Union County NJ Domestic Violence Attorney
Unfortunately, relationships are complicated and at times, tensions can cause domestic violence situations. These accusations are serious and often result in law enforcement intervention. When faced with an alleged domestic violence incident, authorities may respond with two distinct legal repercussions: criminal charges and restraining orders. These matters must be addressed in separate legal venues, with the criminal charges to be adjudicated in criminal court, and the restraining order to heard in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged event or events occurred. The consequences of each of these matters can be severe, which is why finding an experienced and aggressive attorney is crucial to effectively resolving these issues. Attorney Edward S. Cooper has served as a seasoned legal advocate for clients in criminal, divorce, and domestic violence proceedings in Union, Middlesex, and Somerset counties for decades. His knowledge and skillful touch when handling these matters has produced a lengthy list of successes and countless happy clients who have been able to move forward with their lives unencumbered. To discuss your pending legal matter with Mr. Cooper free of charge, contact his offices today at 908-481-4625.
What Are Grounds for a Restraining Order in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17), a person qualifies as a victim of domestic violence if he or she:
- Previously resided with the other party;
- Had a dating or marriage relationship with the accused; or
- Produced a child or is soon to have a child with the individual
Further, any of the following criminal offenses can be considered an act of domestic violence: Homicide, Terroristic Threats, Criminal Restraint, Sexual Assault, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact, Harassment, Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, Lewdness, Criminal Mischief, Criminal Trespass, and Stalking.
What is the Restraining Order Process in New Jersey?
If you qualify under the above requirements, you may have grounds to file a restraining order. The initial phase of this process will involve a Temporary Restraining Order, which is granted if there is evidence of domestic violence and an order of protection is necessary to prevent harm to the victim. Within 10 days of the issuance of a temporary restraining order, there will be a Final Restraining Order hearing, to determine if a Final Restraining Order should be issued.
At the Final Restraining Order hearing, a judge will evaluate the following three requirements, which must be met in order for a Final Restraining Order to be implemented:
1) A predicate act of domestic violence occurred: the allegations of a criminal offense, such as those listed above, must be substantiated
2) There is a history of domestic violence among the parties: there have been past incidents of domestic violence which may have resulted in criminal charges
3) The victim is in reasonable fear for his or her safety and a restraining order is necessary to ensure the safety of the victim going forward
If a Final Restraining Order is indeed issued, the person who is subject to the provisions of the restraining order must abide by it unless otherwise determined by the court at a later date (this is often called “vacating a restraining order”). If the person violates the requirements set forth by the restraining order (i.e. by contacting the victim), he or she may be charged with a criminal offense known as contempt of court.
Contact an Edison NJ Domestic Violence Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you have been the victim of domestic violence or are facing a restraining order, it is in your best interests to seek knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as possible. Protecting yourself, your rights, and your reputation is critical during these complex and highly contentious proceedings. Attorney Edward Cooper provides free comprehensive case evaluations. Contact his Linden, New Jersey offices at 908-481-4625 for immediate assistance.