Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders of Protection
Domestic violence (DV) is an all too common problem that exists in domestic relationships. The Hofmann Law Firm has both fought for victims of abuse and defended actions alleged against an abusive party. DV matters begin when an application is filed by the complaining party requesting a Temporary Restraining Order, also known as a TRO. This TRO is set in place to temporarily provide protection to the alleged victim until a Final Restraining Order hearing is scheduled and heard in the very near future, whereby both parties appear before a judge. Many times depending on the severity of the harm, the issuance of the TRO accompanies a filing of a related criminal charge in criminal court, creating both a criminal matter and civil matter. To be found guilty of domestic abuse for purposes of the restraining order, the victim must qualify as a “Victim of Domestic Violence” and the Defendant must be found guilty of at least one (1) of the (14) potential acts of violence, as set forth in the New Jersey Domestic Violence Statute.
Once a defendant is found guilty, the court will enter a Final Restraining Order, also called an FRO. Entry of an FRO may provide the following punishments and/or protections to the victim under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(b):
• Registration of defendant’s name in the New Jersey Central Registry for Domestic Violence – N.J.S.A. 2C:25-34
• Seizure of weapons – N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(b)
• Potential future criminal charges for a violation per N.J.S.A. 2C:25-30
• In the event children are involved, a mandatory presumption that the best interests of the child are served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent – N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(b)(11)