Contempt Violation in Camden County
The penalties for violating a restraining order can be severe, especially if this is not your first offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9. If your accuser alleges that you made a telephone call, were texting, made person contact or otherwise violated a final restraining order or temporary restraining, that is generally all that it will take for any police department in Camden County to charge you with a restraining order violation. In fact, police are absolutely required to make an arrest once there is probable cause to believe that a violation has taken place. If you were arrested in Pine Hill, Bellmawr, Collingswood, Gloucester City or another municipality for criminal contempt, you should contact our firm immediately. Our attorneys, several of whom are former domestic violence prosecutors, have many years of experience defending restraining order violations. We have handled both bona fide violation cases as well as frivolous allegations of contempt, and are capable of presenting your very best case in defense of this charge. A lawyer is available in our Cherry Hill Office at 856-662-8300 to go over the particulars of your charge and to formulate a strategy to defeat the offense.
Gloucester Township NJ Restraining Order Violation
In order for the Camden County Prosecutor handling your contempt offense to convict you, he/she must establish three core elements of this charge. First, it must be established that a restraining order existed on the date of the incident. Second, the state must prove that the accused violated a provision in the order. Third, the prosecution must demonstrate that a violation was knowing or purposeful. When the violation does not constitute a disorderly persons offense or crime in and of itself, the violation falls within the grade of a disorderly persons offense. Conversely, if the conduct constitutes a separate offense, then contempt is a fourth-degree crime. For example, if the restraining order requires parental visitation in a particular location and the parent takes the children to an unapproved location without prior consent they violate the terms of the order. This violation would be a disorderly persons offense as there is no independently charge that is committed by virtue of this action. An example of the fourth-degree variety of contempt is the commission of a new incident of simple assault or harassment against the plaintiff to the restraining order.
Defenses To Your Contempt Arrest in Pennsauken
If you or a loved one have been charged with violating a Restraining Order in Audubon, Runnemede, Lindenwold or elsewhere, we can not only defend the charge on the basis of the state’s inability to prove the elements of contempt but also on the basis that the violation involves an issue that is unenforceable through contempt of a restraining order. The exceptions include failure to:
- Provide parenting time;
- Pay monetary compensation;
- Pay rent;
- Receive counseling; or
- Provide temporary possession of personal property.
There is also a de minimis infraction defense that exists under New Jersey Law. In order for this defense to apply, the circumstances must involve (1) conduct within a customary license; (2) lack of the type of harm contemplated under the Domestic Violence Act; or (3) the conduct represents such unusual circumstance that it could not have reasonably been contemplated by the legislature.
Penalties For Violating A Restraining Order In Voorhees
If a defendant is convicted of a disorderly persons offense for contempt, you will face penalties of up to six (6) months in the Camden County Jail and a $1,000 fine. When the conviction involves a second or subsequent disorderly persons offense for violating a restraining order, there is a minimum term of incarceration of 30 days that must be served.
If a defendant is convicted of a fourth-degree crime of Contempt, the punishments are more severe. Individuals convicted of a fourth-degree crime face up to eighteen (18) months in jail and a $10,000 fine. With either grade of contempt violation, the sentencing judge also has the ability to modify the restraining order to ensure that future violations do not occur.
Cherry Hill NJ Contempt Offense Lawyers
As you can see, your Mount Ephraim, Haddon Heights, Collingswood, or Berlin arrest for contempt that the potential to mushroom into major issues. Incarceration is a real possibility, especially if this does not involve your first violation. There are also other potential ramifications that can seriously affect you. To provide yourself the best opportunity to escape penalties like those previously described, you should consult an experienced Camden County criminal attorney. The attorneys at our firm definitely fall within this description. Call us at 856-662-8300 for immediate assistance.