Are you charged with domestic violence in Union County, New Jersey? If so, your freedom is at risk. Domestic violence charges are taken very seriously in New Jersey by law enforcement and prosecutors alike. As a result, you could face higher than appropriate charges for the situation, or even be charged with a crime when you should not be. With a highly experienced criminal defense attorney at your side, you can rest assured that you have a strong defense available to you and that your constitutional rights are protected.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Union County, New Jersey, experienced domestic violence defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help. You do not have to do this alone.
Understanding Domestic Violence in New Jersey
Domestic violence is defined as the "actual or threatened physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse of an individual by someone with whom they have or had an intimate relationship." New Jersey statutory law requires that the relationship involved in the offense be "intimate" in order for the case to be considered domestic violence.
A relationship will be deemed intimate if it is any one of the relationships listed below:
- (ex) boyfriend/girlfriend,
- people with children together,
- separation, or
- cohabitation in the present or past
What charges constitute domestic violence in Union County?
If any of the crimes listed below are committed against an intimate partner in Union County, they are also then considered domestic violence according to the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. The act lists the following crimes as possible domestic violence offenses:
- Contempt of a domestic violence order and
- False imprisonment
- Criminal sexual contact
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
- Sexual assault
- Criminal coercion
- Any crime that includes the risk of serious bodily injury or death
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Union 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.
- First Degree: May lead to a 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.
- Second Degree: May lead to a prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years in prison. A fine of up to $150,000 may also be imposed.
- Third Degree: May lead to a prison sentence of 3 to 5 years in prison. A fine of $15,000 may also be imposed.
Union County Courts
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.
In Union County, the Union County Superior Court handles felony criminal cases, and is located at:
2 Broad St,
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
There are 21 different municipal courts throughout the county that handle misdemeanor cases and the initial stages of felony cases.
Consult a Union County Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you or someone you care for is facing allegations of domestic violence in Union 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.