What You Need to Know about Domestic Violence Charges in NJ

Accused of Domestic Violence in Monmouth County, New Jersey?

Have you or a loved one been involved in a domestic dispute? If so, we strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced and knowledgeable domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. New Jersey takes domestic violence allegations very seriously and tends to prosecute these cases aggressively. It is important to discuss right off the bat that domestic violence cases can be both criminal and civil in nature, meaning that a Defendant could be facing criminal charges like terroristic threats, harassment, or simple assault and also be served a temporary restraining order based on the same conduct. Although these cases do overlap, they are separate and apart and both can carry drastic consequences if not handled properly.

At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we fully understand the effects that domestic violence allegations, let alone a conviction, can have on someone’s life. These types of cases are very emotional, involve a lot of moving pieces, and tend to be litigated very quickly. If you would like to speak to one of the Monmouth County domestic violence lawyers at our office about your options and how we think we can be of assistance, then please contact our Middletown office at 732-858-6959. Understanding your rights and your options is absolutely crucial. If you would like to set up a consultation today, then please do not hesitate to contact us. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs and we serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Howell, Belmar, Manasquan, Aberdeen, Matawan, Tinton FallsWall Township, Asbury Park, Ocean Township and Eatontown. Now here is some more information about domestic violence cases in New Jersey.

Is there Bail for Domestic Violence Cases in NJ?

Under the new bail reform system, if a Defendant is criminally charged with an act of domestic violence, they are supposed to be charged under what is known as a “warrant.” As a result, the Defendant must be taken to the Monmouth County Jail in Freehold, NJ, so that pretrial services can conduct an evaluation. This evaluation could take up forty-eight hours.  Based on the evaluation, the prosecutor’s office will need to make a determination on whether or not they will agree to release the Defendant on an ROR status, which usually will premised on certain conditions (i.e. no victim contact / no return to scene) or whether they will file for a Detention Hearing. If they decide to file for a Detention Hearing, that means that they are seeking to detain the Defendant in the Monmouth County Jail, without bail, pending trial. In order to do so, a formally hearing must take place. During this hearing, it is the prosecutions burden to establish by clear and convincing evidence that:

  • There is a substantial likelihood that the Defendant will fail to appear in court; and/or
  • That the Defendant poses a significant danger to the community; and/or
  • That the Defendant will obstruct the prosecution of their case.

These hearings can and always should be contested. If the prosecution is successful, the Defendant will remain in the Monmouth County Jail without bail, pending trial.

I was Served a Temporary Restraining Order, Now What?

As touched upon above, when it comes to domestic violence allegations in New Jersey, a Defendant can either be charged criminally and/or served with temporary restraining order (TRO) based on the same allegations. If a Defendant is served with a TRO, they will be barred from contacting the “victim” and may be forbidden from returning to their residence, seeing their children and forced to pay financial support until a Final Restraining Order Hearing can be conducted. Pursuant to the statute, the parties involved in a TRO must appear in court within 10 days of the issuance of the TRO for a final restraining order hearing. An FRO is in essence a mini trial, whereby witnesses will be called and subject to cross examination. The purpose of this hearing is so that the victim can seek to convince the Judge that a permanent order of protection is necessary. For more information on restraining orders, please see the following articles:

All restraining order hearings that arise in Monmouth County will be adjudicated in the Monmouth County Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part, which is located at 71 Monument Street in Freehold. The Honorable Kathleen A. Sheedy, is the presiding family court judge in Monmouth County. Other family court Judges include the following:

  • Honorable Gregory L. Acquaviva
  • Honorable Henry P. Butehorn
  • Honorable Teresa Kondrup Coyle
  • Honorable Angela White Dalton
  • Honorable Andrea I. Marshall
  • Honorable James J. McGann

If a temporary restraining order in Monmouth County becomes final, a Defendant will face the following penalties:

  • Forbidden from owning firearms
  • Forbidden from returning home
  • Forbidden from speaking to the victim and any other protected party
  • Placed into a Domestic Violence Registry

Charged with an Act of Domestic Violence in Monmouth County, NJ

If you have been charged criminally with an act of domestic violence in Monmouth County, New Jersey, it is essential that you speak to an experienced domestic violence defense attorney immediately. The above ramifications do not include the criminal consequences of domestic violence allegations, which arguably are far worse. As you can see from above, simply being charged with an act of domestic violence could force a Defendant to be detained in the County jail without bail pending trial. That doesn’t include the potential jail time if convicted. Domestic violence allegations can be considered either a disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor or an indictable offense, which is our version of a felony. Depending on the underlying charges, a Defendant could be facing decades behind bars. Here is a list of some of the most common domestic violence allegations in Monmouth County.

Disorderly Persons Offenses

Indictable Offenses

If you are found guilty of one the aforementioned offenses, you are facing following penalties:

  • High Fines
  • Jail Time
  • Community Service
  • Probation

Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Wall Township

Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a Monmouth County based criminal and domestic violence defense firm. Our attorneys have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of acts of domestic violence and other criminal charges. Our attorneys fully comprehend the stress and anxiety that most feel when they are facing domestic violence allegations. The stigma alone can be punishing enough. If you would like to come into our office and speak face-to-face with one of our criminal defense attorneys, then please call our Middletown office at 732-858-6959 or you can contact us online. We appear in courts throughout Monmouth County on a regular basis, including courts like Holmdel, Freehold, Colts Neck, Atlantic Highlands, Red Bank, West Long Branch, Manasquan, Manalapan, Marlboro, Halzet and Neptune.

Author: Keith G. Oliver

Founding partner Keith G. Oliver has a passion for helping people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. He believes that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent, and that one mistake shouldn’t define a person forever. This passion drives Mr. Oliver to tirelessly fight for his clients and pursue the best possible outcome in every case.