New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer

     The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1990, protects New Jersey residents from various abuses, and usually results in a restraining order.  To qualify as Domestic Violence, two tests must be met.  The victim and the accused must be in a domestic relationship, meaning they must mutual household member, have children in common or be in a spousal or dating relationship. Secondly, there must be a predicate act, an assault, harrassment, etc.  Contact a NJ Domestic Violence Lawyer today for a free consultation.


What are consequences of being convicted for Domestic Violence?

If you are found to have committed Domestic Violence you will face fines, may have a restraining order (no contact order) entered against you, and be ordered to pay temporary child support and alimony.  Your name will be entered into the Domestic Violence Registry, a permanent database of all domestic violence offenders in New Jersey.  Domestic Violence may also be used as a reason for Divorce in NJ.  These cases need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and so are far simpler to prove, and so a hiring a New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorney is a stongly advisable.

Additionally, you may face criminal sactions and even jail time if you are found guilty in a criminal trial of one of the predicate offenses listed below.  Because of this, it is important to defend yourself with an experienced criminal defense attorney.


What constitutes Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence in NJ is defined by its predicate offenses, these include:

Homicide - 2C:11-1

Assault - 2C:12-1

Terroristic Threats - 2C:12-3

Kidnapping - 2C:13-1

Criminal Restraint - 2C:13-2

False Imprisonment - 2C:13-3

Sexual Assault - 2C:14-2

Lewdness - 2C:14-4

Criminal Mischief - 2C:17-3

Burglary - 2C:18-2

Criminal Trespass - 2C:18-3

Harassment - 2C:33-4

Stalking - 2C:12-10


What do I do if I have been accused of Domestic Violence?

If you have been accused of Domestic Violence or have violated the terms of a prior New Jersey restraining order it is urgent that you defend yourself, and have an experienced  NJ Domestic Violence Lawyer on your side.  Many reports are bogus, and made for the purpose of kicking you out of the home, for revenge, or a variety of other reasons.  No matter the case, you still must defend yourself or face harsh penalties. The Domestic Viloence lawyers of Avery & Avery, have dealt with thousands of these  matters as both Judge and Defense counsel. Call us at 201-943-2445 for a free consultation, and bring the law on your side today.


What do I do if I have been the victim of Domestic Violence?

If you have been the victim of Domestic Violence in NJ, please contact your local police department, Domestic Violence is not just against women, in 2010 25% of all Domestic Violence reports were perpetrated against men.  When you go to court, you will be attended to by domestic violence counselors.  The main decision you must make is whether or not you wish to get a restraining order.  If you decide to pursue a NJ restraining order your significant other will mostly be enjoined from the family home (if there is one) and a hearing will be had within the next few weeks.  At the hearing you will decide whether or not to pursue criminal charges and a permanent restraining order.  


How do I get a restraining order?

If you have been the victim of domestic violence you may get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), by reporting to your local police department.  If the officers find probable cause that there was domestic violence they petition a judge to issue the TRO immediately.  

After a TRO has been issued, all the parties will be called into court on the next available court date, where there will be a hearing on whether a Final Restraining Order (FRO) should be issued.  An FRO will remain in place essentially forever, and can come up on employment background checks, and as such contacting a NJ Restraining Order Lawyer is highly advisable.


What are the benefits of a restraining order?

NJ restraining orders can cover a large field of activity.  It can order:

  • The Defendant be barred from seeing the victim;
  • The Defendant be bared from all contact with the victim, including through others, e-mail, text, telephone, etc;
  • Defend be barred from going near the victims home, job, school, or any other location if there is a strong likihood of contact;
  • An award of temporary custody of any unemancipated children to the victim; 
  • An award of temporary possession of an automobile or home.
  • And many other actions that the court deems appropriate for the safety and welfare of the victim and any minor children.


Frequently Asked Questions

I was the victim, do I need a domestic violence lawyer?

The answer depends on whether or not you wish to pursue a restraining order and if the defendant wishes to dispute the cause of action.  It is highly unadvisable to puruse a domestic violence restraining order by yourself if the other party has an attorney.  You will be held to the same standards in presenting your case as an attorney, and because of this it is often quite difficult for an unrepresented party to prevail when confronted by an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer.

I only accidentally struck the victim?

Accidental assault happens fairly frequently and may be a defense in some circumstances.  New Jersey's assault statute, 2C:12-1, allows prosecution of this offense even if it is not purposeful however.  Even so, every case is very fact sensitive and require careful review, for a free consultation, please call 201-943-2445 to schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense experts.

The police are about to arrest me, what do I do?

In nearly all circumstances we tell our clients it is best to remain silent until they have consulted with us.  The police will try to have you implicate yourself, it is imperative you do not give them any more ammunition in order to convict you with.  If you are about to be arrested or have been, do not talk to anyone until you contact our criminal defense team.

The 'victim' wishes to drop all charges, does this mean I am safe?

Often times prosecutor's will drop charges if the victim contacts them and asks to drop the charges.  This is not a given however, and it is still in the prosecutors discretion to move forward with the case.  They will often pursue cases in which there are aggravating circumstances such as the use of weapons or actions against public employees.

What is the difference between 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Disorderly, and Petty Disorderly Persons Assault in NJ?

The difference is in the gradation of the offense.  The gradation of a NJ assault offense, as outlined above, generally depend on the circumstances and likihood or actual injury to the 'victim'.  A 2nd degree assault charge has the potential to land you in prison for up to 10 years.  For a 3rd degree assault, the possible jail time is a presumptive 3-5 years in prison.  This is a very dangerous crime to be charged with.  For a 4th degree assault charge, the possible jail time is 18 months in prison.  For a Disorderly Persons grade of assault, you will face a maximum possible 6 months of jail.  And for a petty disorderly offense you may face up to 30 days in jail.

Beyond prison time and fines, assault charges are viewed harshly by potential employers and may dramatically hinder your employment.  Because of this it is even more important to be defended by experienced criminal defense attorney's such as Avery & Avery.  For a free consultation, we invite you to contact us at 201-943-2445.

I am under 18 years old, how does the NJ Assault laws affect me?

Assault, like most crimes in NJ treat juveniles similarly to adults.  Because minors are often treated the same, under some circumstances they may face up to 10 years in prison.  Because of this it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately.  

If they have caught me and there are no defenses, what can I do?

In some situations the police have caught the defendant dead to rights and there are no defenses.  In situations like these we have often been successful in downgrading the offense to a far lesser penalty and no jail time.  Another approach is to enter our client into a diversionary program such as Pre Trial Intervention (PTI)  or Conditional Discharge (CD).  These programs provide the benefit of no jail time and no criminal record.  We have been successful with combinations of the two as well when dealing with high level offenders.

I have been convicted for Assault before, but in another state, how does this affect the case?

New Jersey's assault law does not specifically include a step up provision for repeat offenders, and therefore there is not necessarily any increase in penalties. Judge's do however take note of prior offenses in their sentencing decisions and will more often than not give greater, if not maximal, sentences for repeat offenders.  If you have been caught in any state including NJ for assault or other related offenses it is even more urgent to be represented by a compentent criminal defense attorney. 

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