Marlton Restraining Orders Lawyer
Dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyer John B. Brennan Represents Clients Facing Restraining Orders in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Throughout New Jersey
An accusation of domestic violence often leads to a court issuing a temporary restraining order, which prevents the person accused of domestic violence from having contact with the alleged victim. Although a person who has a TRO taken out against him or her may think nothing of the order, especially if he or she intends not to have any contact with the alleged victim, a TRO will quickly turn into a final restraining order without vigorous legal defense. A final restraining order can place serious restrictions on a person’s freedom of movement and personal relationships, and can negatively impact one’s reputation.
If you’re facing a domestic violence complaint and the possibility of a final restraining order, you need experienced legal representation to help defend your rights and interests. With over three decades of legal experience, I have the expertise to help you avoid the consequences of a final restraining order or ensure that an order does not have an outsized impact on your life. As a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, you can trust that I have the skill necessary to effectively advocate on your behalf in court to get you the best result possible in your case.
Contact me today for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case and for an in-depth, honest assessment of your legal options and the potential outcomes in your matter.
How Restraining Orders Work in New Jersey
In New Jersey, restraining orders are obtained by filing a domestic violence complaint in family court. Filing a domestic violence complaint is sufficient for the court to issue a temporary restraining order, so long as the facts of the complaint sufficiently allege that you and the alleged victim have a relationship covered by New Jersey’s domestic violence laws and that you have committed a predicate act of domestic violence. A temporary restraining order will preclude you from having contact or coming near the person who filed the domestic violence complaint or his or her home or place of work.
Within 10 days, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be made final and permanent. In order for the court to issue a final restraining order, the alleged victim will have to establish:
- You committed at least one predicate act of domestic violence listed in New Jersey’s domestic violence statute
- A final restraining order is necessary for the immediate protection of alleged victim’s safety, typically because he or she reasonably fears for his or her continued safety
The issuance of a restraining order can be appealed, or the issuing court can vacate an existing order upon the victim’s request or upon a showing that the order is no longer needed for the victim’s continued safety.
Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney John B. Brennan Works with Clients to Mitigate the Negative Consequences of Restraining Orders
Although related to criminal law, domestic violence and restraining orders are civil rather than criminal matters. Nevertheless, a restraining order can have just as restrictive an impact on a defendant’s life as any criminal charge and conviction. Restraining orders can require a person to :
- Refrain from any contact with the victim
- Require fingerprinting and listing in a database of domestic violence offenders
- Require surrendering of any firearms and preventing the purchase, owning, and possession of any firearms in the future
- Prohibit visiting certain locations where the victim is likely to be
- Prohibit parenting time with children shared with the victim
- Prohibit contact with the victim’s friends and family
Once in place, a restraining order is in place for the rest of your life and is difficult to have rescinded. That is why I work hard to argue against a restraining order becoming final, or to mitigate the consequences of any final restraining order. Legal avenues I may pursue on your behalf include:
- Arguing that your relationship to the alleged victim does not fall within the scope of New Jersey’s domestic violence laws
- Challenging the alleged victim’s evidence of a history of domestic violence and/or the alleged predicate act of domestic violence
- Arguing that a restraining order is not necessary for the victim’s continued safety
I can also certainly help you if you are also facing criminal charges relating to your domestic violence matter.
Schedule a Free, Confidential Consultation with The Law Office of John B. Brennan Today to Discuss the Details of Your Case
A restraining order can have an outsized impact on how you are able to live your life. If you have a domestic violence complaint filed against you, it is critical to have experienced legal representation to help protect your rights and interests during a final restraining order hearing. Contact my office today for a free initial consultation to speak with me about the details of your case and to learn more about how I can help you achieve a favorable resolution to your matter.
Frequently Asked Questions about Restraining Orders in New Jersey
No. Although predicate acts of domestic violence are themselves also outlawed by criminal statutes, an alleged victim of domestic violence seeking a restraining order only needs to prove you committed a predicate act of domestic violence by a “preponderance of the evidence” — in other words, it is more likely than not that you committed the predicate act. As a result, you can still have a restraining order taken out against you for an alleged act of domestic violence even if there is insufficient evidence to arrest and convict you for a crime for that act.
Restraining orders and no-contact orders are related but distinct orders issued for the protection of an alleged victim. A restraining order is a civil order issued by a court in response to a domestic violence complaint filed by an alleged victim of domestic violence. Conversely, a no-contact order is an order issued by a criminal court following an arrest; the order prohibits the defendant from having contact with the alleged victim as a condition of the defendant’s pretrial release. Violating either type of order has consequences; violating a restraining order may itself constitute a criminal offense while violating a no-contact order will void your pre-trial release and immediately put you in jail until your trial.