Involved in a Domestic Violence Dispute in New Jersey?
Qualified New Jersey criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense for your case
Facing Domestic Violence Charges
The immediate need of a defense attorney after being arrested for a domestic violence dispute is no simple matter. If you are being charged with domestic violence, this complicated matter can certainly make you feel as if there are no solutions to your situation. In many cases, a domestic violence defendant can face being ordered to leave his or her home; being prohibited to visit or even see his or her children; and can even demand imprisonment. While these are some of the most severe results of being charged with domestic violence, they are nonetheless common results. In many cases, defendants will also run the risk of losing his or her employment. This is particularly true if the defendant works in the justice field or public sector.
If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, an expert attorney can champion for your rights. A criminal defense attorney will see that the charges you are facing fit your crime. Further, he or she will fight to protect your rights and see these rights are upheld and protected.
The United States Department of Justice website defines domestic violence as being a recurring behavior which is abusive in a relationship. This abusive behavior is typically caused by one individual on to the other in order to be controlling or gain power over him or her. Domestic violence can take many forms. It can be sexual abuse, or even economic abuse. Domestic violence can also be psychological abuse. Threatening, which negatively influences a victim, can also be considered domestic violence. The most commonly known form of domestic violence is physical, however, in which on partner physically hurts or injures the other. In domestic violence disputes, abusive patterns of behavior can include, but are not limited to:
- A recurring humiliation of an individual;
- Purposefully terrorizing or coercing the other individual; and/or
- Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim.
While domestic violence is most commonly initiated between intimate partners, domestic violence can also be a charge concerning anyone who lives under the same household. For example, domestic violence can happen between parents and children, grandparents, or any other individual who lives in the same property. No relation to the individual is necessary.
What Are The New Jersey Penalties If You Are Charged?
There are fourteen total specific criminal offenses upon another person which are prohibited under New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) of 1991. Those include:
- Terrorist threats,
- Criminal restraint,
- False imprisonment,
- Sexual assault,
- Criminal sexual contact,
- Criminal mischief,
- Criminal trespass,
- Harassment, or
If you are officially determined guilty of one or more of these domestic violence charges, New Jersey penalties range from those in the state’s misdemeanor category to felony category. Here’s a breakdown of where each of the above crimes fall:
- Petty Disorderly Person Offenses are the least serious criminal offense in New Jersey for which a person can be sentenced to time in jail. Domestic violence crimes in this class include petty disorderly offenses such as disorderly conduct and harassment. These offenses are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500.
- Disorderly Person Offenses are more serious offenses than petty disorderly person offenses. Domestic violence crimes in this class include assault. These offenses are punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
- First degree crimes. Domestic violence crimes in the category can include activity such as murder, manslaughter, and rape. A court can impose a basic prison sentence between 10 and 20 years, or between 20, 25 or 30 years, and life depending on the circumstances of the crime. A court can also fine the person convicted of a first degree crime up to $200,000.
- Second degree crimes. Domestic violence crimes in the category can include sex crimes and kidnapping. For a second degree felony, the court can impose a prison sentence between 5 and 10 years and a fine up to $150,000.
- Fourth degree crimes. Domestic violence crimes in the category include stalking. A defendant convicted of a fourth degree crime faces up to eighteen months in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
The primary factors influencing which type of penalty is likely to be imposed are the following:
- The victim’s relationship to you; for instance, domestic violence against one of your parents, versus domestic violence against a spouse or live-in partner.
- The nature of the purposeful terrorizing and/or coercing of the other individual; and/or
- Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim, and to what extent this effected the victim’s daily life.
Facing Wrongful Domestic Violence Accusations
Unfortunately, there are countless situations in which one individual wrongfully accuses his or her partner of committing domestic violence. Aggrieved partners are able to make a simple accusation that will spark an investigation, which can ultimately change a person’s life. When feeling angry or betrayed, a resentful partner can make a wrongful accusation in an attempt to get revenge. Messy divorces or separations can often be a difficult situation to experience and if children are involved, it is common to see false accusations arise due to the attempt to gain sole custody of the children. These types of cases can quickly become very stressful and traumatic. A dangerous battle of hearsay can take a complete hold on your entire life. False accusations can be common and if this is your case, contacting an expert attorney can help overturn your case.
The Repercussions of Being Accused of Domestic Violence
Being charged with domestic violence can be one of the most devastating crimes you can be charged with. If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, it is important that you know that this type of case can affect your employment. It can also affect any future employments and/or promotions. Hiring a qualified attorney who has experience in the matter can greatly benefit your case. An expert attorney will be able to determine if the charges filed against you fit your actions. He or she will also be able to see that your civil rights are being upheld.
If you have been blamed and charged with domestic violence, the implications of such can take an immediate effect on your life. Before you are legally convicted, you can be forced to move out of your home and you can also be prohibited to have contact with your children, if they are underage. Many domestic violence convictions can indicate a denial or severe visiting limitations with your children. In the worst cases, a conviction can implicate a complete loss your child’s custody. In addition to losing parental rights, a domestic violence defendant can be imprisoned, pay fines or post bail, be ordered to enroll in anger management programs, counseling, or even be placed in probation.
Defend Your Case
Being charged with domestic violence can have serious and immediate consequences. Unbeknown to many defendants, investigations can begin immediately without the need of much evidence. It is important that you begin working on your defense case sooner, rather than later. Don’t wait until it becomes harder to prove your case, begin defending your case immediately. Hiring an expert criminal defense attorney can be beneficial to your case. False accusations can happen to anyone, and even if that is not your case, you still have rights that can and should be protected. A qualified attorney should be knowledgeable and experienced in investigating the complications and difficulties of a domestic violence case. A professional attorney will also be sympathetic to the emotional nature of the case. A qualified criminal defense attorney will have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense to your case.