Domestic Violence is an issue that continues to affect individuals in every community across the world. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, equivalent to 10 million women and men annually.
In 1979, New Jersey enacted one of the strongest domestic violence prevention laws in the nation. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A.2C:25-17 et seq.) (PDVA) allows anyone who is 18 or older and in a qualifying domestic relationship to seek and obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against another individual. A qualifying domestic relationship includes a marriage, current or former dating partners, or current or former household members. Once a TRO is granted, the parties appear before a judge in Family Court for a trial. The judge then decides whether to make the TRO into a permanent Final Restraining Order (FRO). A violation of a TRO or FRO is reportable to law enforcement and may lead to the defendant’s arrest and imprisonment for contempt of a court order.
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In many cases, a Domestic Violence matter does not end at the conclusion of the trial. Domestic Violence restraining orders are extremely serious and can have significant implications for both the Plaintiff and the Defendant. The FRO allows the court in many cases to continue to retain jurisdiction over the parties. An individual with an FRO may be barred from certain types of employment, including law enforcement, is banned from possessing any firearms, and may be ordered by a judge to alcohol and/or substance abuse evaluation and possible treatment. If children are involved, the parties may have to submit to an evaluation by a parenting coordinator, and in some circumstances, the defendant may only be permitted supervised visitation with their child(ren). All of this has an effect on parenting time and child support. Thus, Domestic Violence cases can go on for years.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, seeking and obtaining a restraining order can be intimidating. Our firm offers experienced advocates who can stand by your side and guide you through this difficult process. Likewise, if you believe you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, then our firm can help you put on the best defense possible to protect your rights.