Smart Tech and Domestic Violence – Can Using an App Be Abuse?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 28, 2023 | 0 Comments

Smart tech is taking over our homes. Just five or ten years ago, the technology in our homes was pretty much limited to computers, tablets, and phones. Now, it has seeped into every room of the house. Doorbell cameras monitor the exterior of houses all down the block. Refrigerators have video screens and Wi-Fi. You can open and close the garage door, change the temperature on the thermostat, start the dryer, and unlock the house, all from your phone. On one hand, this is all super convenient. But is it TOO much?

Many believe that all of this smart technology is creating a lot of risk. When all of these things can be controlled through an app, all it takes is a password to gain access. If you – even rightfully – access the home through smart tech, a disillusioned ex might take exception and call it domestic violence.

What Is the Definition of Domestic Violence?

According to the State of New Jersey, domestic violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse by someone you've had an intimate relationship with. This can be actual or even threatened abuse. As you can see, this is somewhat vague. The ways in which the use or abuse of smart tech might be construed as domestic violence remains to be seen.

For example, if you were to use an app to turn the thermostat to 90 degrees in your ex's home just to mess with them, could that be considered harassment or domestic abuse? While you may feel that it doesn't meet the standard of abuse, the law is not yet clear, and it is possible that it could be charged as a crime.

After a breakup, you may feel that you have the right to access your former home using smart tech apps. However, the risks associated with this are too high. Regardless of your intentions, it is best to delete those apps and keep all interactions with your ex on the up and up. Domestic violence charges are serious crimes that can have major long-term consequences, so resist the urge to weaponize smart technology.

What Should I Do if I'm Charged with Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence charges can ruin your family, your career, and your finances. While using smart tech may not seem like abuse to you, the law has not yet clearly defined those parameters. These are murky waters. If you find yourself in trouble, you need the Lento Law Firm to guide you through this process and protect your rights. Don't risk your future. The Lento Law Firm can help you fight domestic violence charges in New Jersey. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you should contact our Criminal Defense Team right away at (888) 535-3686 today to discuss your options or contact us online.

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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