When a judge in a New Jersey criminal courts issues a restraining order, the police and courts are quick to act if they believe it was not followed. When you stand accused of violating any court order, particularly a protection order or restraining order, you can face criminal charges.Charged with a crime in New Jersey? Please call (888) 205-9314
Restraining orders can be put in place for crimes of domestic violence, stalking, and even harassment. They are often the result of other criminal actions or perceived threat of harm. Restraining orders can be enacted for a variety of reasons—they all, however, boil down to protecting one party from another.
When you are accused of violating a restraining order, the courts will not be very interested in “your side of the story”. They are not going to willingly give you the benefit of the doubt on a charge like this. You need a lawyer who is going to fight relentlessly to make sure you are treated fairly.
This is despite the fact that it is easy to be charged with a violation, even when:
- The other person initiates contact
- The violation happened accidentally
- You didn’t know the order was in place
- The order was issued improperly or illegally
And many other possible scenarios. But it may take some serious legal wrangling to get this charge resolved, even when you are absolutely innocent.
How Did I Violate the Restraining Order?
Protection orders often include a long list of things you can and cannot do. You can face criminal charges if you are accused of violating any of the tenets, you can be charged with criminal contempt. Among the most common conditions of a restraining order are:
- Directing you to stay away from a person, their home, and even employment, and
- Forbidding you to contact that person via phone, email, mail, or text message
In cases of marriage or domestic violence, the restraining order can also set up temporary custody of children and spousal support.
What Kind of Penalty will I Face if Convicted of a Restraining Order Violation?
If you are a party to a restraining order and are accused of violating that order, you can be charged with criminal contempt. The severity of the charge against you depends on the individual circumstances of your case.
If the restraining order is a result of domestic violence you will be charged with a Crime in the 4th degree. A Domestic Violence offense carries a potential 18 month prison sentence.
In some situations, violating a protection order can be a disorderly persons offense. Disorderly persons offenses carry a potential 1 year in jail and fines.
Ref: NJ Stat. §2C: 29-9
It’s important to note that you can be charged with violating the order in New Jersey even if the order didn’t originate in a New Jersey court.
When charged with a criminal offense like violating a restraining order, the last thing you need to worry about is if you chose the right attorney. Contact me today to see how I can help.
More than likely, this isn’t your first criminal charge. Because you have a restraining order against you, you need the skills of an aggressive attorney. Let’s discuss your case and some possible defense strategies today.
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