New Jersey Restraining Order Defense Attorneys
If a person obtains a restraining order against you in New Jersey, the protection they receive could put an extreme and costly burden on you. You may be arrested and jailed, and could lose access to your children, home and other possessions.
A restraining order is issued by a judge who has heard allegations of violence or dangerous acts perpetrated by a family member or domestic partner. The allegations do not have to be proven.
An experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney can help you have a temporary restraining order (TRO) lifted or keep a final restraining order (FRO) from being issued or from being overly restrictive. An attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall in New Jersey can protect your rights and work to prevent unwarranted judicial rulings against you and your interests.
Our attorneys are former prosecutors and public defenders who have worked in municipal courts throughout New Jersey. We are experienced and compassionate negotiators who have handled domestic violence cases and restraining orders to the satisfaction of accusers and defendants. We also have positive professional relationships with prosecutors across New Jersey, and are known for strategic solutions that work for all involved in the cases we handle.
Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at one of our nine N.J. locations today about a restraining order or an underlying domestic violence charge. An initial legal consultation is free.
What Does a Restraining Order Mean in New Jersey?
A person who claims to be a victim of domestic violence in New Jersey may seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) against their alleged abuser from a judge in the Family Division of the local county Superior Court or at the local police station. A municipal court or superior court judge who finds that the petitioner has presented credible evidence that an act of domestic violence has occurred will issue a TRO.
If someone is arrested for domestic violence in New Jersey, police will typically seek and, practically without fail, obtain a TRO against the individual being held.
A judge may grant numerous restrictions against a defendant in a TRO, such as:
- Prohibiting the defendant from returning to the scene of the alleged violence and/or from access to other locations, such as a home or business
- Prohibiting any communication or contact with the accuser or the accuser’s relatives in person, by telephone or in writing (including by text, email or other online communication)
- Prohibiting the defendant from possessing a firearm or weapon
- Requiring the defendant to pay temporary child support to the accuser
- Requiring the defendant to reimburse the accuser for any medical expenses allegedly incurred due to injury caused by defendant
- Requiring the defendant to relinquish exclusive possession of the residence to the accuser
- Requiring the defendant to relinquish temporary custody of children to the accuser
All TROs issued in New Jersey require the police officer who serves the order on the defendant to seize all weapons in the defendant’s possession as well as any permit or licenses allowing them to obtain a gun or firearm.
Violation of a restraining order is considered contempt of court, a fourth-degree offense punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
The issuing court is to schedule a hearing within 10 days of the date of the TRO, at which the judge will determine whether to make the restraining order final.
If you are under a TRO, it is imperative that you have a defense attorney experienced with New Jersey restraining orders and domestic violence cases at your side in this hearing. Your accuser will have an attorney with them who is determined to make each requirement of the TRO permanent.
An attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can challenge the evidence against you and present evidence on your behalf, such as reasons to lift the TRO or to explain the hardships created by terms of the restraining order.
Who May Seek a Restraining Order in New Jersey?
Restraining orders are issued to individuals in New Jersey who demonstrate to a judge that they are victims of domestic violence. Under N.J. statutes, a domestic violence victim may be:
- An adult (18 years old or older) or emancipated minor who has been subjected to domestic violence by a:
- Former spouse
- Any other present or former household member
- Any person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship
- Any person whom the victim anticipates having a child in common because the victim or abuser is pregnant
- Anyone who, regardless of age, has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim:
- Has a child in common
- Anticipates having a child in common, because the victim or abuser is pregnant
- Anyone who, regardless of age, has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.
Elderly and disabled adults, and children may also be subjected to domestic violence and abuse, but charges are filed under different laws.
Such persons above must also present credible evidence that they have suffered domestic violence. Under N.J. law, domestic violence is the commission of one or more of the following offenses:
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
In most cases, the object of a restraining order faces charges of domestic violence based on one or more of the crimes above, as well.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You with a N.J. Restraining Order
A claim of domestic violence is usually a case of he-said-she-said. But judges typically side with the complainant standing before them (or a police officer), particularly if there is evidence of injury or emotional distress. It’s not hard to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) in New Jersey.
As your defense attorneys, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will work to keep a TRO from becoming a final restraining order (FRO). We will make sure your side of the story is heard, understood and duly considered.
Our first move will be to obtain your release from custody if you are being held on a domestic violence charge. We can then get your statement and investigate further in preparation for the hearing to be held 10 days after a TRO is issued.
Among the questions we will seek to answer are:
- Has a true, intentional incidence of domestic violence occurred?
- Are there prior incidents of domestic violence?
- Is there reasonable cause for the accuser to continue to fear for his or her safety?
Typically, a TRO can be lifted if the accuser cannot demonstrate that the three elements above exist. In a first-time domestic dispute that escalated, a judge may be convinced of the defendant’s remorse and understanding of their mistakes.
While a judge will certainly rule to protect someone who is being harmed, judges also recognize that some couples fight and some fights get out of hand. Ten days after an incident, previous accusations and charges may be seen differently by the accuser, and even taken back.
Our attorneys are skilled, experienced and compassionate negotiators. As your legal counsel, we can reach out to your accuser, if appropriate.
In other cases, we can convince the court to make fewer or lighter restrictions, particularly granting the ability to spend time with children, if a defendant agrees to certain conditions, such as participating in anger management classes.
But to ensure your rights are fully protected, you need a seasoned N.J. domestic violence defense attorney at your side as you go into a restraining order hearing. Our attorneys understand what New Jersey law allows, and have the professional relationships necessary to seek the most favorable outcome available for you.
Most domestic violence cases pit one person’s word against another’s. Every day in New Jersey, TROs are lifted and domestic violence charges are dropped because a defendant has retained the right legal representation.
Contact Our New Jersey Restraining Order Defense Lawyers Today
If you are subject to a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued in New Jersey, call our experienced criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. It is a mistake to face a restraining order hearing on your own, and you have only 10 days to prepare.
Our team will work diligently to make sure you are not subjected to severe punishments allowed in a final restraining order (FRO) for domestic violence that has not even been proven. Contact one of the nine locations of the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall now for a free initial legal consultation and strong, dedicated legal representation.