Need Consultation on a Final Restraining Order Hearing in Monmouth County
As if being charged with a criminal offense isn’t bad enough. Often times clients who are charged with a criminal act of domestic violence like simple assault, stalking, harassment, terroristic threats or aggravated assault also tend to find themselves dealing with a Final Restraining Order “FRO” hearing as well. A final restraining order hearing, which is normally referred to as an FRO, will take place in the Family Division of the Monmouth County Superior Courthouse, which is located in Freehold. Unlike the underlying domestic violence offense, a FRO hearing is technically civil in nature. Therefore, the standard of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to criminal hearings which are done based on the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. Although, civil in nature, some would suggest that the ramifications if a final restraining order is entered are worse then some criminal offenses. For example, if an FRO is granted, the Defendant would be fingerprinted, entered into a permanent database, forced to surrender their firearms and could be forbidden from seeing their children, forced to pay child/spousal support or returning to their home. On top of that, if charged criminal as well, they would be forced to litigate those charges too in the criminal court house.
Do I need an Attorney for a Restraining Order in NJ?
If you or a loved one has been served a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in Monmouth County it is imperative that you speak to an experienced restraining order defense attorney immediately about your options. TRO’s are done on an emergent basis and judges will force the parties to appear in court within 10 days of being served. In addition to that, most FRO hearings are supposed to be conduct within thirty (30) days of the issuance of a restraining order. On top of that, it is important to note here, that once a TRO is granted, no contact is allowed. If contact occurs, the plaintiff can file a violation of a TRO even though an FRO was never denied down the road. Violations of TRO’s or FRO’s are very serious. A second or subsequent conviction for a violation of a restraining order requires mandatory incarceration in the Monmouth County Jail. For more information on violation of restraining orders please checkout their practice series by clicking the link. So as you can tell, these are very serious offenses and need to be handled properly. If you would like to come into our office and have a free face to face consultation with Mr. Oliver or one of the other criminal defense attorneys on staff, then please contact us at (732)858-6959. Our team of FRO attorneys have extensive experience representing not only the Defendant’s but the plaintiff’s as well. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Holmdel, Tinton Falls, Ocean, Wall, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Neptune, Freehold, Aberdeen, Eatontown, Hazlet, and Howell. We are available around the clock to assist in any way possible. Please remember, these hearings are conducted in very short time period and to be successful you need to get an attorney involved ASAP do the complexity of most hearings. For more information on FRO hearings check below.
What must be Proven to Obtain a FRO in NJ?
In order for a TRO to become an FRO, the plaintiff must prove three essential elements by a preponderance of the evidence. They include:
- Current Act of Domestic Violence:
- Criminal Mischief
- False Imprisonment
- Criminal Coercion
- Sexual Assault
- Terroristic Threats
- Prior History of Domestic Violence between the parties; &
- A need to protect the victim from a future act of domestic violence.
Now although courts require a showing of the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence, the Courts have granted FRO’s even if there is no past history but the underlying act of domestic violence is so egregious. The controlling case for restraining orders in New Jersey is Silver v. Silver. For more information on this case and restraining orders please contact our office at (732)858-6959.
To learn more on some of recent success stories that the Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Proetta, Oliver & Fay have had at Final Restraining Order Hearings in Monmouth County, please click the link.
Ramifications for Defendant if a Final Restraining Order is Imposed
As stated above, if a Final Order of Protection is granted in New Jersey, the Defendant would then be subjected to rather harsh consequences. Furthermore, since FRO’s never expire in New Jersey, the ramifications would linger on forever. That is unless a motion to vacate is filed for and ultimately granted by a Judge. Some of the most impactful consequences of a FRO in New Jersey include:
- Defendant is Prohibited from Contacting the Victim;
- Defendant is Placed in a Domestic Violence Registry;
- Defendant is Required to Pay the Plaintiff Temporary Financial Support;
- Defendant is Forbidden from Possessing Weapons;
- Defendant is Required to Undergo Domestic Violence Counseling;
- Defendant is Prohibited from Appearing at the Victim’s Residence or Place of Employment
If a Final Restraining Order is Denied, Do I still Need to go to Criminal Court?
Even if a final restraining order is denied after a formal final hearing in Family Court, the defendant will still be required to defend themselves in Criminal Court if criminal charges were in fact filed. This will be the case even if the Judge concludes that the underlying alleged act of domestic violence did not occur. Since these cases are separate and apart, the resolution of the original TRO will have no bearing on the outcome of the criminal case. Conversely, if a TRO is granted, the defendant will still have the ability to contest the criminal charges in criminal court. Remember, the standard of proof in a restraining order case is by a preponderance of the evidence whereby the standard of proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Need to Speak to a Domestic Violence Attorney in Asbury Park NJ
If you have been served with a TRO it is imperative that you speak to an experienced domestic violence defense attorney immediately. These hearings are in essence mini trials and as such require an attorney who extensive experience. If you have been served with a TRO in Belmar, Manasquan, Little Silver, Rumson, Manalapan, Marlboro, Tinton Falls, Asbury Park, Red Bank or Atlantic Highlands, we can help. If you would like to schedule a free consultation today then please contact us directly at (732)858-6959. Also, if you have been charged with a criminal offense as well, we can help. These matters should be kept together and handled by one attorney as they often overlap. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available around the clock to help in any way possible.