Are you accused of domestic violence in Hunterdon County, New Jersey? If so, you face very serious criminal allegations against you. Law enforcement and New Jersey prosecutors take domestic violence cases incredibly seriously and often are overzealous in their pursuit of "justice" for the alleged victims. As a result of this, your side of the story may be ignored or not properly investigated unless you are properly represented by an experienced attorney. You deserve to have your rights protected.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, experienced domestic violence defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help. You do not have to go it alone.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence occurs, according to New Jersey law, when "actual or threatened physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse of an individual by someone with whom they have or had an intimate relationship" occurs. For a relationship to qualify as "intimate" under state law, it must be of a certain nature such as:
- (ex) boyfriend/girlfriend,
- people with children together,
- separation, or
- cohabitation in the present or past
If the relationship is not "intimate" under the law, the illegal act is not considered domestic violence.
Which offenses are considered domestic violence in Hunterdon County?
According to the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, only certain criminal offenses can be considered domestic violence, and only if the below listed offenses occur against a person with whom you were in an intimate relationship. The act lists the following crimes as possible domestic violence offenses:
- Contempt of a domestic violence order and
- Criminal sexual contact
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- Any crime that includes the risk of serious bodily injury or death
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal coercion
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Hunterdon County
The severity of the penalty for your domestic violence charge depends on the severity of the underlying offense. If the underlying offense is a higher-level charge, your domestic violence conviction penalties will increase accordingly.
Third Degree Charges:
- Prison sentence of 3 to 5 years in prison, and
- a fine of up to $15,000.
Second Degree Charges:
- Prison sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison, and
- a fine of up to $150,000.
First Degree Charges:
- Prison sentence of 10 to 20 years,
- fine of up to $200,000.
- If the crime is murder, the prison sentence could be much longer.
Due to the potential severity of the penalties, you need to fight back against these charges with the best possible representation at your side. An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight for your constitutional rights and your future.
Hunterdon County Courts
Depending on the severity of the offense with which you are charged, your case could remain in municipal court, or it will be transferred to the Superior Court if the case is a felony.
In Hunterdon County, the Hunterdon County Superior Court handles felony criminal cases, and is located at:
65 Park Ave, Flemington, NJ 08822
There are 23 different municipal courts throughout Hunterdon County that handle misdemeanor cases and the initial stages of felony cases.
Consult a Hunterdon County Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love is facing allegations of domestic violence in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, you need the best possible defense. You could face high fines, years in prison, and the loss of your constitutional rights. You deserve to have the best possible protection of these rights.
For a consultation, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento by phone at 888-535-3686 or online.