New Jersey Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers
In New Jersey, domestic violence is very broadly defined – the occurrence of one or more of the following criminal offenses upon a person protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991: Homicide, Assault, Terroristic threats, Kidnapping, Criminal restraint, False imprisonment, Sexual assault, Criminal sexual contact, Lewdness, Criminal mischief, Burglary, Criminal trespass, Harassment, or Stalking. A “protected person” is anyone that the defendant had a dating relationship with, or a child in common, or anticipates having a child in common (if one of the parties is pregnant). In general, domestic violence is taken more seriously than similar crimes between strangers. Alleged victims of domestic violence have complete, round-the-clock access to the courts for emergency relief. That means that someone can file for a temporary restraining order at any time, and they are usually given instructions by the police on how to do this. It is also mandatory for police to arrest a person accused of domestic violence, in the following cases: There is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence occurred AND EITHER the alleged victim exhibits signs of injury, or there is probably cause to believe that a temporary restraining order has been violated, or a warrant is in effect, or a weapon was used. In other cases, the police have discretion about whether to make an arrest. Once an arrest is made, the case will be referred to the Superior Court. That means that even if the crime was minor (like simple assault) and would otherwise be processed in Municipal Court, it will automatically go to the Superior Court because it is a crime of domestic violence. There, a special prosecutor who specializes in domestic violence cases will be assigned to the case.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Defense Lawyers
Whenever an arrest is made for any kind of domestic violence, the court will enter a temporary restraining order (“TRO”). The terms of the TRO are printed on the order, and it will remain in effect of a set amount of time, at which point the judge will have to review the case and decide whether to vacate the TRO, extend the terms of the TRO, or convert the TRO into a permanent restraining order. This is all done by a Superior Court judge. Regardless of whether the restraining order is temporary or permanent, it must be taken very seriously. Violating the TRO is a separate crime, and you could accumulate a host of new charges just for trying to contact the alleged victim and “work it out.” Also, violating a temporary restraining order will make it much more difficult to negotiate an attractive plea.
Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Approach (Why Us?)
A person charged with domestic violence could be facing a sentence of years in prison along with high fines and other penalties. If you are charged with such a crime you will need a lawyer to protect your rights. Even if the domestic violence charge is a minor one (ex. simple assault), we advise our clients to still consider the case serious because a conviction or guilty plea could seriously affect a person for years into the future. You would also face the possibility of a permanent restraining order, which could seriously affect your ability to find a job. Our firm will fight vigorously for you and help you achieve the best results for your domestic violence case. We are skilled at analyzing the evidence that the state intends to use against you and we fight to exploit any holes in the prosecutor’s case. We also spend a considerable amount of time in negotiating with the prosecutor so that our client’s get the best plea offers possible. Once a plea offer is made, we counsel our clients about whether it makes sense to accept a plea offer or take their case to trial, where the prosecutor would have to prove all of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Free Consultation
If you are charged with any crime, please call us right away for a 100% FREE CONSULTATION, on the phone or in our office. We will review the court documents with you and advise you on what we can do to help you. Remember, the prosecutor’s job is to put people charged with crimes in jail. The prosecutor will not simply listen to your side of the story and drop the case against you. It is important to be represented by a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Please contact us today!
Raff & Raff, LLP
Attorneys at Law
30 Church Street
Paterson, NJ 07505
Tel: (973) 742-1917
Fax: (973) 742-2454