Allegations of domestic violence are incredibly serious, and often lead to very harsh criminal sanctions in Sussex County, New Jersey. Prosecutors and law enforcement throughout the county are on high alert for cases that may constitute domestic violence and will pursue these cases vigorously. Because of this high focus, many cases are brought when the situation does not warrant it, or with much higher charges than is appropriate for the situation. When this is the case, you deserve to have your rights protected.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Sussex County, New Jersey, experienced domestic violence defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help.
What is Domestic Violence in Sussex County?
According to New Jersey statutes, domestic violence is 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 requires that the relationship between the individuals be "intimate" as defined by the law. A relationship is deemed to be intimate if it is meets any of the following:
- cohabitation in the present or past,
- boyfriend/girlfriend (or an ex), or
- people who have children together.
Crimes that Can Be Domestic Violence
The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is a New Jersey law that describes 18 criminal offenses that may also constitute domestic violence if and when they are committed against a person in an intimate relationship. These offenses include:
- Sexual assault
- False imprisonment
- Criminal sexual contact
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal coercion
- Contempt of a domestic violence order, and
- Any crime that involves the risk of death or serious bodily injury
If any of these crimes are committed against a person that is not in an intimate relationship, they are still crimes, but not domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Penalties in Sussex County
Domestic violence penalties depend on what underlying offense you are accused of having committed. All of the crimes listed above vary in severity, and the penalties change depending on the seriousness of the underlying offense.
- First Degree Offenses: prison sentence of between 10 and 20 years. A fine of up to $200,000 may also be sentenced. If the crime is murder, prison time may be much higher.
- Second Degree Offenses: prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years in prison. A fine of up to $150,000 may also be sentenced.
- Third Degree Offenses: prison sentence of 3 to 5 years in prison. A fine of $15,000 may also be sentenced.
Courts in Sussex County
Depending on the severity of your charges, your case could stay in municipal court, or be transferred to the Superior Court if the case is a felony. There are multiple municipal courts in Sussex County that handle domestic violence cases. In addition to the Superior Court listed below, a list of several municipal courts follow below:
Sussex County Superior Court
43-47 High St,
Newton, NJ 07860
Wantage Municipal Court
888 NJ-23 #1,
Wantage, NJ 07461
Andover Township Municipal Court
134 Newton Sparta Rd,
Newton, NJ 07860
Hamburg Municipal Court
11 Orchard St.
Hamburg, NJ 07419
Byram Municipal Court
10 Mansfield Dr.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
Jefferson Municipal Court
1033 Weldon Rd.
Oak Ridge, NJ 07438
Hopatcong Borough Municipal Court
111 River Styx Rd.
Hopatcong, NJ 07843
Consult a Sussex County Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you or someone you care for is facing allegations of domestic violence in Sussex County, New Jersey, you need a highly experienced attorney who can protect your constitutional rights. Your rights deserve to be protected.
For a consultation, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento by phone at 888-535-3686 or online.