. There must also be proof that the issuance of a restraining order is necessary to protect the “victim” from immediate danger or future acts of domestic violence. A savvy criminal lawyer can often attack a restraining order on this basis, especially where there is an isolated or minor incident of domestic violence.

Contact Our NJ Criminal Firm To Speak To An Accomplished Defense Lawyer Immediately

There are few things that can make up for inexperience when it comes to defending a restraining order in New Jersey. This is why it is so crucial to select an attorney who has not only been practicing in this area of law but also possesses extensive experience and success in representing clients accused of domestic violence. This is precisely what the team at our firm can provide given impressive credentials that include:

  • Over 200 years of combined experience handling domestic violence cases
  • Ten lawyers whose practices are dedicated exclusively to the defense
  • Former county prosecutors who have served as Directors of Major Crimes, Domestic Violence, Juvenile, Special Operations, the Drug Task Force and even an entire Trial Division
  • Certified criminal trial attorneys
  • Countless clients who have had restraining orders dismissed as a result of our efforts

To speak to an attorney on our staff anytime 24/7, call 877-450-8301. We will be more than happy to provide our insight in a free initial consultation.