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Trenton NJ Restraining Order Lawyer
If you have been served with a temporary restraining order, which is commonly referred to as a TRO, it is essential that you speak to an experienced Mercer County domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. A TRO is exactly what it sounds like, temporary in nature. When a defendant is served with a TRO, it in essence means that another individual, known as the “plaintiff” is seeking to have a Judge impose a final order prohibiting the Defendant from having future contact with the plaintiff. However, it does not stop their, other severe conditions can be imposed upon the defendant as well. For more information on those conditions, please see below
Need Lawyer for Restraining Order in East Windsor NJ
If you have been served with a TRO in Mercer County, in towns like Hamilton, Ewing, West Windsor, Trenton, Lawrenceville, East Windsor, Hightstown, Princeton or elsewhere, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our Mercer County domestic violence defense attorneys are well aware of what a final restraining order can do to someone’s life. As such, we are dedicated to rigorously defending these type of cases for our clients. Being saddled with a final restraining order will follow someone around for the rest of their lives. Restraining Orders in New Jersey do not go away, they are permanent, unless someone files to vacate a final restraining order. Here is some more information on temporary and final restraining orders in New Jersey.
Understanding the Ramifications of Temporary Restraining Order in NJ
Temporary restraining order in New Jersey are entered into on an emergent basis and they will remain in place until a final restraining order hearing can take place. That hearing, at least an initial appearance on that hearing, must take place within ten (10) days of the issuance of the TRO.
Who Can Issue a Temporary Restraining Order in Mercer County
Pursuant to the court rules, a Mercer County Superior Court Judge or the local Municipal Court Judge in the municipality where the alleged incident occurred may issue a temporary restraining order for an alleged victim of domestic violence. The rule of thumb is that if the TRO is being sought Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, then the plaintiff must make application through the Superior Court. However, if the TRO is being sought after 5pm or during the weekend, then the plaintiff must make an application through the local police department, who will then contact the Municipal Court Judge to seek approval.
What is Required to Obtain a TRO in New Jersey?
The proof that is required to obtain a TRO is much less than what is required for a final restraining order in New Jersey. Remember these types of orders are issued on an emergent basis and Judge’s will always err on the side of caution. In order to a Plaintiff to obtain a temporary restraining order, they must establish the following:
- That they are a victim of domestic violence pursuant to NJSA 2C:25-19(d).
- A victim of domestic violence includes any person who is a:
- Spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member; or
- Who has a child in common; or
- Who was in a Dating relationship.
- A victim of domestic violence includes any person who is a:
- That the Defendant committed one of the fourteen enumerated acts of domestic violence pursuant to NJSA 2C:25-19(a).
- That they are in need of this order to:
- Protect their life, health or well-being; or
- That they are in danger of an act of domestic violence.
When Does a TRO Become Effective in New Jersey
Before a TRO is effective the Defendant must be properly served with a copy by the local police department. Once that occurs, the Defendant is prohibited from having any contact whatsoever with the Plaintiff and any of the other protected parties stated in the TRO. Those other people tend to include the plaintiff’s family members, including any children that they may have in common. For more information on a TRO, please checkout our temporary restraining order practice area by clicking the link.
When Will a Final Restraining Order Hearing Take Place in Trenton
Once the TRO is entered and properly served upon the Defendant, a final restraining order (FRO) hearing will be set. The defendant will need to make their first appearance before the Judge within ten (10) days of being served. If the Defendant and/or the Plaintiff request an adjournment to either consult with an attorney or better prepare themselves, it will typically be granted. However, the final hearings normally must take place within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the TRO.
What Happens at a FRO Hearing in Mercer County New Jersey
A FRO hearing is typically a mini trial. Meaning that the plaintiff will be called upon to testify on their own behalf and they will have the ability to call witnesses and present evidence on their own behalf. Once the plaintiff puts on their case, the Defendant will be allowed to cross examine the plaintiff as well as their witnesses. Then the Defendant will have their own ability to testify and present their defense. After hearing all of the testimony and weight the evidence, the Judge will have to make the ultimate decision of whether a final order of protection is necessary. Here is the plaintiffs burden:
In order for a TRO to become a FRO, the plaintiff must establish by a preponderance of the evidence standard, the following elements:
- That they are a victim of an act of domestic violence (see above the 14 enumerated crimes);
- That there is a past history of domestic violence between the parties &
- That in order to prevent future acts of domestic violence, a FRO must be entered.
With that being said, if the current act of domestic act of is egregious enough, the past history element mentioned above may not need to be satisfied. For more information on a FRO in Mercer County, please checkout our practice area by clicking the link.
Consequences of a Final Order of Protection in NJ
If a Final Restraining Order is entered, the Defendant will be forbidden from having any contact with the Plaintiff, forfeit their right to possess weapons and placed into a Domestic Violence Registry. They will also have up to a $500 fine imposed and could be ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation or batters intervention program. So, as you can see, the ramifications if a final restraining order is entered into could be devastating to someone’s future. If you would like to speak to one of our Mercer County domestic violence defense attorneys about your options, then please contact us at 609-789-0779.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Restraining Order Hearing in Mercer County?
Here is a recent article about a case Mr. Oliver handled where he was able to secure an outright dismissal of the Temporary Restraining Order. D.F. v. R.P. and here is what R.P. had to say about Mr. Oliver’s services:
After a bitter domestic breakup, my ex filed a temporary restraining order to obtain some personal belongings left in my home. Out of concern for the potential impact to my career and reputation, I searched online for the right representation and found Keith Oliver. From the initial conversation, Mr. Oliver listened intently to my concerns and provided me with multiple options. I elected to retain Mr. Oliver as counsel as he put me at ease immediately with his knowledge of the process. Needlessly to say, Keith’s legal knowledge and personal insight into human behavior resulted in a vacated TRO within days. His due diligence, knowledge and concern were integral in helping me during a stressful time. Highly recommend.
Charged Criminally and Served with a TRO for Same Incident?
Just because a Defendant is served a TRO it does not mean that the Plaintiff and/or the prosecution can not proceed criminally on the underlying act of domestic violence that is alleged. In other words, it would not be a double jeopardy argument that the Defendant has already litigated the facts of the case through a FRO hearing. So a Defendant could not only be forced to litigate the restraining order in family court but also be forced to litigate the criminal charges in criminal court. That is one of the main reasons that we strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney about your options. These cases are very complex and tend to have a lot of moving pieces. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys about your options, then please contact us at 609-789-0779.
Need to Speak to a Lawyer About a Restraining Order in Mercer County
At Proetta & Oliver we defend clients served with temporary restraining order as well as defend them on the underlying criminal charges regardless of whether they are charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, sexual assault or a violation of a restraining order. We are well aware that no two clients let alone no two cases are the same, as such we are dedicated to making sure that we can adapt our representation in order to fulfill our clients needs. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys about your options then please contact us at 609-789-0779. We serve all of Mercer County, including Robbinsville, West Windsor, Lawrence, Hopewell, Princeton and Ewing.