Hamilton Township Restraining Order Attorney

Have you received a temporary restraining order in Hamilton Township, NJ? The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team can help. Call on 888.535.3686 to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. In the meantime, read on to learn how restraining orders work in Hamilton Township and how an attorney can help you defend yourself.

What Is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, or "RO," prohibits one person – the defendant – from contacting or engaging with the alleged victim (known as the petitioner) in certain ways. The goal is to stop the defendant from contacting the alleged victim or being in a certain proximity to them. The courts normally grant ROs in situations where there are domestic violence allegations or related crimes.

Are There Different Types of Restraining Orders?

Yes. The two main types are temporary restraining orders (TROs) and final restraining orders (FROs).

Temporary restraining orders are just that – temporary. They usually only last around 10 days or until a hearing takes place. Final restraining orders are permanent. You need a court's approval to end a FRO once it's granted.

What Happens if the Police Serve a Restraining Order?

If the police serve you with a restraining order, follow their instructions. Failing to cooperate only makes the situation worse and could lead to your arrest. If you live with the alleged victim, this could mean leaving your home – and belongings – immediately, but you must comply.

Check the TRO and make sure you understand it. You should have a note of the time, date, and location of your court hearing. It's usually around 10 days after the granting of the TRO. Immediately call an attorney and explain the situation. You are entitled to legal representation at the hearing – it's highly recommended that you exercise this legal right.

Where Will the FRO Hearing Take Place?

Your FRO hearing is your chance to demonstrate to the court why the petitioner does not need protection. It's your chance to have the order dismissed so you can get on with your life.

The TRO may be issued by Hamilton Township's Municipal Court. However, your hearing may not take place there. Instead, your court hearing could be within the Family Division of the Mercer County Superior Court. The court is located on Broad Street in Trenton, NJ 08608.

Regular business hours are 8.30 am - 4.30 pm, Monday through Friday. Restraining orders may be issued out-of-hours, but FRO hearings are always within court hours.

What Are the Outcomes of a FRO Hearing?

There are two possible outcomes.

  • The judge may agree that the petitioner needs protection. The temporary restraining order becomes a final restraining order. It can only be canceled or vacated after a further court hearing.
  • The judge could find in the defendant's favor. The TRO ends, and the case is dismissed. The restrictions on the defendant's end.

Your attorney can explain the outcomes in more detail as they relate to your case.

What Are the Consequences of a Final Restraining Order?

The consequences vary depending on the restrictions imposed and your life circumstances. For example, if you have children with the alleged victim, you may be unable to see them or contact them while the order is in force. A FRO may affect a custody decision if you're going through a divorce or separation.

Other consequences include being unable to apply for certain jobs or being unable to maintain a professional license. You may be unable to go to work if you work at the same place as the alleged victim. Such consequences could affect your livelihood or employment prospects.

Social consequences can't be underestimated, either. For example, if you have friends or family in common with the alleged victim, you may be unable to attend major social events if they'll also be there.

Given how serious these consequences can be, you need to act quickly to mitigate the outcome as far as possible.

Can I Appeal Restraining Orders in Hamilton Township?

You may have the right to appeal a final restraining order issued in Hamilton Township or elsewhere in Mercer County. Before you can appeal a FRO, though, you need grounds for an appeal. Grounds for an appeal include, but are not limited to:

  • Errors in how the judge applied the law or rules of evidence.
  • Judge's failure to consider all the pertinent facts of the case.
  • Judge's failure to evaluate the facts properly.
  • Errors in how the judge presented their decision, e.g., they didn't fully explain the rationale behind their decision.

You only have 45 days from the date of the FRO hearing to appeal the judge's decision. It's crucial that you act swiftly. Contact an attorney for help immediately if you have not already done so.

What Happens if I Violate the Restraining Order?

A restraining order violation can be considered a criminal offense known as contempt. You may be arrested and incur criminal charges. If you're then found guilty of violating the RO, you could face jail time or financial penalties.

Restraining order violations are serious. They can be avoided by ensuring that you understand the terms of your RO and always erring on the side of caution. If the petitioner contacts you, do not respond, even if you wish to reconcile. Instead, contact an attorney immediately for advice on how to proceed.

Get Help From the Lento Law Firm Defense Attorneys

Restraining orders can be intimidating, but you don't need to face this challenge alone. Instead, you can retain the Lento Law Firm. Their Criminal Defense Team understand what you're going through, and they want to help you tell your side of the story.

Whether you seek to have the restraining order dismissed or you're trying to mitigate the long-term consequences of a restraining order, we can assist. We will explain your options and help you make an informed decision as to how you might proceed.

We work across Mercer County to help clients get the help and support they deserve. Don't struggle any longer with a restraining order matter. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888.535.3686 or tell our lawyers about your case.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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