Domestic violence is a horrifying reality of life in Red Bank, New Jersey. There are many different ways you might be victimized by it. You might become a direct victim, or you might have to watch your loved one suffer. You might be falsely accused of domestic violence by someone attempting to gain advantage in child custody proceedings. No matter how you experience it, you’re going to need a Red Bank domestic violence lawyer to protect you.
The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC has been protecting domestic violence victims in Red Bank, NJ, since 2009. We understand that the emotional complexities of domestic violence can be overwhelming. That is why we pride ourselves on empathizing with you and acknowledging the full extent of what you are going through without judgment. Contact us at (732) 747-1882 to set up a free initial case consultation with our Red Bank domestic violence attorney.
How the Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC Can Help You Resolve Your Domestic Violence Issues in Red Bank, NJ
Our goal has always been to establish ourselves as the best domestic violence law firm in New Jersey. Our efforts have been unrelenting and have not gone unnoticed, as we have been showered with awards and professional recognition from the legal community.
Our Red Bank family law attorneys have more than two decades of specialized experience in family law. We are committed to ensuring your experience with the New Jersey family law system is as seamless and effective as possible.
Here are some of the ways we can help you with a Red Bank, NJ domestic violence case:
- Seek restraining orders or protective orders to erect legal barriers against further abuse.
- Seek criminal charges against your abuser.
- Navigate the complexities of family law, including domestic violence, custody, and divorce.
- Cooperate with social workers and counselors to provide a support network.
- Communicate with law enforcement to ensure proper reporting and documentation of any incidents of domestic violence.
- Seek the expungement or sealing of past domestic violence records for rehabilitated clients.
- Negotiate with prosecutors for fair outcomes in cases involving false accusations or mitigating circumstances.
- Offer you guidance on your legal rights and options.
- Offer confidential legal advice to protect your privacy and safety concerns.
- Challenge or defend against unfair or inaccurate claims to ensure you receive a fair trial and due process.
- Negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution where appropriate.
We might be able to help in many more ways, depending on the specific facts of your case. The best way to find out is to schedule a case consultation with our Red Bank Domestic violence lawyer. Contact us to explore your options.
In New Jersey, the 1991 Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) defines what constitutes domestic violence.
Domestic violence occurs when one of the following crimes is committed against you:
- Contempt of a Domestic Violence Order
- Criminal Coercion
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Restraint
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Criminal Trespass
- Crimes involving risk of death or serious bodily injury
- False Imprisonment
- Sexual Assault
- Terroristic Threats
The violence becomes ‘domestic’ when one of the following parties commits violence against you:
- Your current spouse
- Your separated spouse
- Your divorced spouse
- Someone you live with or once lived with
- Someone you are dating or have dated
- Someone with whom you have a common child
PDVA provides additional remedies for seeking justice when unlawful acts are committed against you.
Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?
People often remain in abusive relationships for reasons that can be difficult for outsiders to see or understand. Typically, the abused party is dependent on the abuser in some way—financially, emotionally, or physically. In other cases, the victim is afraid to leave the abuser for fear of being killed.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is a court order designed to protect the abused party in a relationship or association from domestic violence.
The restraining order might place the following restrictions on the defendant:
- No future acts of domestic violence. Of course, domestic violence is illegal anyway, but including a prohibition against future acts of domestic violence can enhance penalties and expand the remedies available to the accuser.
- Keep a certain distance (500 feet, for example) from the accuser’s residence, work, or other places (their child’s daycare center, for example).
- No verbal, written, personal, or electronic contact with the accuser or other specified individuals. Even sending an apology by email could be a violation of the restraining order.
- A prohibition against recruiting a third party to contact or harass the accuser or others by proxy.
- No stalking, following, or threatening the accuser or others.
- Pay child support or emergency support funds.
- Attend substance abuse or domestic violence counseling.
- An absolute prohibition against the possession of weapons (not just firearms).
- The accuser might win exclusive possession of the home, temporary custody of the children, medical coverage, damages, and other benefits.
- If the court issues a Final Restraining Order (FRO), the state will photograph and fingerprint the defendant. The defendant will have to pay the court a penalty of $50 to $500.
- The court will issue a copy of the FRO to both parties. Read it carefully before you leave the courthouse, and complain immediately if there are any inaccuracies.
- The court’s Family Division will send a copy of the restraining order to the police department where the accuser lives.
- The accuser should also provide copies of the restraining order to their employer, daycare centers, schools, and any other places of significance.
- The accuser should keep the FRO in their possession at all times. Additional copies are available from the domestic violence unit where the order was entered.
New Jersey recognized two different types of restraining orders (see below)–a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and a Final Restraining Order (FRO).
A TRO is designed for emergencies. You can get one by talking to a case officer or a judge. The accused does not have to be present at the hearing, and they don’t even have to know about it at the time. The TRO only lasts until you receive an FRO. The accused has the right to appear at the FRO hearing and contest it.
If the restraining order is violated, there can be criminal prosecution and civil penalties.
Where Can You File for a Restraining Order?
The accuser can file for a restraining order:
- In the county where the defendant lives,
- In the county where they live, or
- In the county where they are sheltered or staying temporarily.
You apply for a restraining order at the Domestic Violence Unit of the Superior Court Family Division at the county courthouse.
What Is the Process for Obtaining a Restraining Order?
Go to the county courthouse. If they are not open (nights and weekends), go to the nearest police station. A domestic violence staff member will interview the accuser. They will ask questions about the latest incident, and they will probe to find out whether there have been any previous instances of domestic violence.
After the interview, a hearing officer or judge will conduct a hearing with only the accuser present (the defendant doesn’t have to be there). If the hearing officer supports the accuser, they will issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). If the hearing officer does not support the accuser, the accuser can ask a judge to hear the case.
The court will give the accuser a date to return for a final restraining order (FRO) hearing within 10 days. The court will send copies of the TRO to the police for personal delivery to the defendant. The defendant has the right to appear on the scheduled day of the final hearing.
The accused could also face criminal charges in addition to a restraining order for domestic violence.
Schedule a Free Initial Case Consultation With a Red Bank Child Support Lawyer
Domestic violence law in Red Bank, NJ, involves complexities and nuances that are not at all obvious to someone not trained in domestic violence law. It is not a good idea to represent yourself against a domestic violence claim or to pursue a domestic violence claim on your own.
Contact our Red Bank domestic violence attorneys online or call us at (732) 812-5265. The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC is here to answer your questions and examine your options.