Domestic violence is a serious issue. If you are in an abusive relationship, you have several options. If you are in immediate danger, contact the local police department and/or your local county courthouse to report the abuse and file for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A.2C:25-17 et seq.) was passed to protect victims over the age of 18 from the following crimes: homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, and stalking. Applying for a TRO in New Jersey can be a very daunting task given the necessary paperwork to accurately complete. However, having a skilled family law attorney at your side during a crisis such as this is vital.
Unfortunately, New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act can often times be utilized by an individual as a sword rather than a shield as is the statute’s intended use. There are also several defenses if you are wrongfully accused of domestic violence in New Jersey including self-defense and that the infraction was minimal. There are certain circumstances where you are justified in exerting force to protect yourself from bodily harm. Other circumstances are too trivial and do not rise to the level of domestic violence, such as routine marital discord.
You should consult with an attorney experienced in handling domestic violence matters.