A “no-contact” order in New Jersey is typically issued by a judge in connection with a criminal case. The orders are designed to protect alleged victims from continued contact with the person charged with the crime and are often put in place as a condition of releasing the accused after their arrest. These are different from restraining orders often issued in domestic violence or civil divorce cases. A no-contact order is requested by law enforcement or the district attorney involved in your arrest or arraignment, not by the alleged victim (though clearly, the order is designed to protect the alleged victim).
What to Pay Attention to if You Receive a No-Contact Order
If you've been arrested, and as part of your release, the court has issued a no-contact order against you, it's extraordinarily important that you have a clear understanding of what the order prohibits you from doing. Usual restrictions can include prohibiting you from being within a certain distance from the alleged victim's home and work locations or other places the victim regularly goes, such as their children's school or after-school activity locations, relatives' homes, or specific restaurants or bars that the alleged victim may frequent. You may also be barred from knowingly being anywhere near the alleged victim, even outside of the designated areas, and the order may say that you have to remove yourself if you happen to find yourself in the alleged victim's vicinity.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney such as Joseph D. Lento assist you in reviewing and understanding your no-contact order can make the difference between you being able to follow the terms of the order and accidentally violating it. And a violation of a no-contact order can be punished as criminal contempt of court – a new crime on top of any you've already been accused of committing – and could mean that the judge will impose even more serious restrictions on you or possibly send you to jail until your case is over.
Modifying a No-Contact Order
You may find that the terms of the no contact order prevent you from being in some places that you need to be. For example, if your children and the alleged victim's children attend the same school, you may want the order modified to allow you to drop off or pick up your children. Or, if your job is located near the victim's home or office, you might want to ask the court to allow you to continue to go to work. Here too, an attorney who has represented other clients faced with no contact orders can present your request to the judge and help the court revise the order so that you can still be at those places when you need to be without violating it.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Can Help
Being accused of committing any crime is stressful. Having to navigate the court system in New Jersey after an arrest can be intimidating, and being on the receiving end of a no-contact order makes things even more complicated as you seek to defend yourself. Having skilled criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the expert team at the Lento Law Firm on your side can make an enormous difference in both your peace of mind during this difficult process and the ultimate outcome. Call attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 or through our contact form to learn more about how we can help.