Bergen County Domestic Violence Attorneys
Domestic Violence Lawyers in Hackensack NJ
Domestic violence offenses can be rather complicated and typically involve two totally different types of proceedings. First, a Defendant may find themselves facing criminal domestic violence charges, which include but are not limited to aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, stalking, harassment, kidnapping, sexual assault, harassment, cyber harassment, and criminal coercion. In addition to you or your loved one facing criminal charges, the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (“the Act”) creates the possibility of having a restraining order. Even though a restraining order is technically civil in nature, it can also be described as quasi-criminal because if a final restraining order is issued it can have life-long consequences. In addition, a temporary restraining order is usually entered when a criminal complaint has been filed since a prerequisite to this relief is a showing that a simple assault or other act of abuse was committed by the accused. However, a criminal complaint does not need to be issued in order for a restraining order to be issued. A person can still apply for a restraining order here in New Jersey without having to file criminal charges.
The Bergen County domestic violence defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have decades of experience defending restraining orders at the Superior Court level, as well as related criminal violations throughout this county. Our firm has ten attorneys that exclusively practice in criminal law. Seven of our attorneys were former prosecutors. One of our attorneys is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, a distinction less than 1% hold in this state. One of our attorneys was recently selected to Reuters Super Lawyers Rising Stars list 2020 for New Jersey, less than 2.5 % of the attorneys are selected to this list every year. If you are the subject of proceedings involving allegations of domestic violence, contact our firm to speak to a lawyer on our staff in a free consultation at 201-429-9783. Our law firm is available 24/7.
What we can help you with:
- Terroristic Threats
- Simple Assault / Aggravated Assault
- Criminal Mischief
- Temporary Restraining Orders
- Final Restraining Orders
- Violation of Restraining Orders
- Removing a Final Restraining Order
- No contact orders
Where will the Charges and TRO be heard?
The criminal charges will either be heard in the local Municipal Court where the incident happened or in the Bergen County Superior Courthouse. The level of the offense law enforcement decides to charge you or your loved one with will dictate what court has jurisdiction over the case. All disorderly persons offenses, also known as misdemeanors, will be heard be heard in the local Municipal Court. Conversely all indictable offenses, also known as felonies, will be heard at the Bergen County Superior Courthouse which is located in
Hackensack. The second type of domestic violence offense, as explained above, that a Defendant could find themselves facing is a temporary restraining order (TRO). A TRO is exactly what it sounds like, temporary. Therefore, a final restraining order hearing (FRO) must occur in the Family Division of the Bergen County Superior Court. As mentioned above, this proceeding, unlike the previously discussed proceeding, is civil in nature as opposed to criminal. With that being said, the ramifications of a permanent FRO can be more devastating than most criminal charges. Such ramifications include being registered in a New Jersey Domestic Violence Registry with a photo as well as fingerprints being taken, paying a fine of up to $500, batterer or anger management classes, permanent bar from owning and possessing firearms, forfeiting any current firearms in your household, and potentially limited or even no access to your children. In addition to this, customs will most likely stop and question you in regards to your final restraining order. And if there is an allegation that the final restraining order was violated, you’ll be taken to the county jail where the alleged violation occurred and be charged with a criminal complaint.
If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence in Bergen County it is imperative for you to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options as the underline consequences and collateral consequences can be severe. The collateral consequences can consist of a temporary / final restraining order, criminal record, jail time, forfeiting of any firearms and the potential to be not only removed from your home but also forbidden to see your children. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 200 years of combined experience on staff, including over twenty years of combined prosecuting experience. We have been defending individuals charged with domestic violence in Bergen County for over fifteen years. We serve all of Bergen County, including towns like Mahwah, Fort Lee, Paramus, Englewood, Tenafly, Saddle River, Edgewater and Fair Lawn. As you can see from above, the consequences can be extreme; our attorneys are ready to fight to protect your interests. For a free initial consultation today, please contact us directly at 201.429.9783. We can be reached 24/7. Do not hesitate to call.
Who Can File for a Temporary Restraining Order?
In order to obtain a restraining order here in New Jersey, the alleged victim must have a relationship with the defendant. This relationship falls within one of the following groups:
- Household member
- Child in common
- Dating relationship
When it comes to who qualifies for a TRO, it is construed liberally by our courts. This means that there is a pretty broad array of people that can file for a TRO. However, there are limits to who can obtain a restraining order. For example, New Jersey courts have held that a brother did not qualify for a temporary restraining order since the brothers had not resided with one another for more than 20 years. Another New Jersey case, which had a similar result as the last one, held that a daughter was barred from relief against her father since they di
d not live in the same household for 15 years. These cases seem to have concluded that there must be some kind of opportunity for the abuse and/or controlling behavior at the hands of the defendant due to their continued entanglement as household members. If there isn’t any, then the household connection is too isolated to consider as recent acts of domestic violence under New Jersey law.
Please keep in mind that the Domestic Violence law here in New Jersey also applies to roommates. That’s right, you don’t have to have a familial or dating relationship to file a temporary restraining order. This means that college roommates can even apply and potentially qualify for a restraining order against the other roommate if an alleged predicate act of domestic violence occurred. One of the first avenues of defense which our lawyers pursue is the standing of the plaintiff. If the dating relationship or household relationship is too remote to allow for a restraining order, our attorneys will certainly utilize that basis to dismiss a temporary restraining order.
When Will My Hearing Take Place?
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29, final restraining order hearing is to be conducted within 10 days when the temporary restraining order was filed. One week and three days is not a lot of time since this is the time that the defendant has his/her chance to present evidence and to dispute the plaintiff’s allegations against him/her. The alleged victim has the burden of proving two things in order for the Judge to grant a Final Restraining Order.
- First, the elements of the predicate acts must be proven by preponderance of the evidence. This standard is significantly lower than the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, it makes it much easier for the alleged victim to prove that the alleged predicate acts took place.
- Second, that a restraining order is needed to protect the alleged victim from imminent threats or future acts of domestic violence. This is usually proven in the prior history of the temporary restraining order. Depending on what the alleged victim puts in the prior acts section and the evidence they present to the Judge to corroborate those allegations, the Judge will have to determine if the Final Restraining Order is needed.
Our law firm’s attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have defended hundreds of final restraining order hearings at the Family Division throughout this State. Our law firm knows how to combat these cases and to try and obtain a dismissal.
Final Restraining Order Attorneys in Bergen County NJ
As you can tell from above, a domestic violence conviction carries serious live long consequences. It is important that you protect your interests and speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. If you have any further questions regarding either domestic violence or restraining orders please feel free to contact any one of our Bergen County offices for a consultation about your charges. Mr. Rosen who heads up our Fort Lee Office is available now to discuss your options. Our office has extensive experience representing clients charged with domestic violence offenses in towns like Fort Lee, Hackensack, Paramus, East Rutherford, Bogota, Upper Saddle River, Teaneck, Garfield, New Milford and Lyndhurst.