What to Expect If You Have Violated a Restraining Order in New Jersey

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Restraining orders are often used for keeping people safe and telling defendants that their behaviors are not acceptable and dangerous. Often, a restraining order in New Jersey is issued by a judge to keep a petitioner safe from domestic violence, banning the defendant from contacting the plaintiff. Failing to follow the order’s restrictions can be considered criminal contempt and can lead to possible consequences. So, if you violated a restraining order, you must contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Possible Penalties and Fines

Usually, restraining orders involve the petitioner’s physical safety and well-being. Thus, the state takes it seriously. Violating a restraining order in New Jersey can be considered criminal contempt, which can have you facing up to 18 months of jail time and up to $25, 000 in fines (see here). 

If you think you can be charged with violating a restraining order, you should get in touch with a skilled defense attorney right away. Don’t try to represent yourself because the court won’t go easy on you. Look for an attorney can who can help you navigate through the legal process and do everything they can to help you avoid a conviction. 

Fighting a Final Restraining Order

Although a person can automatically obtain a temporary restraining order or TRO by alleging domestic abuse, they need to prove some elements in court, according to ca.gov. These include proving the defendant committed a domestic violence act against them. Also, they need to convince a judge that the final order is necessary for the protection of the plaintiff. Your attorney can challenge the entry of a final restraining order by showing discrepancies between the court testimony of the plaintiff and the initial allegations in the complaint.  Also, they can present evidence and witnesses to contradict the allegations of the plaintiff. Your attorney can also help you get away with a conviction if you show remorse and agree to some conditions like seeking drug abuse treatment, mental health treatment, or anger management counseling. 

If you want a TRO lifted, you need an experienced defense attorney who is knowledgeable about restraining order laws in the state and the process of lifting an order. If you want to file a motion for having a TRO lifted without the plaintiff’s approval, your attorney can help you build a case. You must show the reasons you are not a threat to the plaintiff anymore and why you want the court to lift the order.