Defense of New Jersey
DWI and Criminal Cases

Domestic violence is a serious issue in New Jersey and across the nation. If you find yourself facing domestic violence charges in New Jersey, you should do well to contact the Law Offices of Bartholomew Baffuto.

Understanding Domestic Violence Charges in New Jersey

New Jersey has a broad definition of domestic violence defined in the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA). It’s not just limited to physical assault but encompasses a pattern of abusive behavior. This behavior must occur between people in specific relationships, which include:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Current or former dating partners
  • People who currently or formerly shared a household
  • People who have a child in common
  • People who are expecting a child together

Domestic violence can manifest in many forms. The following acts can be classified as domestic violence in New Jersey:

  • Physical abuse, for example, simple assault and aggravated assault
  • Psychological abuse, for example, threats, intimidation, and harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal mischief, for example, damage to property

Immediate Actions Upon Arrest

  1. Remain Silent. Before, during and after an arrest, the most crucial thing to remember is to exercise your right to remain silent.  Do not answer police questions or make statements about the alleged incident without your lawyer present. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  2. Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). When someone files a domestic violence complaint, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is likely to be issued. A TRO places restrictions on an accused, including:
  • Prohibiting contact with the alleged victim
  • Preventing an accused from going to certain locations (after the residence)
  • Preventing an accused from going to certain locations
  • Removing any accused from their residence
  1. Contact a Lawyer. It’s imperative to contact a leading criminal attorney in New Jersey They will guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and assess the case for a possible defense.

What’s the Legal Process?

Your first court appearance will generally focus on the charges against you and potentially setting terms of release. Your lawyer will be present to represent you. The court could also decide to issue a TRO (temporary restraining order).

Within 10 days of the TRO being issued, a hearing will be held to determine if a Final Restraining Order (FRO) should be put in place. Your lawyer will present your case and usually would argue against the need for an FRO. Simultaneously, a criminal case, if any, will proceed.

At this point, a lawyer would:

  1. Thoroughly investigate the allegations against you.
  2. Collecting evidence to support your version of events.
  3. Confer about resolving issues with civil restraints, an agreement short of a restraining order.
  4. If necessary, prepare for trial and vigorously defend in court.

Sentencing and Potential Consequences of Domestic Violence

Facing domestic violence charges in New Jersey can have serious and lasting consequences. Understanding these potential repercussions highlights the importance of competent legal representation. They include:

  1. Restraining Orders. If a Final Restraining Order (FRO) is issued, it becomes a permanent part of your record. An FRO could:
  • Limit where you can live and work
  • Restrict contact with your children and loved ones
  • Require you to undergo counseling or anger management
  • Deprive you of certain constitutional rights, including second Amendment rights
  1. Jail Time and Fines.  Domestic violence-related criminal charges can risk jail or prison time, depending on the severity of the offense.  Fines may also be imposed.
  2. Negative Long-Term Impacts. A conviction can have long-lasting negative consequences, including:
  • Difficulty securing employment
  • Housing restrictions
  • Damaged reputation and relationships

If you’re facing domestic violence charges, and/or related criminal charges, time is critical. Contact a qualified and leading criminal attorney in New Jersey now for a consultation.

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