A proposed new law, if passed by New Jersey lawmakers, would create a public registry that identifies everyone who has been convicted of domestic violence or who has a restraining order against them. If this bill passes, the registry will be public, and anyone can check the registry and get information about domestic violence convictions and restraining orders against you. For example, imagine that you have a date planned with someone you just met on a dating app. She cancels at the last minute…because she checked the registry and saw that you had a domestic violence conviction or restraining order against you. The relationship is over before you even get the chance to explain the circumstances or give your side of the story.
What Does This Mean for You?
This could impact you in several ways. First, police officers would be required to consult the registry when making arrests. This could mean more trouble for you even in circumstances that are completely unrelated to domestic violence.
Secondly, the public access to this registry can do serious damage to your reputation. No one wants to be known as a domestic violence offender. Maybe you feel that the charges against you were unfair or the facts of the case were not presented honestly. There are a variety of underlying charges that can fall under the category of domestic violence, including the following:
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
Any domestic violence conviction, final restraining order, or violation of a restraining order will land you on the registry. The registry will include the following information on each offender:
- Name and aliases
- A summary of the crime (domestic violence conviction or restraining order)
- Personal information including your date of birth and a description of your physical appearance
- Your photograph
- Information on your vehicle
- Your address
A central registry already exists for domestic violence offenders, but it is not public. The central registry is only accessible to law enforcement officers and owners of gun shops.
The registry would create a lot of potential for people to check into your background. Employers could check the registry before offering you a job. Potential dates or romantic partners could check the registry, and they might cut ties with you as a result. There are many collateral consequences to a domestic violence conviction or restraining order, and those consequences would be heightened if the proposed registry becomes law.
If you were to be added to the registry by mistake, you would have to petition to have your information removed from the registry, which would take some time (during which you would be publicly labeled as a domestic violence offender).
A domestic violence charge or restraining order against you can be a serious threat to your reputation, your employment, your financial stability, and your future. The process interrupts your life, calls your character into question, and costs you money; and if this new law is passed, it would also label you publicly as a domestic violence offender. This proposed law has the potential for far-reaching fallout.
If you are charged with domestic violence or issued a restraining order, it is more important than ever that you retain an experienced attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a New Jersey criminal defense attorney, and he knows how to protect you and your livelihood from a domestic violence or restraining order case.
These types of charges can have a lasting negative effect on your life. It can interfere with your relationships, your job, and much more. The best way to handle this is to get Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Team on your side to guide you through this process and protect you.
If you are faced with a domestic violence charge or restraining order, your future could be at stake. Don't take chances. Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to discuss your options.