Frank Gore, a former NFL running back, was recently arrested and charged with allegedly committing domestic violence. In the criminal complaint, the state of New Jersey accused Gore of forcibly gripping the alleged victim by the hair and violently dragging her, while nude, onto the Tropicana Atlantic City casino floor. While the woman did not exhibit signs of injury and did not file a complaint against Gore that night, Gore is expected to appear in court sometime in mid-October to adjudicate the charges.
What Is Domestic Violence?
In New Jersey, domestic violence is a pattern of physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse. This violence includes threats, intimidation, financial control, and isolation. The difference between domestic violence and assault and battery is the requirement of a relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim. For instance, any person can be the victim of domestic violence if he/she and the defendant:
- Share a child in common
- Anticipated having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant
- Are involved in, or were involved in, a dating relationship
Victims of domestic violence have the power to file criminal complaints, which are designed to protect them and punish the alleged abuser. But what happens when there are no signs of injury and the victim doesn't want to file a complaint when police arrive? Can a defendant still be charged?
Unfortunately, yes. Domestic violence, as explained above, can include verbal and emotional abuse. Physical injuries do not need to be present for police to charge an individual with domestic violence.
What Happens After a Domestic Violence Charge?
Generally, after a domestic violence charge, the alleged victim will be encouraged to petition the court for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). A TRO is a court order that prevents the defendant from being within a certain distance of the alleged victim. The judge may also decide to add that the:
- Abuser is prohibited from returning to the scene of the incident
- Abuser is required to reimburse the victim for any medical expenses the defendant's actions caused
- Victim has sole temporary custody of the children
- Abuser is required to pay temporary child support
- Victim is given exclusive possession of the residence
- Abuser is prohibited from having any contact with the victim or their relatives, whether by phone or in writing
- Abuser is prohibited from having firearms or weapons in their possession
Once the victim receives their TRO, the judge will determine if a final restraining order is appropriate. If they do, the defendant and alleged victim will be given another hearing date. Usually, this second hearing takes place ten days after the first. If the judge determines that a final restraining order is warranted, they will order it, specifying when it ends, and if it has an end date – some do not.
How A Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
In addition to temporary and final restraining orders, domestic violence charges can carry hefty prison sentences – especially if this is not your first offense. A skilled criminal defense attorney will work tirelessly to ensure you are not subject to any unnecessary punishments.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent years helping individuals charged with domestic violence build strong defenses. They will be with you every step of the way. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.