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Under New Jersey law, there are a number of different reasons why you may have a restraining order entered against you. This includes being accused of domestic violence, as well as being convicted of stalking, sexual assault and other similar types of offenses. If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, it is important to hire an experienced New Jersey restraining order lawyer to defend you.
As the subject of a restraining order, you are bound to strictly comply with the terms of the order. Regardless of what you may personally believe about the validity of the order or the unreasonableness of the restrictions it imposes, you must comply unless and until the order is lifted. Violating a restraining order is a criminal offense under Section 2C:29-9 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes, and a conviction under Section 2C:29-9 can have drastic consequences.
If you have had a restraining order entered against you under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act or any other New Jersey statute, you must strictly comply with the terms of the order. If you deviate from the terms of your restraining order in any respect, you can be charged with a restraining order violation under Section 2C:29-9.
Restraining orders can prohibit various types of conduct, and the terms of your restraining order will determine whether you are at risk for being convicted of a violation. With that said, some common examples of restraining order violations include:
In addition to prohibiting certain conduct, in many cases, restraining orders will impose affirmative obligations as well. If you fail to attend counseling or therapy, fail to provide financial support, or fail to do anything else required by your restraining order, you could potentially be prosecuted for a violation. A permanent restraining order can significantly affect your custody and visitation rights immediately and in the future. Regardless of the specific issue involved, you should consult with a New Jersey restraining order lawyer promptly to protect yourself.
Depending on the specific circumstances involved, a restraining order violation can be prosecuted as either a disorderly persons offense, a fourth-degree indictable offense or a third-degree indictable offense. Potential penalties include:
Most restraining order violations constitute fourth-degree indictable offenses. A restraining order violation may be prosecuted as a disorderly persons offense if the violation does not involve conduct that itself constitutes a crime (such as failing to attend counseling required pursuant to a domestic violence restraining order). Third-degree charges are possible in cases involving restraining orders entered in relation to stalking convictions under Section 2C:12-10.1 or Section 2C:12-10.2 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes, or pursuant to comparable provisions of other states’ criminal codes.
Due to the potential for severe penalties, if you have been charged with violating a restraining order in New Jersey, it is critical that you hire an experienced defense attorney to protect you. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our attorneys may be able to protect you by asserting defenses such as:
If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, you should speak with a defense lawyer as soon as possible. You are facing fines and jail or prison time, and you need to make sure you do everything possible to protect yourself and preserve your future.
While it is a defense to an alleged restraining order violation that you did not knowingly or purposefully violate the order, the prosecution is going to argue that there is no way you didn’t know what your order said. As a result, if you genuinely did not realize you were violating your restraining order, you will need to work with an experienced attorney who can effectively present this defense on your behalf.
Unfortunately, false accusations of restraining order violations are common, especially in cases involving domestic violence allegations. If you have been falsely accused, your lawyer can investigate the circumstances involved and determine what evidence is available to disprove your charge. You may even be able to file a restraining order against the person filing the false charges.
Even if you knowingly and purposely violated your restraining order, you could still have several defenses available. To find out what our New Jersey restraining order lawyers can do to protect you, schedule a free initial consultation today.
To discuss your situation with a trained New Jersey restraining order lawyer, please call 877-435-6371 or contact us online. We will arrange for you to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in confidence as soon as possible.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.