If you violate the terms of a restraining order taken out against you, it can quickly lead to criminal consequences for you.
If someone is seeking to take out a restraining order against you or has already obtained one against you, you need to know about the consequences that can arise if you are found to have violated the terms of an active restraining order.
How Are Restraining Orders Issued?
Restraining order matters and criminal matters are two completely separate proceedings. It is possible for a court to issue a restraining order against you without you being charged with a crime; you may also be charged with committing a domestic violence crime against someone, but the alleged victim may choose not to seek a restraining order nor may the court choose to issue one.
Restraining orders are normally issued in response to a domestic violence complaint, in which the plaintiff alleges that he or she has been the victim of a predicate act of domestic violence and requires a restraining order for his or her protection. Examples of predicate acts of domestic violence include harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, battery, and sexual assault.
A court will issue a restraining order in response to a domestic violence complaint if it finds that a predicate act of domestic violence has been committed by the defendant against the plaintiff and that a restraining order is necessary for the plaintiff’s continued protection.
Defending Against a Domestic Violence Complaint or Restraining Order
Fighting against a restraining order often involves proving that either no predicate act of domestic violence occurred, or that there is no history of domestic violence and that a restraining order is not needed for the plaintiff’s continued safety.
Proving that a restraining order is not necessary for a plaintiff’s safety often requires showing that there has been no history of physical harm or threats of physical harm; offensive or annoying conduct may not rise to the level of requiring a restraining order. You may also show that the plaintiff does not reasonably fear for his or her safety based on your actions. For example, if the plaintiff continues contact with you or allows you to be in his or her presence, that might indicate that he or she does not fear for his or her safety around you.
Finally, even after a restraining order has been issued against you, it may be possible to later have the order vacated if you can show that the order is no longer necessary for the plaintiff’s protection and safety (for example, the plaintiff’s actions show he or she no longer fears for his or her safety).
Contact an Experienced Summit Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Restraining Order Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with violating a restraining in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Zegas Law have successfully represented clients charged with restraining order violations in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 379-1999 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 60 Morris Turnpike, Summit, NJ 07901.
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.