If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense and is facing a temporary restraining order (TRO), it is imperative that you understand the consequences of being convicted of the criminal offense and the rules governing restraining orders. These are two separate and distinct proceedings so it is possible to have the criminal charge dismissed but the final restraining order issued and vice versa. Contact Mr. Tormey at his Paramus or Hackensack offices anytime at 201-556-1571. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.
Restraining Orders vs. Criminal Charges: Collateral Proceedings
If a domestic violence incident occurs, several things can happen. First, the police, when called, can investigate and no charges are brought. Typically, in these cases, the victim does not want to press charges, there is no evidence of assault (injuries), and the police did not witness any assault, etc. Second, when the police investigate, a criminal complaint can be filed against one or both of the parties involved for any domestic violence criminal charges such as simple assault, aggravated assault, stalking or harassment. If criminal charges are filed, they must be handled in either the local municipal court or in the Superior Court, depending on the severity and the degree of the charges.
If the charges are indictable (felony) level charges, they must be handled at the Superior Court in the County in which the alleged crime occurred. If the charges are disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanor), they can be handled in the local municipal court in which the offense allegedly occurred. The criminal charges are a completely separate proceeding that any restraining order if one is issued.
After a domestic violence incident occurs, the police will also ask the alleged victim if he or she wants to file a temporary restraining order (TRO). If the party declines, then the criminal charges will proceed and no restraining order will be issued. If the victim wishes to obtain a restraining order, a TRO will be issued and a final restraining order (FRO) hearing will be scheduled in the Superior Court, Family Division to be heard within ten (10) days. The temporary restraining order (TRO) will prevent the alleged aggressor from going near the alleged victim, their place of employment, home, and any other places or people that are named in the restraining order. If the person violates the restraining order, he or she will be arrested and charged with contempt of court.
There are very different standards of proof and issues with regard to criminal charges, temporary restraining orders (TRO) and final restraining order hearings (FRO). If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence criminal offenses or you are facing a restraining order in New Jersey, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help. Contact our Morristown or Paramus office locations anytime for a free initial consultation at 201-556-1571.