When a restraining order is issued against you, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and confused. Not only are you required to adhere to stringent conditions, but the repercussions of a slip-up are also serious. Restraining orders in New Jersey are usually associated with domestic violence cases, but their implications extend far beyond merely staying away from the protected individual.
Understanding the Complexities of a Restraining Order
It’s important to realize that a restraining order is much more than a simple “stay away” command. In addition to preventing you from having any form of contact with the individual who filed the order, you may also face the following limitations:
- Surrendering Firearms: You may be required to turn in any weapons or firearms you possess.
- No Contact with the Protected Individual’s Family: You’re often not allowed to reach out to the alleged victim’s family, either directly or indirectly.
- Temporary Loss of Child Custody: In certain scenarios, you might lose custody of your children for a stipulated period.
- Restricted Access to Certain Locations: This could include places like the scene where the alleged act of domestic violence occurred.
Common Ways Restraining Orders Are Violated
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just direct interaction with the protected individual that constitutes a violation. There are multiple avenues through which you could inadvertently or intentionally breach the restraining order:
- Proximity Violations: Being near the protected individual’s home or workplace
- Communication Offenses: Contacting the protected person through calls, texts, or emails
- Threatening Behavior: Issuing verbal or written threats against the protected person
- Court-ordered Rules: Ignoring visitation rules, failure to pay child or spousal support, or failing to move out of a shared residence
Legal Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order in NJ
The severity of your penalties largely depends on the nature of the violation. Generally, you could be charged with either a fourth-degree crime or a disorderly persons offense.
1. Fourth-Degree Crime: If you intentionally violate the terms of the restraining order, the punishment can be up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
2. Subsequent Offenses: If you have been previously convicted for the same violation, you might be looking at a minimum jail term of 30 days.
If you find yourself in such a predicament, our attorneys at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC can offer you the necessary guidance and representation.
FAQ Section: Your Questions Answered
1. What should I do immediately after violating a restraining order?
Immediate action is crucial. The first step is to consult a qualified criminal defense attorney. Refrain from making any further contact with the protected individual and start gathering evidence that may help in your defense.
2. Can a restraining order be lifted or modified?
While challenging, it is possible to have a restraining order lifted or modified. However, this often requires a legal proceeding and strong representation from a criminal defense attorney familiar with New Jersey laws.
3. How will a restraining order violation impact divorce proceedings?
Violating a restraining order can complicate divorce proceedings, possibly influencing child custody, asset division, and alimony. Therefore, it’s essential to seek professional legal guidance immediately.
4. What are some defenses against restraining order violations?
Common defenses include lack of intent, false accusations, or insufficient evidence. However, every case is unique, and only a qualified attorney can offer case-specific advice.
Why You Need a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney for Restraining Order Violations
If you’ve been arrested or charged with violating your restraining order in New Jersey, the clock is ticking. Prompt action is critical. With penalties as severe as a permanent criminal record or even jail time, you can’t afford to take any chances. Our seasoned team of criminal defense lawyers at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC has successfully defended clients across Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties, as well as throughout New Jersey.
Contact Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC Today For a Confidential Consultation About Your Criminal Defense
You don’t have to navigate the complexities of restraining order violations alone. At Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC, we understand that life happens, and sometimes it leads to complicated legal scenarios that can disrupt your life in unimaginable ways. We’re here to be your advocates and your advisors, helping you make sense of the law while crafting a strategic defense tailored just for you.
The repercussions of a restraining order violation can impact every facet of your life—your employment, your relationships, and your peace of mind. That’s why it’s crucial to have a reliable legal team by your side. Our track record speaks for itself, with numerous successful cases and satisfied clients who’ve found a fresh start thanks to our dedicated representation.
It’s never too early to seek legal guidance. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive consultation.
Disclaimer: The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or a substitute for an attorney-client relationship. If you’re in need of legal counsel, kindly get in touch with our law firm directly.