Restraining Orders in New Jersey
The deterioration of a marriage or family relationship can sometimes be the result of domestic violence or at least the accusation of domestic violence. But misunderstandings abound, and restraining orders can ruin a reputation and a life. That’s why if you have been served with a restraining order, you need skilled legal counsel. The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen has over 30 years of experience handling New Jersey restraining order cases and can help you during this tumultuous time.
What is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is a court order made by a judge that stipulates that a person cannot make contact with another specified person and must remain a certain distance from this person at all times. This order includes all types of contact, including email and phone calls.
Restraining orders can be temporary or permanent. It’s very important to hire an attorney before a temporary restraining order becomes a final one. This is because a final restraining order may be on your record forever, resulting in ruined employment opportunities and tarnished reputation. Situations where children are involved can complicate this process even more so. This is why you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the laws related to restraining orders in New Jersey.
Inappropriate Restraining Orders in New Jersey
While many restraining orders are necessary in cases in which domestic violence, harassment or stalking have actually occurred, there are also cases in which a simple disagreement, laden with strong emotions, may result in false allegations or a gross misunderstanding that leads to the application for this order.
There may also be situations in which a partner is trying to manipulate the circumstances of the separation, such as for the purpose of claiming the residence or belongings unfairly. To add to the problem, an initial charge leading to a restraining order can result in jail time due to New Jersey bail reform laws. Having an skilled attorney can help you keep your freedom while the rest of the legal issues are worked out.
Violations of Restraining Orders and Penalties
If you’re under a restraining order and violate it, penalties can include imprisonment, fines, or probation. There can also be separate penalties for each individual violation. It’s even possible for someone under a restraining order to be penalized for violating it even if the victim requested the contact. Without the help of a court to modify the conditions of the order, all of its stipulations still stand and any violation can result in jail time.
Lifting the Restraining Order
Either the victim or the accused can ask the court to lift the restraining order in New Jersey. To do so, either party must file a motion with the court. This motion is most commonly known as a Motion to Lift Restraining Order and must identify the parties as well as state:
- The victim agrees to having the restraining order lifted
- Both parties agree to resume contact
- The victim makes this request voluntarily and that he/she is not afraid of the defendant
It’s important that the motion also include what kind of contact both parties wish to have with one another. In cases where the defendant is vehemently opposed to lifting the restraining order, the motion will then include the reasons why. A common reason may be that a restraining order is no longer necessary due to a change in circumstances. Once a motion is filed, there will be a hearing where the judge will determine whether the restraining order should be lifted. Both parties are typically present at this hearing and may have to provide a testimony. Typically, in a criminal case, the prosecutor may cross examine the victim to challenge the validity of the restraining order.
Call to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation With a Criminal Defense Attorney in Westmont, New Jersey Today
If you have been presented with a restraining order, call to schedule a free legal consultation with a criminal defense attorney Jill R. Cohen today. The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen has the resources you need to defend your rights. Our main office is located at 210 Haddon Avenue in Westmont, New Jersey but we also serve Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, Pennsauken, Voorhees, Lindenwold, Collingswood, and Haddonfield. Call us at (856) 242-7177 or fill out our online contact form and let us represent you.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.