The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is a far reaching and progressive law which gives victims of domestic violence immediate protection in abusive situations. Victims can go to the local police and obtain a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the perpetrator from having contact with them. Generally, about a week to two weeks later, the parties go before a Superior Court Judge who hears testimony as to whether a Final Restraining Order can be granted.
Contempt of either a Temporary or Final Restraining Order is a criminal contempt which the County Prosecutor prosecutes. A second contempt conviction of a Final Restraining Order has a mandatory 30 day County Jail sentence.
In this context, it is critically important that a person accused of domestic violence retain an experienced attorney to defend him or herself. Unfortunately, the law is being used by so-called victims to either evict relatives or get even with former boyfriends or girlfriends. In one case I recently handled, my client was accused of “harassment” by a former girlfriend who continuously sent him text messages even after she obtained a Temporary Restraining Order. She was seeking the Order to prevent my client from seeing his three year old daughter with her. She also falsely accused him of stalking her and even breaking into her house when she was not home. All charges were dismissed and we won at the Final Restraining Order hearing.
It’s simply too risky to go it alone. Hire an experienced Domestic Violence attorney so this good law is not misused against you.