Restraining Orders in a Domestic Violence Case
When domestic violence accusations are made against someone, the alleged victim may seek a restraining order against the alleged perpetrator. In New Jersey, a court can enter a temporary restraining order with relatively little evidence.
In this article, our New Jersey domestic violence defense lawyer discusses the key things to know about restraining orders in a domestic violence case.
New Jersey State Law: Domestic Violence Allegations and Restraining Orders
Under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice(N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19), domestic violence is defined as a qualifying criminal offense committed against a “spouse, former spouse, or any other person” who falls under the category of current or former household member. Pursuant to New Jersey’s domestic violence laws, a victim has a right to seek a temporary restraining order against an alleged offender.
A Temporary Restraining Order Can Be Obtained Largely on Allegations
If you are facing criminal charges, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. You cannot be convicted of a criminal offense in a domestic violence matter unless the prosecution can prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the process for obtaining a civil restraining order in a domestic violence case is different. New Jersey courts allow victims of domestic violence to seek immediate relief from the court.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-28(f), a person alleging domestic violence has a right to “seek emergency, ex parte relief in the nature of a temporary restraining order.” Often referred to simply as a “TRO,” a temporary restraining order can be put in place based almost entirely on the allegations of the victim if deemed necessary to ensure the protection of their life, health, or well-being.
A TRO May Take Effect Without Notice — But You Get a Hearing Within 10 Days
In domestic violence cases in New Jersey, a TRO can be placed against you without notifying you. In effect, this means that you could learn about a restraining order at the same time that you are finding out that domestic violence allegations have been made against you. As frustrating as that can be, it is important to recognize that you have legal rights and legal options.
Most notably, New Jersey law typically requires that a hearing must be held within 10 days of the date a temporary domestic violence restraining order is entered. During the hearing, you will have an opportunity to present your side of the case. In other words, you will get a chance to present a case to the court before a final restraining order is entered.
Get Help From Our New Jersey Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, our New Jersey criminal defense lawyer is an aggressive advocate with more than 25 years of experience. If you have questions about protective orders in a domestic violence case, we can help.
Contact us for a confidential case evaluation. With legal offices in Pleasantville and Haddonfield, we provide criminal defense services in Camden County, Atlantic County, and all other Southern New Jersey counties.