New Jersey's Prevention of Domestic Violence Act was enacted in 1982 to protect victims of domestic violence. This law includes a provision that permits victims to obtain a restraining order which limits the contact an alleged offender can have with a victim.
Thousands of temporary and final restraining orders are issued in Salem County courts each year. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a restraining order, its issuance will affect your life in many ways. In the worst scenarios, defendants have found themselves unable to return to their own homes and have been kept from seeing their own children.
New Jersey Restraining Orders
There are two different types of restraining orders in New Jersey: Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) and Final Restraining Orders (FROs). A judge will ultimately determine the validity and issuance of both.
If this is your first time being issued a restraining order, there's a high likelihood that you've been served a TRO. From here on you'll be informed of the date of a final hearing, which should be conducted sometime within the next few weeks.
It's highly recommended that you cooperate throughout this process. Law enforcement will be ordered to seize your firearms, and if you live with the plaintiff (the victim), you may be asked to leave your home until the TRO expires. When it comes to vacating your home, it's important to note that your ownership of the residence won't have any bearing on your obligation to move out. Regardless, you will be forced to leave.
TROs last until a judge removes it, issues a further court order, or issues a FRO.
FROs are essentially a permanent replacement of TROs. In New Jersey, there is no time limit on FROs. Before this order is implemented, the final hearing will be held at the Salem County Courthouse. Both you and the plaintiff will be given an opportunity to provide testimony to consider the decision to issue (or refute issuing) a FRO.
To say that you need a criminal defense attorney by your side during this hearing is an understatement. These hearings are decided by the strength of either side's arguments and evidence. An attorney can build a solid defense that can significantly turn the tide of your legal circumstances.
Violating a Restraining Order
Perhaps you want to reconcile with the plaintiff or give a heartfelt apology for how things turned out. My best advice would be to wait it out. Contacting a plaintiff despite the issuance of a TRO or FRO is a criminal offense in Salem County. You'll be charged with criminal contempt charges that could potentially result in jail time and hefty fines.
Have You Been Issued a Restraining Order in Salem County? Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
The threat of domestic violence is a serious matter that shouldn't be undermined. Due to the nature of these cases, however, much of what transpired is up for speculation. Essentially, it's your word against your the victim's, and in a situation with such high stakes, it's imperative you have reliable legal counsel to defend you.
Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm has extensive experience and knowledge in this legal area, as he's helped many people in this predicament navigate the legal process. He can do the same for you. For more information about how to successfully defend your restraining order, contact him today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.