NJ Contempt of Court Defense Lawyer

      Contempt of Court is one of the most common ways people get into trouble after having a restraining order entered against them.  These charges can cost you years of your life in prison, large fines, and a criminal record.  With over 40 years experience with Contempt of Court cases in NJ as Judge, Prosecutor, and private defense counsel, the Attorneys of Avery & Avery should be your front line of defense if you have been issued Contempt of Court or Domestic Violence charges.  For a free consultation, we invite you to contact one of our Attorneys at 201-943-2445.

The following is a copy of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9, the NJ statute which governs criminal penalties regarding contempt of court:

Contempt of Court Full Title: N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9

a. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if he purposely or knowingly disobeys a judicial order or protective order, pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1985, c. 250 (C.2C:28-5.1), or hinders, obstructs or impedes the effectuation of a judicial order or the exercise of jurisdiction over any person, thing or controversy by a court, administrative body or investigative entity.

b. Except as provided below, a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if that person purposely or knowingly violates any provision in an order entered under the provisions of the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c. 261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.) or an order entered under the provisions of a substantially similar statute under the laws of another state or the United States when the conduct which constitutes the violation could also constitute a crime or a disorderly persons offense. In all other cases a person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if that person knowingly violates an order entered under the provisions of this act or an order entered under the provisions of a substantially similar statute under the laws of another state or the United States. Orders entered pursuant to paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (8) and (9) of subsection b. of section 13 of P.L.1991, c. 261 (C.2C:25-29) or substantially similar orders entered under the laws of another state or the United States shall be excluded from the provisions of this subsection.

As used in this subsection, “state” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan native village, which is recognized by a federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does a charge for a violation of a restraining order affect me?

Beyond the obvious affect of time spent in jail, a criminal record and having a restraining order against you are both discoverable by employers.  This often leads to trouble obtaining a new job or the maintaining of current employment.  These are the consequences people often forget when dealing with restraining orders and violations there of, and why an experienced NJ Restraining Order Attorney is essential.  

What is the difference between fourth (4th) degree and disorderly persons violations of restraining orders?

The difference is in how the restraining order was violated.  If you violate it by a mere phone call, without more, should be a disorderly persons offense.  If however the violation involves a separate NJ offense such as harassment or stalking, you may be charged with a fourth degree violation of restraining order.  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 NJ Restraining Order 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.

Can the 'victim' drop the charges after the arrest or court proceedings have started?

The 'victim' in a domestic violence or restraining order violation does not have final authority to have the case dropped.  Once the accusations are made the case is in the hands of the prosecutor.  

That is not to say that the victim has no say in the case.  NJ prosecutors are often persuaded by the victim to drop the case as they are the main witness in the prosecution.  This must however be a willing and non coerced request by the victim and the court will go to great lengths to make sure this is the case.

How much is the bail for a NJ violation of restraining order?

Bail for contempt of court (violating restraining order) is set by the Judge assigned the case.  The amounts involved are set by the Statewide Bail Schedule, a copy of which is here.  Generally for a Disorderly Persons level violation the bail will be anywhere from $500 to $2,500.  For a fourth degree violation, the bail will be between $1,000 and $2,500.   A 10% cash option is sometimes available in these cases to reduce the burden.  

How does a conviction for a violation of a restraining order affect me?

Beyond the obvious affect of time spent in jail, a criminal record and having a restraining order against you are both discoverable by employers.  This often leads to trouble obtaining a new job or the maintaining of current employment.  These are the consequences people often forget when dealing with restraining orders and violations there of, and why an experienced NJ Restraining Order Attorney is essential.  

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

In some situations the there is irrefutable evidence that a violation of a restraining order did occur.  In such cases we are often able to help our clients eliminate some charges and have the penalties for others dramatically reduced, avoiding jail time and excessive fines.  

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