Bernards Domestic Violence Attorney

Need a Lawyer for a Domestic Violence Charge in Bernards

The stress and anxiety most feel when they have been placed under arrest and hauled away in handcuffs can be overwhelming. That emotion is only exasperated when the incident involves a loved one and is classified as “domestic violence“. It should be no secret by now that law enforcement throughout the State, including in Bernards Township has been extremely proactive in their pursuit of combating domestic violence. Law enforcement has been receiving specialized training in order to better recognize victims of domestic violence. In turn, we now have a system in place that basically takes a zero tolerance approach. If law enforcement is called to the scene to investigate a domestic violence incident and they observe any signs of injury or that a struggle took place, it is almost certain that the aggressor will be placed under arrest, even if the the victim is against it. It goes without saying that if the police are called to the scene and the victim alleges that the defendant committed a crime of domestic violence against them, they will almost certainly be placed under arrest. In New Jersey, individual’s alleged to have committed an act of domestic violence could not only be forced to defend themselves in criminal court but also in family court, during a final restraining order hearing. Both of these situations are extremely serious and if not handled properly, could result in life changing consequences, including but not limited to incarceration.

Bernards Township, which is located in Somerset County, is by far one of the more affluent municipalities in all of New Jersey, yet it still sees its fair share of domestic violence related arrests year in and year out. Furthermore, Basking Ridge, which is one of the more desirable locations in Bernards Township is certainly not immune to these types of allegations either. In this day and age, we are well aware that arguments between loved ones and family members are going to happen. That is just a part of life. However, when those arguments escalate and it either turns physical or one of the parties threatens the others, things can quickly snowball and go from bad to worse, especially if law enforcement is called to the scene. If you or a loved one has unfortunately been served with a temporary restraining order or charged criminally with simple assault, terroristic threats, harassment, cyber-harassment or sexual assault in Bernards Township, we strongly recommend that you speak to an attorney about your options. If you would like to set up a consultation today with one of the lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law then please contact our office at 908-533-1064.

Served with a Restraining Order in Bernards Township. What Should I Expect?

Temporary Restraining Orders are not something to take lightly in New Jersey. Anyone served with a temporary restraining order, also know as a TRO, could find themselves forbidden from returning to their residence, forbidden from speaking to their children, forbidden from speaking to the alleged victim and have their firearms seized. Now although TRO’s are temporary in nature, the aforementioned conditions could become permanent if a final restraining order is granted. In order for a final restraining order to be granted in New Jersey, a full hearing on the merits of the case must be conducted. Both parties will be required to provide the court with whatever evidence them deem appropriate to support their position as well as call any witnesses on their behalf. After hearing from both parties, it will then be up to the judge to conclude, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether an act of domestic violence occurred and a final order of protection in necessary in order to protect the victim from further acts of domestic violence. These hearings are basically mini-trials, where the rules of evidence apply. As such, we strongly urge that anyone served with a TRO contact an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. The ramifications of a final order of protection in New Jersey are crippling and unlike almost every other state in the Country, they never expire.

Final restraining order hearings that originated from an incident that occurred in Bernards Township will be conducted in the Somerset County Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part, which is located in Somerville. For more information on restraining order hearings in New Jersey, including the ramifications if one is imposed, please click the link.

Arrested for Domestic Violence Charge in Bernards Township

The following crimes: Homicide, Assault, Terroristic Threats, Kidnapping, Criminal Restraint, False Imprisonment, Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact, Lewdness, Criminal Mischief, Burglary, Criminal Trespassing, Harassment and Stalking will be considered crimes of domestic violence pursuant to NJSA 2C:25-19, provided that the alleged victim falls under one of the following three categories:

  • They are 18 years or older and are the spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a presently or formerly a household member of the alleged defendant; or
  • They have a child in common with, or they are anticipating having a child in common with the alleged defendant; or
  • They had been or are currently in a dating relationship with the alleged defendant.

If the incident is classified as an act of domestic violence, the charges, including the less serious disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanor) will be issued on what is known as a Complaint-Warrant. That will almost certainly require the defendant to serve at least 24 hours in the Somerset County Jail, which is located in Somerville, pending their Central Judicial Processing Hearing (CJP). Prior to that hearing, pretrial services will conduct their risk assessment on the defendant. That assessment as well as the facts of the case will be reviewed by a county prosecutor. It will then be up to them to determine whether they will agree to release the defendant on bail or whether they will file for a Detention Hearing. If a formal detention hearing is filed for, a hearing will be conducted and it will ultimately be up to the judge to determine whether or not the defendant will be released. It is important to remember that these hearings are just to determine whether the defendant will be released upon bail. The charges will still need to be litigated in court. All disorderly persons offenses (i.e. simple assaultharassment, criminal trespassing) will be litigated in the Bernards Municipal Court whereby all indictable offenses (i.e. aggravated assault, terroristic threat, stalking) will be transferred to the Somerset County Superior Court, Criminal Division to be litigated. For more information on these types cases, please feel free to click the corresponding links.

Speak to an Attorney About How to Defend Restraining Order in Bernards

As you can see from briefly reading above, domestic violence allegations are not something to underestimate. The potential consequences for both a restraining order as well a criminal charge are devastating. If you have unfortunately been served with a restraining order or charged with domestic violence, stalking, terroristic threat, harassment, cyber-stalking or any other domestic violence offense for that matter in Bernards Township, we can help. To set up a consultation today with one of our Somerset County domestic violence defense lawyers, please call 908-533-1064. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs, so if you have any question whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.