A domestic violence conviction is likely to result in jail time, hefty fines, removal from your home, and other serious consequences. New Jersey defines domestic violence as someone in an intimate relationship trying to dominate control over another person through physical, emotional, or financial abuse. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence in New Jersey, it’s important to meet with a defense lawyer near Paterson with significant experience handling domestic violence cases. To help you prepare for your consultation, here’s a closer look at domestic violence laws in New Jersey.

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Definitions

Domestic violence is the occurrence of certain criminal offenses upon a person protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1990. An attorney can provide the full list of covered criminal offenses, but the list includes assault, kidnapping, stalking, and harassment. A victim of domestic violence must be protected by the Act, under the age of 18, or an emancipated minor subject to domestic violence by a spouse or household member. Regardless of age, someone is considered a domestic violence victim if he or she was subjected to violence by a person with whom he or she has a child or has had a romantic relationship.

Mandatory Arrest
As a defense lawyer can explain, a police officer must arrest and take into custody a domestic violence suspect if the victim exhibits signs of injury from domestic violence. If the victim doesn’t exhibit visible signs of injury, but claims an injury has occurred, the officer will consider relevant factors to determine whether there is probable cause to make an arrest. Furthermore, in identifying which party is the domestic violence victim, the officer considers the comparative extent of injuries and the history of violence between the parties. Following arrest, a domestic violence victim can contact a defense attorney for legal representation.

Temporary Restraining Order
If a victim obtains a no-contact court order but the defendant is present at the scene, the officer will escort the victim to his or her home. The officer will then order the defendant to vacate the premises and give the defendant a reasonable period of time to gather his or her belongings.