Domestic violence allegations stemming from an incident in Warren County, New Jersey can easily derail your future and take away your freedom. Domestic violence can be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the underlying offense. In either case, the potential for high fines and lengthy prison sentences is high, especially because law enforcement takes these types of cases very seriously.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Warren County, New Jersey, experienced domestic violence defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help. His knowledge and experience can make a difference in your case.
Domestic Violence Cases in Warren County
According to New Jersey state law, domestic violence is defined as 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 people involved in the incident must be in an "intimate" relationship as defined by New Jersey law. A relationship will be deemed to be intimate under the law if it is any of the following:
- a marriage,
- cohabitation between the individuals occurred in the present or past,
- separation after a previous qualifying relationship,
- boyfriend/girlfriend (or an ex), or
- people who have children together.
If the relationship does not meet this definition, the case is not domestic violence, but may still be another charge.
Domestic Violence: What Offenses Qualify?
The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act lists eighteen different offenses that can be considered domestic violence if the offense is committed against a person with whom you are in an "intimate relationship." The act lists the following crimes as possible domestic violence offenses:
- Sexual assault
- Contempt of a domestic violence order
- Criminal trespass
- False imprisonment
- Criminal sexual contact
- Any crime that includes the risk of serious bodily injury or death
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal coercion
Penalties: Domestic Violence in Warren County
The more serious the penalty for the underlying offense, the more serious the penalty for domestic violence. Your potential charges are based upon the level of the underlying offense.
- 3rd Degree Offense: Possible prison sentence of 3 to 5 years. A fine of $15,000 may also be imposed.
- 2nd Degree Offense: Possible prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years. A fine of up to $150,000 may also be imposed.
- 1st Degree Offense: 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 Warren 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.
In Warren County, the Warren County Superior Court handles felony criminal cases, and is located at:
413 Second Street
Belvidere, NJ 07823
There are 21 different municipal courts throughout the county that handle misdemeanor cases and the initial stages of felony cases.
Consult a Warren County Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you or someone you care for is facing allegations of domestic violence in Warren 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.