What is a Restraining Order?
Have you been served with a temporary restraining order in New Jersey? In Somerset or Hunterdon County? If so, it is crucial that you speak to an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible. After an alleged act of domestic violence occurs and the “victim” decides to seek an order of protection, they must file for a what is known as a temporary restraining order (TRO). That order is exactly what it says it is, temporary in nature. Once a temporary restraining order is issued by the Judge, it then must be served upon the Defendant by a police officer, usually an officer from the town in which the Defendant lives. Once the Defendant is properly served, a Final Restraining Order Hearing must be set. As you will see below, these hearings are normally set within ten (10) days of the issuance of a TRO. At that point in time, the victim, who is also known as the “plaintiff” must establish during hearing the reasons why they need a permanent order of protection. Final Restraining Order (FRO) hearings will be conduct in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county where the TRO was granted. An FRO is in essence a mini trial, that is why we strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced Somerset County domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. If you have been served with a TRO in Somerville, Bedminster, Clinton, Raritan, Readington, Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Manville, Flemington or elsewhere in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our criminal defense attorneys are well aware of what a final restraining order can do to someone’s life. As such, we are dedicated to aggressively challenging the evidence presented against our clients in order to zealously advocate on behalf of our clients. If you would like to come into our office for a free initial in-depth consultation, then please contact us at 908-533-1064.
What is Needed for a Temporary Restraining Order in NJ?
Since a temporary restraining order is temporary in nature, the standard of proof required to obtain one is much less than that of what is required in order to obtain a Final Restraining Order. After an alleged act of domestic violence occurs, the plaintiff may seek a TRO against the Defendant. Pursuant to the court rules, in order to do so, the plaintiff must go in front of either a Superior Court judge in the family division of the county where the incident occurred or the local municipal court judge in the municipality where the incident occurred and present their case. In order to obtain a TRO, the plaintiff must establish the following elements:
- That they are a victim of domestic violence pursuant to NJSA 2C:25-19(d).
- That the Defendant committed one of the enumerated acts of domestic violence pursuant to NJSA 2C:25-19(a).
- That in order to protect their life, health or well-being or to prevent a further act of domestic violence, the order must be imposed.
If a TRO is in fact granted, then the Defendant would be prohibited from contacting the plaintiff and anyone else who is protected under the TRO, which could include the Defendant’s children. These are very serious cases and should not be taken lightly. In fact, do to the emergent nature of a TRO and how fast the parties are forced into court, it is strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced restraining order defense attorney as soon as possible. For more information on TRO’s, including how to defend a temporary restraining order in New Jersey, please click the link.
What is Need to Obtain a Final Restraining Order in NJ?
As touched upon above, one a TRO is entered, a final restraining order hearing must take place. The parties are typically brought into court within 10 days of the issuance of a TRO. With that being said, if the parties need to obtain a brief adjournment in order to either obtain additional evidence or seek the assistance of an attorney, a judge will most likely grant one adjournment. In order for a TRO to become a FRO, the plaintiff must establish the following:
- That they are the victim of an act of domestic violence;
- That there is a past history of domestic violence between the parties &
- That in order to prevent future acts of domestic violence, a FRO must be entered.
If a Final Restraining Order is granted, it is permanent in nature and the ramifications can be devastating (see below). For more information on FRO’s, including how to defend a final restraining order in New Jersey, please click the link. It is important to note here, that in addition to a restraining order, a Defendant could also be charged criminally as well. That means that a Defendant will be forced to not only defend themselves in a Family Court at a Final Restraining Order Hearing but they could also be forced to defend their liberties in a criminal court as well. Double jeopardy does not apply here. For more information on restraining orders in Somerset or Hunterdon County, please feel free to contact our office at 908-533-1064.
What Happens if Final Restraining Order is Granted?
As touch upon briefly above, the ramifications of the judge imposing a final restraining order can be devastating. In fact, some think that the penalties of an FRO are vary more crippling then that of the potential criminal penalties that can be associated with an act of domestic violence. Here is a list of some of the consequences of a final order of protection:
- Forbidden from returning to your home
- Forbidden from having contact with their children
- A suspension of their custodial rights to their children
- Imposition of emergent financial relief
- Seizure of their firearms
- Forbidden from owning firearms
- Forbidden from returning to place the victim frequents
- Submit to psychiatric evaluation / mandatory counseling
- Place in a national domestic violence database
Hunterdon County NJ Restraining Order Attorney
Do I need an Attorney for a Restraining Order in NJ?
Restraining orders are very complex cases in New Jersey and that carry with them very serious consequences, that is why we strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced Somerset County domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. If you have been served with a temporary restraining order or issued a criminal complaint of an act of domestic violence like simple assault, aggravated assault, criminal restraint, terroristic threats, stalking or harassment, in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. At our office, we offer clients the experience and poise typical at big firms, but with the individual client service of a smaller firm. At Proetta & Oliver your case will not be juggled back and forth between a half dozen attorneys who do not know you or the facts of your case, Mr. Oliver, one of the firms founding partners personally hands each and every case that comes into our office from Somerset County. If you would like to speak to one of our Somerset and Hunterdon County domestic violence defense attorneys today about your options then please contact us at 908-533-1064.