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Domestic Violence Lawyers in Mercer County
If you have arrested and charged with a domestic violence criminal offense or served with a temporary restraining order in Mercer County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Regardless of what the specific domestic violence charge is, the penalties if convicted, can be absolutely devastating for an individual’s future. They could include incarceration, probation, community service, criminal record and high fines just to name a few. Keep in mind, that these are just some of the potential penalties for a domestic violence criminal offenses. If a temporary restraining order is given and a final restraining order is granted, then a Defendant would face a whole host of other devastating consequences for what amounts to the same incident. Those could include being barred from returning to their home, forbidden from speaking to their children and forced to permanently surrender all of their firearms. As you can tell, these are not the type of allegations to underestimate. Furthermore, the Country as a whole but more importantly New Jersey has taken a very proactive approach when it comes to better investigating and subsequently prosecuting those accused of domestic violence.
Looking to Consult with an Attorney About a TRO in Trenton NJ
If you have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, harassment, simple assault, false imprisonment, terroristic threats or served with a temporary restraining order, the attorneys at Proetta, Oliver & Fay can help. Mr. Oliver is an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney. His entire career has been dedicated to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout New Jersey including Mercer County. Our office has represented countless clients who have been charged with various domestic violence offense over the years. We serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Hamilton, Lawrenceville, West Windsor, Ewing, Hopewell, Hightstown, East Windsor, Princeton and Trenton. If you would like to come to our office and have a face-to-face consultation with Mr. Oliver please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. We are available around the clock and our initial consultations are always free. Please see below for a list of some of the most common domestic violence offenses charged in Mercer County.
What to Know about Domestic Violence Cases in New Jersey
Anyone involved in a domestic dispute with a loved one or family member could find themselves dealing with several different serious legal issues. That includes but is not limited to being charged criminally with an act of domestic violence and subjected to a detention hearing as well as being served with a temporary restraining order. These types of cases tend to be very emotionally driven and for the most part, typically boil down to he said she said type of incidents. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney can seek to remove the emotion from the case and litigate the actual facts of the case. For more information on some of these potential legal issues, please click the links below.
Who is Protected Under NJ Domestic Violence Prevention Act
In order to be considered a protected party under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Prevention Act, the victim must first establish that they were in some form of a domestic relationship with the Defendant. Pursuant to NJSA 2C:25-19d, in order to qualify as a victim of domestic violence, the victim must either be:
- A spouse or former spouse of the Defendant;
- A present or former household member of the Defendant;
- A person who has a child in common with the Defendant; or
- A person who is or was in a dating relationship with the Defendant.
Once a victim establishes that they are a protected party under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Prevention Act they will then be entitled to additional protections under this act if they fall victim of a crime of domestic violence.
What Offenses Will be Classified as Acts of Domestic Violence Pursuant to New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act
If the victim establish that they are a protected party pursuant to New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act, then the following crimes will be considered acts of domestic violence and will received enhanced protections:
- Homicide, Assault, Terroristic Threats, Kidnapping, Criminal Restraint, False Imprisonment, Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact, Lewdness, Criminal Mischief, Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Harassment or Stalking.
Where do I go to Court for a Domestic Violence Case in Mercer County?
Since domestic violence cases can be considered not only criminal in nature but civil as well (restraining order), they might need to be litigated in two separate courts. All criminal domestic violence offenses will be litigated in either the local Municipal Court or the Mercer County Superior Court. The specific charge will dictate what Court will have original jurisdiction over the charges. All indictable offenses (felony) will be prosecuted in the Mercer County Superior Court and all disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanor) will be prosecuted in the local Municipal Court. If the individual is also served with a temporary restraining order, then that case will be heard in the Chancery Division, Family Part of the Mercer County Superior Court.
Standard of Proof: Restraining Order v. Domestic Violence Criminal Charge
Since restraining orders are civil in nature, the standard of proof required for an FRO will be by a preponderance of the evidence. Conversely, the standard of proof for all domestic violence criminal charges will be beyond a reasonable doubt. It is also important to note that since these are two separate hearings, the defendant must be mindful that what they testify too in the restraining order case can be used in the criminal case in certain scenarios.
What is the Bail Range for a Domestic Violence Case in NJ
Based on the new bail guidelines that were initiated in January of 2017, a Defendant charged with a crime that is classified as an act domestic violence, could be forced to spend a few nights in the Mercer County Jail pending pretrial services evaluation and then possible a detention hearing. If the defendant is charged under what is referred to as a Complaint-Warrant, then they must be taken from the local police station to the Mercer County Jail so that pretrial services can conduct a risk assessment. That risk assessment will be used by the prosecution to determine whether the defendant will be released on conditions from their Central Judicial Processing Hearing or if a formal detention motion will be filed. If the prosecution elects to file a formal detention motion, then the a bail hearing will be conducted approximately five days later. At that hearing it will be the prosecution’s burden to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is to much of a risk to release and must be detained, pretrial, without bail. After hearing arguments from both sides, it will be up to the Judge to determine if the defendant should be detained pretrial without bail or released. It is important to note here that the vast majority of all domestic violence criminal charges will be subject to Bail Reform and the aforementioned process. For more information on detention hearings in Mercer County, please click the link.
Speak to a Local Trenton Restraining Order Defense Lawyer Today – 609-789-0779
If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense like stalking, terroristic threats, burglary, harassment, assault or served with a temporary restraining order in Mercer County it is imperative that you speak to an experienced domestic violence defense attorneys immediately. At Proetta, Oliver & Fay, our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys routinely appear in Courts throughout Mercer County including the West Windsor Municipal Court, the East Windsor Municipal Court , the Lawrence Municipal Court, the Robbinsville Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court and the Hamilton Municipal Court. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779 or you can leave us a message here.