Domestic violence can end a victim’s life. When an individual feels they are facing physical, emotional, or psychological abuse from their partner, they can call the police to have the offender arrested. After being arrested for alleged domestic violence, the accused partner has the same rights as any other individual following an arrest. To keep the victim safe, the court generally enacts an emergency restraining order after a domestic violence arrest. The specific requirements included in this type of order can vary depending on the situation at hand, but typically, it prohibits any type of contact or attempted contact between the alleged abuser and the victim.
Legal Options for Domestic Violence Victims
A domestic violence victim does not have to press criminal charges against their former partner. Sometimes, victims choose not to take this action because the stress and expense of going to court outweighs the benefit of having their partner convicted. In this type of case, the victim may still seek a restraining order. Although the core purpose of a restraining order is to prevent contact between an alleged abuser and their victim, it can also be used to enforce other requirements to keep the victim safe. These requirements can include making the abuser surrender their firearms or requiring them to undergo substance abuse treatment or counseling.
Of course, alleged abusers can fight these restrictions with their own lawyers by demonstrating that the orders are fraudulent or inappropriate. In New Jersey, violation of a domestic violence restraining order is a fourth-degree crime, which has penalties of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Going to Trial for a Domestic Violence Charge
When a domestic violence victim chooses to press charges against their former partner, the case goes to court to be heard by a judge and jury. This means that both sides may present evidence to support their claims and the jury must determine if the alleged abuser is guilty or not.
An individual charged with domestic violence can choose to plead guilty or no contest to the charges, which result in a conviction but typically less severe penalties than those that would be imposed if the court found them guilty through trial. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the court must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty of the charges in order to convict them. In some cases, this is easy to do and in others, it is not.
Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at The Hartman Group, LLC Represent Domestic Violence Victims Seeking Divorce
Domestic violence is never acceptable. If you are living in an abusive marriage, fill out our online form or call 856-235-4511 to set up your initial consultation with one of the Cherry Hill divorce lawyers at The Hartman Group, LLC. During your consultation, we can discuss your strategy for leaving your home, keeping yourself safe, and working through the divorce process. Our office is located in Moorestown, New Jersey and we work with clients from Atlantic County, Salem County, Cumberland County, Cape May County, Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, and Gloucester County.