In New Jersey, the laws pertaining to domestic disturbances and domestic violence are stringent. In the event that police are called to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance, they are required by law to arrest the person they deem responsible for visible injuries on another person whether it is a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, parent or friend. They may even make an arrest if there are no signs of injury.
In short, if the police are called to investigate a domestic disturbance, they're not going to want to hear explanations justifying the conduct. If there is an injury or they even think there is an injury or reason to make the arrest, the result will be a disorderly persons charge.
Restraining Orders and Domestic Disturbances
If there has been an allegation and arrest of domestic violence, a New Jersey court is likely to issue a restraining order for the accused to stay away from the alleged victim. A restraining order can have serious ramifications as the person against whom the order is made will not be able to contact the alleged victim of the abuse in any manner. The offender will be ordered to leave the residence while continuing to paying the rent or mortgage even if he or she is not living at the home.
The issuance of a final restraining order includes several additional repercussions:
- You are classified as an abuser, and will be fingerprinted and your records placed in a database
- You cannot own a firearm
- You will be listed in a domestic violence registry
- Violations of the terms of the final restraining order (or even a temporary restraining order) are considered criminal offenses which can, and in some circumstances must, result in a jail sentence
If a person violates a restraining order issued by a New Jersey court, he or she will be charged with an indictable offense in at least the fourth degree. If convicted, the person will face jail time and heavy fines for violating the restraining order.
Disorderly Persons Offense and Domestic Disturbances
In New Jersey, a disorderly persons offense is what is often known in other states as a misdemeanor. Common disorderly persons offenses include such acts as disturbing the peace, simple assault, harassment, shoplifting and possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana.
In the event of a domestic disturbance, barring any act that could be construed as an indictable offense such as attempted murder, the charge will commonly fall under a disorderly persons offense and will be heard in Municipal Court. Additionally, the victim of the domestic violence can bring a domestic violence complaint in the Superior Court.
A disorderly persons offense holds the potential of six months in jail and fines. If convicted, the conviction will also stay on the person's record for at least five years before it is possible to have it expunged.
Speak to an Experienced New Jersey Attorney
Have you been charged with a disorderly persons offense in relation to a domestic disturbance in Monmouth County or Ocean County, New Jersey? If so, it's important to have sound legal advice for your upcoming court appearance. Contact the law firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey for help today.
There is a lot involved when it comes to domestic violence allegations, the issuance of restraining orders and the potential violation of a temporary or permanent restraining order. Such allegations can have harsh consequences if you are not represented properly. If you have been charged with a domestic disturbance in a town such as Asbury Park, Belmar, Neptune or Seaside Heights, Villani & DeLuca can assist you with your case. Call today for a free evaluation!