Sparta NJ Domestic Violence Attorneys
Domestic Abuse Lawyers in Sparta, New Jersey
New Jersey has strict domestic violence laws on the books, many of which result in restraining orders and domestic violence charges in Sparta, NJ. While individual accusations may vary from case to case, restraining orders in Sparta are generally filed based on threatening or assault-related conduct between or among family members, spouses and former spouses, dating and previously dating couples, and others with qualifying relationships. When you are a loved one becomes involved in a domestic violence case, you need an experienced, local Sparta domestic violence attorney on your side. Contact us at 973-755-1695 to discuss your restraining order or domestic violence charge and find out how we can help protect your interests. Consultations are provided 24/7 free of charge.
Basis for a Restraining Order in Sparta, NJ
Restraining order eligible conduct refers to criminal mischief, criminal trespass, stalking, harassment, and other offenses related to threatening and alarming behavior. Harrassing conduct, however, does not typically have the immediate element of injury or threat of injury associated with actual assault conduct. Regardless, harassment is considered grounds for a restraining order in New Jersey.
Assault-related conduct may include sexual assault, homicide, simple assault, aggravated assault, and any other offense that carries the immediate threat of bodily injury or the execution of some form of bodily injury. While you may have grounds for a restraining order if you suffer injury in a domestic violence situation, restraining orders can be issued to victims who have not experienced a physical injury as well.
Who is Eligible for Protection from Domestic Violence in Sparta?
Emancipated minors and any person over the age of 18 who has been subjected to abuse a former or current household member, a former spouse, a current spouse, or any person with whom the victim has a child, will have a child, or has a dating relationship with is protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act in New Jersey.
Sparta NJ Restraining Order Process
A Sparta domestic violence victim initiates a complaint at the Superior Family Court in Sussex County, New Jersey. Moreover, in Sparta, a municipal court judge remains on call at all hours of the day and night for a party to begin a domestic violence or restraining order issue. You may also apply for a temporary restraining order at the local police department in Sparta. The department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve those who may need protection from a domestic violence offender. Officers from the Sparta police may also be called to the scene of an alleged domestic violence incident, at which point they must conduct an investigation into what occurred. Thereafter, officers may make an arrest, file criminal charges against the suspected abuser, and assist the victim with the filing of a restraining order.
Following the filing of a domestic violence complaint in Sparta, the following steps will apply:
- The victim is provided information about their rights and available support services
- The victim will be able to ask questions about additional supports and programs available in Sparta
- A judge will hear the case as soon as possible to determine whether or not the victim should be issued a temporary restraining order
If a temporary restraining order is given in the case, the plaintiff must be served the TRO document, which is typically done by their local police department. The claim then returns to court generally no later than 10 days after for the final hearing. During the final hearing, the accused party and the victim will both provide testimony. The purpose of the hearing is for the court to assess whether domestic violence did occur, whether or not a final restraining order should be placed in effect, and what additional relief, if any, applies for the victim.
If the court determines the victim’s complaint is valid, a new document known as a Final Domestic Violence Restraining Order is provided to the victim. The accused party will also receive a copy and one copy should be given to the local police department. There are no time limit requirements on FRO documents.
Common Provisions of Sparta Restraining Orders
In most cases, the accused party is not present at the time a victim files a restraining order. Multiple provisions can apply, including:
- Property and party requirements, which could allow a victim to have exclusive possession of a joint property, shared animal, or minor child.
- Requirements for the accused party to surrender any firearms.
- A no-contact order requiring the accused party to maintain distance from the victim and the victim’s residence.
At the conclusion of the final hearing, additional provisions might be assess, such as:
- Requirements for the accused party to attend counseling
- Mandates for the accused party to provide certain forms of financial support
- Expanded orders of protection that require the accused party to stay away from other locations like the victim’s job or school
- No-contact orders prohibiting any contact between the victim and the accused party, as well as any other protected persons such as members of the victim’s family
Violation of a Restraining Order in Sparta NJ
If a victim believes that the other person has violated either the temporary or the final protective order, this person can visit the Sparta municipal court or the Sparta police department to file a Contempt of Restraining Order complaint. This authorizes the police to arrest the accused party, at which point they may be charged with a fourth degree crime or a disorderly persons offense. If the conduct in violation of the restraining order constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense such as harassment, the defendant will be charged with an indictable crime of the fourth degree. On the other hand, if the violating conduct does not constitute a criminal offense in and of itself, but is still committed in violation of the existing restraining order, the defendant will be charged with a disorderly persons offense. Fourth degree contempt charges are punishable by up to 18 months in state prison, while disorderly persons offenses may result in a sentence to serve up to 6 months in the county jail.
What if the Accused and the Victim Reconcile?
Reconciliation is at the discretion of the accused party and the victim. However, the restraining order must be removed by the court presiding over the case, such that the accused party is not accused of violating the restraining order. If the dismissal order is granted following the victim’s testimony and motion to vacate the restraining order, a copy of that dismissal should be submitted to the local police.
Sparta Domestic Violence Attorney can Help with Your Case
Given the complexity of the multiple laws that apply to Sparta NJ domestic violence issues, an accused party or victim should retain legal counsel to understand potential implications of restraining orders and charges. Getting proper representation is vital when you are seeking to protect your best interests. For more information and a free consultation, contact a Sparta domestic violence attorney today. Feel free to call 973-755-1695 anytime for immediate assistance.