If you have been accused of domestic violence in Middlesex County, New Jersey, you need to act fast to protect your rights. The potential penalties for a domestic violence conviction can be incredibly high, including tens of thousands in fines and years in prison. You also face the risk of the loss of certain constitutional rights and collateral impacts on your ability to gain or maintain employment. Domestic violence charges carry a great deal of stigma, but you deserve to have your side of the story heard, and your case defended by a highly experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Middlesex County, New Jersey, experienced domestic violence defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help. You do not have to fight these charges alone.
Domestic Violence in Middlesex County
As defined by New Jersey law, domestic violence is the "threatened or actual physical, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse of a person by another with whom they have or had an intimate relationship."
The law makes it necessary that the relationship between the individuals involved be "intimate" as defined by New Jersey statutes. A relationship will is deemed to intimate under the law if it is any of the following:
- a marriage,
- separation after a previous qualifying relationship,
- cohabitation between the individuals occurred in the present or past,
- boyfriend/girlfriend (or an ex), or
- people who have children together.
Offenses That Qualify as Domestic Violence
18 possible offenses may also be considered domestic violence if committed against those individuals that qualify as "intimate partners" according to the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. The act lists the following crimes as possible domestic violence offenses:
- Terroristic threats
- Contempt of a domestic violence order and
- False imprisonment
- Criminal sexual contact
- Sexual assault
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal coercion
- Any crime that includes the risk of serious bodily injury or death
Domestic Violence Penalties in Middlesex County
The seriousness of the penalties for domestic violence is connected to the underlying offense upon which it is based. Below is a list of the potential penalties you may face if convicted.
- Third Degree Charge: Possible prison sentence of 3 to 5 years. A fine of $15,000 may also be imposed.
- Second Degree Charge: Possible prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years. A fine of up to $150,000 may also be imposed.
- First Degree Charge: Possible prison sentence of anywhere between 10 and 20 years. A fine of up to $200,000 may also be imposed. If the crime is murder, the time spent in prison can be much higher.
Courts in Middlesex County
Depending on the level of your charges, your case may remain in municipal court, or it may instead be transferred to the Superior Court if the case is a felony domestic violence charge.
In Middlesex County, the Middlesex Superior Court handles felony criminal cases, and is located at:
56 Paterson St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0964
There are 24 different municipal courts throughout Middlesex County that deal with misdemeanor cases and the initial stages of felony cases.
Contact a Middlesex County Domestic Violence Attorney
If you or someone you love faces allegations of domestic violence in Middlesex County, New Jersey, you need a highly experienced attorney who can defend your case and protect your constitutional rights.
For a consultation, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento by phone at 888-535-3686 or online.