Detention & Bail for Domestic Violence Charges in NJ

“Changes in bail procedures in New Jersey mean you can be arrested and held in jail for your entire domestic violence case. This is why you need an aggressive defense at your detention hearing.”

New Jersey domestic violence detention hearing lawyer

New Jersey’s bail reform is both good news and bad news for those accused of crimes, and it’s the latter for those charged with domestic violence offenses. If you are arrested for getting into a scuffle with a neighbor and charged with simple assault, you may be processed at the police station pending your appearance in court. However, if you are charged with simple assault after a fight with your spouse or someone else who qualifies as a victim of domestic violence, bail reform is not good news. In fact, you will be held until you are seen by a judge and may be forced to stay in jail for the duration of the criminal proceedings if a detention hearing doesn’t go your way. When you have a detention hearing for domestic violence, an experienced New Jersey domestic violence defense lawyer attorney can help fight for your release from jail.

Don’t risk the damaging results of a bail decision against you. Whether it be in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Morris County, Union County, or elsewhere in New Jersey, the distinguished domestic violence defense attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm can fight for you. With a track record that includes thousands of successes handling domestic violence cases and restraining order trials in courts statewide, we have a team with in-depth insight into domestic violence laws and procedures, as well as fundamental command of the defense approaches that can be employed in these cases. We’ve done it many times before, and we will do everything in our power to best handle your case and your defense. For a free consultation regarding your upcoming detention hearing in New Jersey, contact our criminal law firm today at (201)-556-1570. A seasoned New Jersey criminal and domestic violence defense lawyer is standing by to provide the help you need now.

Laws & Procedures for NJ Domestic Violence Detention Hearings

New Jersey’s bail reform replaced cash bail for a release risk assessment. With the new reforms ushered in and specific guidance from the Attorney General, a defendant’s detention hearing occurs shortly after their arrest. At the hearing, the judge decides to either release the defendant, relying on the defendant to return to court as ordered and imposing other conditions as necessary, or order that the defendant stay in jail pending the next hearing or the resolution of their case. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, however, your options are limited. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, a New Jersey legal framework designed to protect victims of domestic violence, identifies specific offenses that are considered predicate acts of domestic violence, such as terroristic threats, burglary, criminal restraint, and simple, aggravated, and sexual assault, to name a few. Anyone charged with these in the context of domestic violence are subject to detention hearings.

A defendant charged with domestic violence indictable or disorderly persons offenses in a criminal complaint must attend a bail review when a court decides whether the accused defendant remains in jail after arrest or is released upon swearing to return to court for scheduled hearings on the case. The process begins if a prosecutor files the motion to seek pretrial detention of the offender named in a criminal complaint. Detention hearings are held after the defendant’s first appearance generally, and if filed after the first appearance, the motion is heard within five days of the filing of the motion. The defendant may appear with an attorney at the hearing and give testimony to argue against the prosecutor’s motion. This is where your lawyer needs to make the most compelling case possible that you are not a danger to the community, the alleged victim, a flight risk, or likely to fail to appear in court on required court dates.

Considerations for Release or Detention during Domestic Violence Bail Proceedings in New Jersey

If some set of conditions of release do not assure the court that the defendant will appear at future hearings, prevent the defendant from obstructing the criminal process, or keep the community safe, detention is presumed. It is also presumed if the defendant committed murder or another crime with a life imprisonment sentence attached to it. Otherwise, the presumption is that bail or other conditions will secure the defendant’s cooperation on all considerations for release. Unless the defendant is charged with murder or other crimes carrying life sentences for which the defendant is presumed to be detained in jail pending the outcome of their case, the presumption of release can be challenged by the prosecutor with clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. However, a court has discretion to release a defendant if the defendant cannot prepare their defense while incarcerated or for other significant reasons.

The elimination of the bail option was meant to make the determination of pretrial detention less subjective, meaning reliant on a judge’s leanings or impressions from the evidence. It is now more objectively evidence based on specific criteria of risk assessment. The judge may take into consideration nine factors, when assessing risk, such as:

  • the criminal history of the defendant, including any failures to appear, prior sentences, and violent offenses;
  • the nature and number charges against the defendant, especially if they entail violence;
  • whether there are additional pending charges; and
  • the age of the defendant when arrested.

The court comes up with a public safety assessment score based on the nine factors, giving each factor its due weight. Then, the court follows a ten-step process, known as the decision-making framework, to decide whether to release or detain the defendant. This framework is a tool used, not only to arrive at a release recommendation, but also manage the risk factors identified in the public risk assessment.

Handling Your Case to get out of Jail when Charged with Domestic Violence in NJ

At the end of the day, it is up to the judge to review the results of the public safety assessment in combination with evidence and arguments presented by the prosecution and defense, to arrive at a decision regarding detention or release after a detention hearing. Since a public safety assessment includes the safety of the community, and the alleged domestic violence victim is part of the community, the detention hearing considerations are not weighing in the accused’s favor on the face of it. This is why it is so imperative to have a qualified New Jersey domestic violence defense lawyer to show to the court that you are not, in fact, a threat if released. Providing evidence as to your good standing in the community, your continued employment, family and other responsibilities, and similar facts that attest to your cooperation with the court and general compliance with the laws of the state can position you for a favorable outcome when you desperately need to get out of jail.

