Mount Holly NJ Restraining Order Attorneys
One of the primary consequences of an incident of domestic violence is the filing of a restraining order. For a defendant, this can be bad news as New Jersey has created a framework to protect alleged victims that includes a streamlined process for securing a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) or final restraining order (“FRO”). And for those who commit contempt of a restraining order, they face conviction for a criminal offense that carries strict penalties. It is crucial that anyone accused of domestic violence secure a criminal lawyer as soon as possible after being arrested in Cinnaminson, Burlington Township, Bordentown, Pemberton, Willingboro or elsewhere in the county. Our former prosecutors and knowledgeable defense attorneys have decades of experience defending Burlington restraining order hearings as one of the largest criminal firms in the state. To speak to a lawyer about a temporary restraining order or an upcoming final hearing, call our Mount Holly office at 609-491-2110 for an immediate free consultation.
Experienced Mt. Laurel Temporary Restraining Order Defense Lawyers
If you were served with a restraining order in Southampton, Palmyra or Eastampton, there are obviously a few things you need to know about New Jersey Law. Pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (“the Act”), a municipal or superior court judge has authority to issue a temporary restraining order provided they find an individual qualifying for protection under the act was the victim of domestic violence. Qualifying victims include a boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, immediate family member or some other person who has has been in a relationship with the defendant. In determining whether domestic violence has taken place, no testimony or evidence is taken from the alleged aggressor. The entire determination as to whether a temporary restraining order shall issue is made by the judge based on the allegations of the victim and the arresting officer(s).
- Definition Of Domestic Violence Under The Act. Pursuant to Rule 5:7A, a temporary restraining order will be issued only upon a showing of “domestic violence.” Where a municipal or superior court judge finds a reasonable basis to believe that one or more of the following offenses has occurred, a temporary restraining order will be granted. These offenses include: (1) homicide; (2) aggravated or simple assault; (3) terroristic threats; (4) kidnapping; (5) criminal restraint; (6) false imprisonment; (7) sexual assault; (8) criminal sexual contact; (9) lewdness; (10) criminal mischief; (11) burglary; (12) criminal trespass; (13) harassment; and (14) stalking.
- Restraints That Apply If TRO Is Issued. If a temporary restraining order is issued against you as a result of an alleged incident in Moorestown, Medford, Delran, Maple Shade, Lumberton or elsewhere in Burlington County, it can significantly change your life. The TRO will prevent you from: (1) returning to any residence you held with the victim; (2) possessing any weapons including but not limited to handguns and other firearms; (3) having any communications with the victim in any context; (4) bar you from having visitation with any children of the relationship; (5) entering or leaving the country without interference at immigration; and (6) any other activities or conduct that place the victim at risk of further incidents of domestic violence.
- When Do I Get To Tell My Side Of The Story? A relief granted as a result of a temporary restraining order is, by definition, of limited duration. The law requires that a full hearing, termed a final restraining order hearing, be conducted within ten (10) days of issuance of the TRO. At this hearing, a Judge sitting in the Family Division of the Burlington County Superior Court will determine whether the restraints should continue permanently. This is the proceeding where you have the opportunity to confront your accuser through cross-examination by your attorney, as well as to present your own testimony, evidence (e.g. telephone records, texts, recordings, pictures, photos, etc.). In order for the restraints to continue, the judge must find that domestic violence occurred and that the restraining order is necessary in order to protect the victim. In reaching this determination, the court may consider the previous history of domestic violence between the parties, whether there is any immediate threat to person or property, the financial circumstances of the plaintiff and defendant, the best interests of the children of the relationship, and the need for protection of the victim.
- What Happens If A TRO or Permanent Restraining Order Is Violated. Although a restraining order is a civil order, any violation of its terms results in a criminal contempt charge. This violation can result in fines, additional restraints and even jail.
Restraining Order Lawyer in Mount Holly
The pitfalls of losing your final restraining order hearing should be readily apparent. Continuation of the restraints on a final or permanent will result in your essentially never reoccupying your house, apartment or other dwelling that was shared with the victim. You will also lose any ability to speak or communicate with the plaintiff. And if you hold licenses to own guns, they will become meaningless as you will be forever barred from owning or possessing any weapon. You will not even be able to leave country (e.g. visit Canada) or reenter the United States without significant complication at customs. So if you were served with a restraining order in Burlington City, Evesham, Riverside, or another municipality in this venue, do not make the foolish mistake of walking into court without a skilled criminal attorney at your side. To discuss what is necessary for us to represent you at your Burlington County Final Restraining Order Hearing, call us anytime 24/7 at 609-491-2110. The consultation is without obligation.