A domestic violence charge in New Jersey can result in serious consequences for the accused person. It’s helpful to understand the potential penalties for domestic violence, defenses that may be available and how an attorney can help.
Domestic violence can include physical, sexual and emotional abuse of a person with whom the accused has a relationship, either past or present. The term relationship includes marriage, separation, divorce, living together in the same household, dating or having a child in common. The abuse can be actual harm or a threat to harm the individual.
Depending on the circumstances of the incident, the accused person may be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. The severity of the charge may depend on prior offenses.
He or she may also be subject to a restraining order. A temporary restraining order may be put in place initially and then the accused may have to attend a hearing for a final restraining order.
A restraining order can prevent him or her from having any contact with the accuser, limit custody or visitation with his or her children and result in not being able to return to the home he or she shares with the accuser.
The accused person may also be photographed, fingerprinted and ordered to pay a fine if the court issues a final restraining order.
Defenses to this charge might include incorrect identification of the accused, evidence that the incident did not occur, self-defense or defense of others.
An experienced attorney can review the incident and provide guidance about next steps.