Maybe you're here because you were served with a restraining order, and you're not sure what comes next. A New Jersey restraining order can have a severe impact on your life.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is a legal document ordered by a judge, restricting a specific individual from engaging with another named person. Often they are used as a preventative measure to protect against instances of domestic violence. These documents usually specify the length of time for the restraining order, as well as a set distance that must be honored. A restraining order is court-ordered, and as such, if the defendant and the alleged victim reconcile, they still must honor the restraining order. Doing otherwise could result in criminal charges. In Trenton, NJ (and throughout the state), there are two types of restraining orders: temporary restraining orders (TROs) and final restraining orders (FROs).
Do You Need A Lawyer to Defend Against A Restraining Order?
With such a high-stakes hearing, it's important that you not attempt to navigate a restraining order on your own. Having a lawyer who can represent you at the hearing evens the playing field.
Where Is the Restraining Order Hearing Held in Trenton?
Regardless of where you live in Mercer County, your restraining order hearing will be held at the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton, NJ. The building is located at 175 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08650.
It's important that you not confuse this building with the Municipal Court, which is located on North Clinton Avenue and handles cases specific to Trenton City.
Most civil proceedings at the Mercer County Courthouse take place on the second floor of the building. Ensure that you arrive with plenty of time to park and meet with your attorney prior to the hearing. An experienced attorney will be familiar with the judges, clerks, and paralegals who work at the courthouse.
What Are the Potential Consequences of a Restraining Order?
A restraining order can have several implications, whether it is a TRO or FRO. Although they are civil cases and don't have the same possible criminal penalties, judges have the potential to order child support, change child custody (suspend or alter it), limit your ability to possess a firearm. Between the TRO and FRO, an FRO has more serious consequences. You will be photographed, fingerprinted, and fined. N.J.S.A. 2C:25-31 details the penalties associated with violations of FROs. If an FRO is allegedly violated, you will face a mandatory arrest, and a violation could include something as small as sending a text message. The second time there's a violation, “any person convicted of a second or subsequent nonindictable domestic violence contempt offense shall serve a minimum term of not less than 30 days.”
Best Restraining Order Attorney for Trenton, NJ
Have you received a temporary restraining order in Trenton or any of the towns or cities throughout Mercer County? If so, it's critical that you find an experienced and skilled attorney who can help you navigate the hearing process and defend you. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have many years of experience assisting people with restraining orders and related criminal charges. Call 888.535.3685 or contact us online to get help today!