By far one of the most common acts of domestic violence is harassment, which includes cyber harassment. These two charges can and more often than not, lead to an individual being saddled with a temporary restraining order on top of the criminal charges. To make matters worse, if the incident which lead to the individual being charged with harassment is classified as an act of domestic violence, that person more likely than not will be taken to the county jail for up to 48 hours so that pretrial services can conduct their interview. Which means, a simple heated text message exchange or a verbal dispute between loved ones can easily end with at least one of the parties spending at a minimum, a night in jail.
Domestic Violence Harassment Charge Attorney in Mercer County
If you have been charged with harassment, cyber harassment or served with a temporary restraining order as a result of a harassment charge in Mercer County, we strongly urge that you speak to an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Understanding your options and the severity of the offenses and consequences if convicted, are crucial. If you would like to speak to one of our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys today, please contact our Hamilton at 609-789-0779. One of our lawyers will be glad to go over the specifics and formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs.
Domestic Violence Harassment Charges
If an individual has been charged with domestic violence harassment, then their charges must be litigated in criminal court, either the Mercer County Superior Court or the local Municipal Court depending on the specific charge. It is important to note here that the criminal charge for harassment is separate and apart from a temporary restraining order (TRO) if one is issued as well.
If the individual is charged with harassment, in violation of NJSA 2C:33-4a, then their charges will be litigated in the local municipal court in the municipality where the incident happened. This is considered a petty disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. If convicted, the individual will be facing up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500.
If the individual is charged with domestic violence cyber-harassment, in violation of NJSA 2C:33-4.1, then their charges must be transferred to the Mercer County Superior Court for disposition. This is considered an indictable offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony. Since it is a fourth degree felony, if convicted, the individual will be facing up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
Can I Get Bail on a Domestic Violence Harassment Charge?
Pursuant to New Jersey’s Bail Reform Act, if an individual is charged with an act of domestic violence, whether it be for simple assault, terroristic threat, harassment or any other offense for that matter then the charges must be charged under what is known as a warrant. If that is to occur, the individual must be detained in the county jail for at least 24 hours so that Pretrial Services can conduct a risk assessment. Depending on the risk assessment and the underlying facts, the prosecution must determine whether or not to file for a Detention Hearing. If a detention hearings is filed, that means that they are seeking to convince the judge that the Defendant must be detained in the County Jail, without bail, pending trial. These hearings can and always should be contested.
Can I Be Issued a Restraining Order for Harassing Text Messages?
Harassment and cyber harassment allegations tend to be one of the most common basis for individuals to obtain a temporary restraining orders (TRO) in New Jersey. This is do in large part to the uprise in social media sites and texting. If the victim of a harassment allegation obtains a TRO, then the Defendant will be required to appear in the Chancery Division, Family Part of the Mercer County Superior Court to answer for the charges. During this hearing, it will be the plaintiff’s (victims) burden to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that they are in fact a victim of an act of domestic violence and that they are in need of a final restraining order in order prevent being the victim of future acts of domestic violence. As touched upon earlier, this is separate and apart from the underlying criminal charges. For more information on restraining orders in Mercer County, please click the link.
Harassment Charge Lawyers in Hamilton, New Jersey
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a New Jersey based criminal defense firm, comprised of attorneys who have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of crimes, including acts of domestic violence. If you have unfortunately found yourself in this situation and would like to discuss your options with one of our attorneys, then please contact our office directly at 609-789-0779. Our office serves all of Mercer County, including towns like East Windsor, Hamilton, Trenton, Lawrenceville, West Windsor, Princeton and Robbinsville. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.