It comes as no surprise that being charged with sexual assault or stalking can have serious long-term consequences. Your personal and professional reputation can be tarnished, and if you work in education or healthcare, the accusations may put your job or professional certification at risk. But one of the most challenging—and damaging—side effects of being charged with crimes like assault is the automatic restraining order that comes with it.
These kinds of domestic violence charges can change the trajectory of a person's life, whether they are legitimate or not. It's important to understand just what behaviors can end with someone having a restraining order filed against them.
According to N.J.S.A. 2C§19-3, certain crimes will automatically prompt the filing of a restraining order. Those crimes include:
- Terrorist threats
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
- Cyber harassment
- Criminal coercion
- Contempt of a domestic violence order
- Any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury
The Restraining Order Process
The first step in receiving a restraining order is that the police will serve a defendant with a temporary restraining order (TRO). A hearing will be called within about ten days for the final restraining order, in which a judge will hear testimony and decide whether a final restraining order should be issued.
If a restraining order is put in place after the hearing, your life may change in dramatic fashion, including affecting your contact with your family and obligating you to support family members—or former family members—financially.
What a New Jersey Restraining Order Will Mean for You
If you have a restraining order filed against you, it can seriously impact your ability to work, see your family, or live without serious financial obligations. You may be prohibited from contacting the person who accuses you of domestic violence or assault. This may trigger certain requirements or limitations in your life, and they're invariably challenging:
- Temporary custody of children;
- Financial support or payment of mortgages, rent, or other financial obligations;
- Prohibiting the defendant from contacting the plaintiff, her family, or place of work;
- Prohibiting the defendant from owning or possessing firearms;
- Counseling or therapy; and
- Protection from future violence.
It's essential that you find the right person to listen to your side and help you understand the criminal charges that are being made against you—and that time is of the essence.
If you are facing an automatic restraining order, the Lento Law Firm can help you develop the best possible defense and be sure you are given due process.