Seasoned New Jersey Attorney Handles Domestic Violence Cases
Accomplished defense lawyer fights assault and other charges
Domestic violence is defined as abusive conduct between people in intimate relationships, whether or not they are married or living together. The victims can also be children or the elderly and disabled. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological or sexual in nature. Defense of domestic violence cases presents special problems because judges tend to give all allegations credibility in order to guard against the possibility of a reoccurrence. At the Law Office of David Jay Glassman, we represent New Jersey defendants charged with criminal offenses in which domestic violence is allegedly involved. We understand that many people are wrongly accused of abusive conduct and that there are two sides to every story. We can conduct a thorough investigation and raise the strongest defense possible based on the evidence.
How domestic violence may be charged in criminal cases
New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 revamped this area of law by declaring that certain crimes constitute domestic violence if committed by a spouse, former spouse or any present or former household member. The law applies as well when the victim has or had a dating relationship with the alleged offender. Parties who have a child together, or one expected, are also considered to have a domestic relationship under the law. The crimes covered are:
- Criminal coercion
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal trespass
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Terroristic threats
- Any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury
Making a formal charge of any of these crimes entitles the alleged victim to a restraining order.
Assault and harassment charges predominate in domestic violence cases
Complaints in New Jersey for domestic violence offenses averaged 63,300 per year from 2012 to 2016, according to the state Department of Law and Public Safety. Harassment (27,200) and assault (27,100) together accounted for 86 percent of average complaints. Arrests were made in about 32 percent of the reported incidents over that five-year period. Arrests averaged about 20,000 annually, of which 13,700 were for assault and 3,050 were for harassment, together making up 84 percent of the total.
The department’s statistics for 2016 revealed that:
- Women were victims in 74 percent of all reported domestic violence offenses.
- Alcohol and/or drugs were involved in 25 percent of the reported offenses.
- Domestic violence offenses arising from dating relationships made up 15 percent of the total.
- Children were actively involved or present during 28 percent of all domestic violence offenses.
The statistics bear out that most incidents of domestic violence stem from altercations between people who have or at one time had an emotional bond. Understanding these relationships and the motivating factors for domestic violence complaints can be critical to raising an effective defense.
Thorough legal advisor helps with restraining orders and violations
When a suspected incident of domestic violence is reported by the police or by a victim, a judge usually issues an order that the defendant keep away from the alleged victim. There are two levels of restraining orders:
- Temporary restraining order (TRO) —A TRO may require the alleged offender to vacate his home and stay away from other familiar locations and can block communication with the alleged victim. A TRO can also ban the possession of firearms and other weapons and may require the alleged offender to pay the victim’s medical bills.
- Final restraining order (FRO) — Within 10 days after issuing a TRO, a court will set a hearing where both the accused and the accuser can tell their sides of the story, present evidence and call witnesses to testify. If the judge believes that an act of domestic violence likely occurred and that the victim requires future protection, a permanent restraining order will be issued.
Violating a restraining order is considered contempt, which can result in jail time, fines, a loss of child custody and other penalties.
Contact a hardworking New Jersey domestic violence defense attorney today
False accusations of domestic violence can wreak havoc in a person’s life. For help opposing such charges and fighting restraining orders, call the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman at 866-221-1270 or contact us online. From our offices in Marlton, Hackensack, Newark and New Brunswick, we represent clients throughout New Jersey.