Prior History of Domestic Violence in NJ Restraining Order Case

As part of a request for a domestic violence restraining order in New Jersey, it is required that a history of domestic violence be shown. Without that history being proven before the judge, a restraining order is not permitted. This prior history is an extremely important part of what the person asking for the restraining order must prove, and if he or she does not, your case can be defended.

If you face the possibility of a temporary or final protection order against you in New Jersey, you need an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to defend your case and protect your constitutional rights. There is always hope, don't give up when faced with tough times.

New Jersey Temporary & Final Restraining Order Defense Attorney

With many years of experience working in different roles in the New Jersey justice system, Joseph Lento is a uniquely qualified New Jersey criminal defense attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of how the criminal justice system works, from start to finish.

If you face the imposition of a temporary or final protection order against you in New Jersey and need a comprehensive, customized defense, contact the attorneys at the Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento built his practice on the ideals of customer service and justice and he will fight for your rights and freedom. Call (215) 535-5353 today to schedule your free consultation and discover what Joseph Lento can do to clear your name.

Protection Orders in New Jersey

The reason for a temporary or final protection order is to prevent domestic violence. These orders are designed to protect:

  • A current or former spouse, or other current or former member of a household
  • A current of former individual who someone has had a romantic or dating relationship with
  • Someone they have had a child with or will soon have (if pregnant)

Predicate Acts of Violence

In order to obtain a restraining order in New Jersey, the person requesting the order must prove that a predicate act of violence has occurred. The predicate act of violence need only be one act that has occurred that meets the statutory definition of a predicate act of violence.

This is the first element that the party requesting the restraining order must prove in order to obtain a temporary or permanent restraining order in the State of New Jersey.

History of Domestic Violence

The second element that must be proven before a restraining order can be imposed is that there is a history of domestic violence. This is important because the person requesting the order is required to prove that the order is necessary to prevent against future acts of domestic violence. One instance is not enough to make a case for a restraining order.

The history of domestic violence can be from cases that were charged and convicted, charged but not convicted, or even went unreported. The judge will consider the testimony of all the parties involved as to the incidents of domestic violence that have occurred in the past. Even if uncharged, any of the following acts in the history of a relationship can prove a history of domestic violence:

  • Harassment
  • Assault
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Stalking
  • Sexual Assault
  • Homicide
  • Criminal Restraint
  • Kidnapping
  • False Imprisonment
  • Criminal Sexual Contact
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Burglary
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Robbery
  • Criminal Coercion
  • Contempt of a domestic violence order that constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense
  • Cyber harassment
  • Any other type of crime that involves the risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person who is protected under the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991"

Why is the History Important?

Many people ask, why does there have to be a history of domestic violence, isn't one time enough? Under New Jersey law, however, the purpose of the order is to prevent future acts of domestic violence. To prove this, it is required to show that this is not the first and only time domestic violence has occurred, but that it has occurred in the past.

This "pattern" of domestic violence is needed to show that the risk of future instances of domestic violence is likely and deserves to be protected against. A pattern more clearly illustrates for the judge the true need for the restraining order, rather than the fact that this may have been an isolated incident.

How History of Domestic Violence Can Be Proved

When you face a temporary or final restraining order, the person asking for it will attempt to prove that there was a history of domestic violence, not just the predicate act of domestic violence. He or she will do this through various means, including:

  • the "victim's" own testimony
  • witness testimony (friends, family, kids)
  • police testimony (responding officers)
  • text messages
  • chat messages
  • phone conversations
  • videos or audio recordings

The judge is permitted to consider testimony that shows that violence has occurred in the past, even if it was never reported to law enforcement before. 

Defending Your Case

With the help of your defense attorney, you can call into question the credibility of the witnesses, including the person asking for the restraining order. "He said, she said" evidence can be questioned and called into doubt. If the requesting party is unable to demonstrate a history of domestic violence, he or she will be unable to get the requested temporary or final restraining order.

This can be true even if it is 100% provable that one act of domestic violence has occurred. Without a history of domestic violence, it is very possible that the judge will deny the request for the protection order.

Consult a New Jersey Temporary & Permanent Restraining Order Attorney

If you or someone you care about faces the imposition of a temporary or final restraining order in New Jersey, an experienced New Jersey defense attorney can fight for your rights. Joseph D. Lento has the years of experience necessary to protect your rights. He will analyze your case and tailor a defense to fit your specific needs.

Call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation of your case.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

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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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