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Restraining Order Violation
New Brunswick NJ Criminal Contempt Defense Attorneys
Once a restraining order is signed all it typically takes for the defendant to be arrested for criminal contempt is for the victim to call the police and claim that that there was an attempted to communicate or make personal contact with the victim. The resulting restraining order violation carries serious penalties that include the possibility of incarceration. This is why it is paramount for you to hire the best lawyer you can afford if you have been accused of violating a restraining order. The attorneys in the New Brunswick Office of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have a deep-rooted presence in the court system with decades of experience appearing at the Middlesex County Superior Court where your offense will be decided. In fact, we even employ Jason Seidman, Esq., a former supervisor in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Whether you were charged with a restraining order violation directly by the prosecutor’s office or by the police in New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, Old Bridge or Piscataway, our lawyers have what it takes to help you. Call us anytime 24/7 at 732-246-7126 for a free consultation.
How Can Someone Violate a Restraining Order?
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9, an individual may be held in contempt for disobeying any condition of a temporary restraining order or final restraining order. The most common example of a violation arises when the defendant has some form of prohibited contact with the plaintiff, whether that be face to face, through the telephone or over the internet. Other situations where a violation can be triggered include failure to adhere to visitation provisions in a restraining order like taking a child to an unapproved pickup or drop off location without prior consent.
What Is The Process For Issuing A Restraining Order Violation?
Law enforcement must undertake an investigation once allegations of a violation are lodged. In the event that the police or a prosecutor finds probable cause for contempt, the accused is arrested and: (1) served with a complaint containing the contempt charge; (2) a judge is contacted so that bail may be set; and (3) the defendant is either processed for release on bail or transported to the Middlesex Adult Correction Center.
What Must The Prosecutor Prove To Obtain a Contempt Conviction?
There are basically three (3) elements that the prosecutor must establish beyond reasonable doubt to convict a defendant of a restraining order violation. The elements are:
- A temporary restraining order or final restraining order was entered against the defendant;
- The defendant knew of the existence of the restraining order; and
- The defendant purposely or knowingly violated a term(s) of the restraining order.
The key to remember about these requirements is that the accused must have knowledge of the temporary/permanent restraining order and intentionally violate the order. The prosecutor has to establish more than contact or some other form of violation, namely, that the defendant knew what he or she was doing and that it was a violation of the restraining order.
Fourth Degree Criminal Contempt & Disorderly Persons Offense Contempt
If an individual is convicted of contempt, it is a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2. When the violation involves the commission of a separate disorderly persons offense, however, the criminal contempt is enhanced to a fourth degree crime. This variety of retraining order violation is a felony and arises when the violation itself stems from a new incident, for example, harassment, terroristic threat, simple assault or the like.
Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order
If a defendant is convicted of a disorderly persons contempt, he or she faces up to six (6) months in jail, a $1,000 fine, other monetary assessments, and counseling. For a fourth degree contempt violation, an individual is exposed to up to eighteen (18) months in jail and $10,000 in fines. Both grades of contempt result in a 2C criminal record that will show up on a criminal background check. A mandatory period of incarceration applies to a second or subsequent contempt conviction.
Edison Violation of a Restraining Order Lawyer
Edison historically ranks first or second in population in Middlesex County so it makes sense that there are many violation of a restraining order arrests. If you find yourself in this position it is pivotal that you keep in mind that you have only been accused and not proven guilty of violating a restraining order. The burden is on the prosecutor to establish that you actually committed the offense. Our attorneys protect your rights and do what is necessary to provide you with the greatest chance of averting a conviction. A lawyer at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is available immediately to discuss your contempt charge in Edison or another municipality, for example, East Brunswick, Sayreville, Monroe, Metuchen or Plainsboro. Call our East Brunswick Office now at 732-227-1200 for an immediate free consultation.