Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges: What You Need to Know
Domestic violence is a serious problem in our country. In New Jersey alone, 24.3 percent of women and 13.8 percent of men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. That means a domestic violence act happens every 7.29 minutes in New Jersey.
However, this does not mean every domestic violence accusation is a valid one. And when you face false domestic violence charges, it could ruin your life. Not only are you losing your family, but you can lose your job, your freedom, and go into financial ruin. It’s a serious charge and you need a good criminal defense attorney to help you.
What to Expect if Found Guilty on Domestic Violence Charges
If you are accused of domestic violence, it’s important to know what type of punishment you may be facing. Chances are a restraining order will be placed against you by the victim. If you violate that restraining order, you will be guilty of criminal contempt and could face up to 18 months in jail plus a $10,000 fine.
In order for the crime to be considered an act of domestic violence, you must be guilty of one of these offenses. This means that not only will you be convicted on the domestic violence charges (which carries a fine between $50 and $500, depending on the nature of the crime), but you will also face charges for these offenses. You will be facing jail time and multiple fines.
Mounting a Domestic Violence Defense
So what kind of defense is available to you as a domestic violence defendant? First, let’s start with the restraining order. If you were falsely accused of domestic violence, then you could appeal the TRO and have a hearing in front of the judge. If your appeal is denied, remember that a TRO becomes permanent within 10 days and requires a final hearing. This is where the plaintiff needs to prove that you committed the act of violence. It is during this final hearing that you have a chance to tell your side of the story to the court.
Domestic violence charges are difficult to prove. The victim will need physical evidence, witness testimony, and doctor and police reports. The same applies to you as the defendant. You will need to prove to the court that you didn’t commit the crimes that the victim accuses you of. Make sure you have evidence such as previous false charges, witness accounts, phone records, anything that proves the offense are false.
It’s also important to have an attorney by your side who knows the criminal just system in New Jersey. Criminal defense lawyer Anthony Carbone has been helping those falsely accused of domestic violence for more than 28 years. If you need assistance, we urge you to contact us right away for a free consultation.