Judges Cracking Down on Domestic Violence

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

Across the country, judges are cracking down on domestic violence, opting for harsher sentences and fines. It's more crucial than ever that defendants in these cases have solid representation. A good criminal defense lawyer will not only advocate for the accused but also help navigate the complexities of the legal system. 

The Lento Law Firm has skilled criminal defense attorneys ready to help with your domestic violence case. If you've been accused, we can help. Contact our team at 888-535-3686 or use our online form to request a consultation. 

Increase in Domestic Violence Cases 

Domestic violence penalties in New Jersey vary by degree. Simple assault and harassment come with up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The most severe form, which includes homicide, can lead to a lifetime sentence. But in general, New Jersey domestic violence tends to bring 5-10 years in prison. 

As one recent case demonstrates, though, judges are increasingly choosing the higher end of that sentence. A Minotola man plead guilty to attacking his girlfriend with a folding knife. The judge sentenced him to 10 years, mandating that he serve at least 85 percent of that sentence before being eligible for parole. 

The 10-year sentence, combined with the eligibility requirement, shows the hard line that courts are now taking against domestic violence. They also highlight the importance of a good defense team. 

New Jersey Domestic Violence Penalties 

The Minotola case is an example of how wide-ranging the charges can be when it comes to domestic violence. New Jersey law divides domestic violence offenses into five major categories. 

  • Disorderly persons offenses: This is the misdemeanor level of domestic violence in New Jersey. It's typically applied to simple assault and harassment cases. In New Jersey, the maximum fine at this level is $1,000, with the possibility of up to six months in jail. Probation and anger management coursework are also possibilities. 
  • Fourth-degree indictable offenses: This level is the lowest of the felony-level offenses. It's typically applied to charges like lewdness and stalking. The maximum penalty for a fourth-degree indictable offense in New Jersey is $10,000 and 18 months in prison. 
  • Third-degree indictable offenses: The next felony level is assigned to charges like aggravated assault and burglary. You can be sentenced to three to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. 
  • Second-degree indictable offenses: Sexual assault and robbery may fall under this type of felony, which comes with a fine of up to $200,000 and five to ten years in prison. 
  • First-degree indictable offenses: The most serious domestic violence charge in New Jersey is first-degree, which can be applied to crimes like homicide, rape, and kidnapping. The maximum fine is $200,000, with a possible jail time of 10 to 20 years, but if someone is found guilty of murder, jail time can go as far as life imprisonment. 

As the recent case demonstrates, judges use their own discretion in deciding whether to sentence at the low or high end of those ranges. If you've been accused of domestic violence in New Jersey, the right criminal defense attorney can be a great ally. The Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm has the experience necessary to help with your case. Call 888-535-3686 or complete our online form

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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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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