South Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyers
Domestic Violence Lawyers Serving Clients in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester County, NJ and Beyond
Few things in life are more important than our family and our relationships. The New Jersey domestic violence attorneys from Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC understand this very well.
But occasionally, conflicts occur that result in physical, emotional and psychological violence. Sometimes these conflicts are simple and straightforward. Other times, they are the result of complex situations that the compassionate and understanding lawyers at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC are well aware of.
While any arrest for domestic violence is always upsetting, it’s not always black and white. To figure out what you’re potentially facing under New Jersey domestic violence law, consider hiring Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC to represent you. The attorneys at Aydelotte and Scardella Law LLC are experienced not only in handling the criminal charges that stem from domestic violence arrests, but also restraining order matters. They are the team that can handle every aspect of the legal trouble you might find yourself in after a domestic violence situation.
Defining Domestic Violence Under New Jersey Law
Common sense says defining domestic violence should be pretty easy. But if you’re thinking about hiring an attorney in a domestic violence case, you understand that things aren’t always so simple.
New Jersey’s primary domestic violence law is the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. This law has a very specific definition of what constitutes domestic violence.
The definition can be broken down into two parts. First, there is the identification of behavior that could qualify as domestic violence. Second, there is a description of who can potentially be the victim of domestic violence.
Behavior that Can Constitute Domestic Violence in Camden County, NJ
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(a), defines domestic violence as: “the occurrence of one or more of the following acts inflicted upon a person protected under this act by an adult or an emancipated minor.”
These acts include:
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal coercion
If someone is less than 18 years of age (and is an un-emancipated minor), they cannot be guilty of domestic violence under New Jersey law. However, it’s possible to charge them for juvenile delinquency.
Domestic Violence Victims in Cherry Hill, NJ
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(d), defines a victim of domestic violence as:
“a person protected under this act and shall include any person who is 18 years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor and who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member. ‘Victim of domestic violence’ also includes any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has a child in common, or with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant. ‘Victim of domestic violence’ also includes any person who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.”
If we break this down, we learn that a victim of domestic abuse will be someone who meets any of the following characteristics:
- A current or former spouse (that is at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor).
- A present or former member householder member.
- Regardless of age, someone who has had a child with, or is pregnant with, the individual committing domestic violence.
- Regardless of age, someone who has had a dating relationship with the individual committing domestic violence.
The sex, race, physical condition or psychological state of the victim will not affect a person’s status as a potential domestic violence victim.
What Is an Emancipated Minor?
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(e) sets out who is an emancipated minor for purposes of defining domestic violence in New Jersey. Specifically, an emancipated minor is:
“a person who is under 18 years of age but who has been married, has entered military service, has a child or is pregnant or has been previously declared by a court or an administrative agency to be emancipated.”
Are you Facing a Potential Charge for Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a difficult and complicated situation to deal with. Handling it requires an open mind and empathy to gain an understanding of the whole picture.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence and aren’t sure what happens next, please contact us. The domestic violence lawyers at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC know what a delicate situation you’re in.
Perhaps something terrible has happened. Or maybe there’s a huge misunderstanding. Either way, your family’s well-being hangs in the balance. Let us help you get through this.
Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence Charges in South Jersey
Yes. N.J.S.A. 2C:25-21(a)(1) requires a law enforcement officer to arrest the alleged perpetrator if “the victim exhibits signs of injury caused by an act of domestic violence.”
Injury can include not just physical markings, but also pain or any impairment of physical condition. N.J.S.A. 2C:25-21(c)(1) demands that police officers “liberally construe” what amounts to a sign of injury caused by domestic violence.
The victim of domestic abuse can take two potential actions. First, they could file a criminal complaint. This purpose is to start criminal proceedings against you.
The criminal judicial process could potentially lead to an indictable charge or a disorderly persons charge against you. The exact charge and criminal penalties will depend on the facts of your case, such as a prior criminal history of violence or domestic abuse.
Second, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) could be issued which could result in the issuance of a Final Restraining Order (FRO).
Violation of a restraining order can result in additional criminal charges. Repeated violations of a restraining order can result in jail time.
You could be subject to additional restrictions if a TRO or FRO is issued against you. This can include being unable to possess a firearm, not being able to live in your home and temporarily losing custody of your child(ren).