An allegation of domestic violence can have serious repercussions. In most instances, the person accused of committing an act of domestic violence is subject to both criminal charges and a restraining order. While restraining orders are civil proceedings and can result in the accused individual being prohibited from contacting the alleged victim (among other consequences), domestic assault is an indictable, felony-level offense and can result in severe penalties that include prison time. That’s why it is imperative that anyone accused of domestic violence in New Jersey have a qualified criminal defense attorney on their side throughout the legal process.
In order for a victim of domestic violence to seek a restraining order, they must typically show that the alleged domestic abuser committed a predicate act. These acts are set forth in the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and include assault, harassment, terroristic threats, stalking, and kidnapping. A person who commits one of these acts against a current spouse, an ex-spouse, a household member, an individual with whom they have a child, or an individual with whom they had a dating relationship may be subject to a temporary restraining order (TRO) and, ultimately, a final restraining order (FRO).
Additionally, the underlying criminal offense that gives rise to the restraining order can lead to criminal charges. In the case of domestic assault, you could be charged with either aggravated assault or simple assault. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the nature of the alleged victim’s bodily injuries, you potentially face a lengthy term of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison if convicted.
Contesting Domestic Assault Charges in Atlantic County, NJ
Keep in mind that the standard of proof in domestic assault cases is higher than the standard of proof in restraining order hearings. A skilled criminal defense lawyer is often necessary to argue the many nuances of the domestic violence law in these different proceedings. In fact, having an experienced attorney on your side could make all the difference when it comes to contesting a restraining order and fighting your criminal charges for domestic assault.
Have you been accused of domestic assault in Atlantic County, NJ? Then you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer representing you. The aggressive criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can help you fight your criminal charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation about your case.