Released with Bail Conditions

If you are released from jail while the case is pending, the Judge will impose certain conditions to ensure you appear in court and to ensure the safety of the community and the alleged victim. These can include the following:

  • Phone reporting to probation
  • In person reporting to probation
  • House arrest
  • Electronic (bracelet) monitoring
  • No contact with the alleged victim

In certain rare cases, the Judge may require you to post money to be released from jail as a bail amount. But this is now extremely rare when it used to be the normal practice in New Jersey.

Have a Detention Hearing for Domestic Violence in NJ? Put Experience on Your Side

Since your domestic violence case has yet to be decided and you find yourself at the very beginning of a complicated journey with high stakes, seek counsel from the legal team at The Tormey Law Firm. The lawyers at our defense firm are highly experienced with domestic violence detention hearings. We know how to negotiate the delicate road of risk factors that weigh for and against you getting released from jail, and how to craft the most comprehensive and compelling defense in your service of your innocence thereafter. We handle domestic violence criminal charges, restraining order trials, and detention hearings for clients throughout New Jersey. Contact (201)-556-1570 for personalized guidance and assistance in a free consultation.


  • No promises, just a Pro!

  • Excellent Lawyer... Helped me in every step off my Case..

  • Great work

  • Best lawyer!!

  • FRO removal success!!

  • Easy to work with, straightforward

  • Kept my license

  • Father of client

  • Excellent Attorney , Charges Dismissed as promised

  • Helped every step of the way

  • Avoid mandatory jail time on shoplifting charges


  • Help

  • Did the job he was hired to do

  • Great lawyer

  • Simple assault charge was dropped

  • Top Notch Representation

  • Well worth it.

  • DUI Case Dismissed

  • 2 felony charges dismissed

  • Cameron bury

  • great attorney

  • Hands Down Professional and delivers results!!!

  • DUI case dismissed

  • 125 stars out of 10!!

  • Excellent at getting best outcome

  • Excellent Attorney

  • TRO Dismissal

  • Efficient Excellent attorney.

  • Excellent attorney

  • Travis successfully defended me in an unprecedented Final Restraining Order Trial with ease

  • Kick Ass Attorney!

  • Efficient and professional attorney

  • Great Lawyer And Great Results

  • Top Notch DUI Attorney

  • Client Domestic Violence

  • Restraining Order

  • A real pro in a time of need - DWI Dismissed.

  • The most experienced, patient and affordable attorney

  • Travis Tormey successfully had a False TRO against me dismissed.

  • Underaged Drinking

  • Underaged Drinking

  • DUI Dismissed

  • Saved me from a DUI. HIGHLY recommended

  • Restraining Order

  • Case dismissed with Data Driven Facts

  • Respectful. Attentive. Professional.

  • Trespassing and Under the Influence Disorderly Persons charges

  • If you are reading this- You have reached the right place! Undoubtedly, the BEST Law Firm in New Jersey!

  • Amazing attorney with a heart of gold

  • Exceeded my expectations, Highly Professional Attorney

  • Responsive and knowledgeable.

  • The Tormey law firm was very kind and professional

  • Expungement

  • Travis Tormey is a True Professional Who Kept Me Out of Jail

  • Saved me a whole ton of problems

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • A nightmare case, with a happy ending.

  • Elite NJ Marijuana Attorney! 5 Stars!!

  • An Excellent lawyer!

  • Great lawyer for DUI

  • I highly endorse Travis Tormey.

  • Travis Tormey Law Firm

  • Travis is a Lifesaver

  • Travis J. Tormey - Evaluation

  • Great Lawyer. Got me off exactly what I wanted

  • Consummate Professional!

  • Great Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Good Service

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Hired to defend me for aggravated assault

  • Hired to defend me in a restraning order

  • Excellent attorney, highly recommend his talents

  • DWI Counsel

  • I highly recommend Mr. Tormey

  • Great attorney

  • Travis Tormey, Esq. - Great Results!

  • Travis Tormey - Excellent Attorney-Kind and Trustworthy

  • Excellent Attorney-Trustworthy and Kind

  • An Outstanding lawyer!!! That will represent you in the correct way!

  • Excellent Attorney! You will not be dissapointed....

  • Travis Tormey Gets Results!

  • tormey

  • Success!!

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • Only Lawyer I Recommend

  • Very Grateful

  • Attorney review of Travis Tormey

  • Excellent

Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation. With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

The Tormey Law Firm

Areas we serve

Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Somerset County including Morristown, Denville, Dover, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Hackensack, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield Park, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Clifton, and Wayne.

  • Hackensack Office

    254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

    (201) 556-1570

    view larger map

  • Morristown Office

    55 Madison Avenue Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

    (908) 336-5008

    view larger map