The state of New Jersey passed the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act to protect victims of domestic violence. The law details a provision that encourages victims to obtain a restraining order which restricts the contact an alleged offender can have with a victim.
Numerous temporary and final restraining orders are issued in Mercer County courts every year. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a restraining order, its issuance will affect your life. At worst, defendants have found themselves unable to return to their own homes and have been kept from seeing their children.
New Jersey Restraining Orders
There are two types of restraining orders in New Jersey: Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) and Final Restraining Orders (FROs). A judge will ultimately decide the issuance of both.
If this is your first rodeo, there's a high likelihood that you've been issued a TRO. This means you've been served with an order and the date of the final hearing, which should be held sometime within the next few weeks.
It's 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 issues a FRO, removes it, or issues a further court order.
FROs are a permanent replacement of TROs. In New Jersey, there is no time limit on FROs. Before these orders are implemented, what's known as a “final hearing” will be held at the Family Division of the Mercer County Superior Court. Both you and the victim will be given an opportunity to provide testimony to consider in the decision to issue (or refute issuing) a FRO.
To say that you should have 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 for you that can significantly turn the tide of this legal battle.
Violating a Restraining Order
If you're thinking about contacting the plaintiff despite a TRO or FRO, it'd be in your best interest to reconsider. Violating a restraining order is a criminal offense in Mercer 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 Mercer 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.