In New Jersey, violating a restraining order can lead to criminal penalties. As a result, if you are being accused of violating a restraining order, you need to take your situation very seriously. In this article, our New Jersey restraining order lawyer discusses some of the key steps to take when facing prosecution for a restraining order violation.
Understand the Consequences You are Facing
Restraining order violations are prosecuted as the crime of contempt under New Jersey law. Under Section 2C:29-9 of the New Jersey Statutes, contempt of a domestic violence restraining order can be charged as either a disorderly persons offense, a fourth-degree indictable offense or a third-degree indictable offense. Penalties for disorderly persons offenses can include six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine. Fourth-degree indictable offenses carry up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, while third-degree indictable offenses carry up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Make Sure You Know Your Court Date
If you are facing a contempt charge for allegedly violating a restraining order, you need to make sure you know your court date—and you need to make sure you will be there on time. Failure to appear can result in the judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. You can potentially face additional criminal penalties as well.
Make Sure You Comply with Your Restraining Order
Regardless of whether you have violated your restraining order in the past, you need to make sure you do not violate your restraining order in the future. While violating a restraining order at any time can have severe consequences, the consequences can be particularly severe if you currently have a contempt case pending.
Take Notes and Keep Any Evidence You Have
If you do not believe that you have violated your restraining order, you should write down all the reasons why—and you should share your notes with your lawyer. If you have any evidence that helps prove you have not violated your restraining order (i.e., if you have relevant text messages or photos that show you were somewhere else at the relevant time), be sure to keep this evidence to share with your lawyer as well.
Talk to a New Jersey Restraining Order Lawyer
Due to the extreme risks of facing a contempt charge, you should speak with a lawyer right away if you have been accused of violating a restraining order. If you contact a New Jersey restraining order lawyer quickly, he or she may be able to work with the police to diffuse the situation. However, if it is too late to avoid a contempt charge, you will need to work closely with an attorney to present the strongest possible defense in light of the facts at hand.
Schedule an Appointment with a New Jersey Restraining Order Lawyer
Have you been accused of violating a restraining order? If so, we can help. Call 877-435-6371 or contact us online to speak with a New Jersey restraining order lawyer in confidence as soon as possible.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending criminal cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.