It Can be Frightening! Destroying Property and Domestic Violence
There’s a common misconception about domestic violence. A great many people wrongfully assume that domestic violence only applies to actual physical contact. However, there are actually nineteen separate acts that constitute predicate acts of domestic violence. Among them, is destroying property.
Unfortunately, there are times when you may feel like your life story is playing out like a movie on the Lifetime Movie Network. You’ve never been one to lose your temper. In fact, you rarely raise your voice. Meanwhile, you’ve started dating a woman you met from one of the dating websites.
Things go very well in the beginning. After all, you are in the honeymoon stage of your relationship. As you get to know one another, you learn that your new girlfriend is a bit jealous. You’re not worried. After all, you have no time or desire to see anyone else.
And then it happens. The two of you are snuggled up watching a movie when the accusations start flying. Before you know it, you’re engaged in a horrific confrontation. By the end, your date has emptied out your liquor cabinet and broken bottles. Glass is everywhere.
There never is any physical contact between the two of you. However, a neighbor hears the commotion and calls the police. After reviewing the circumstances, the officers ask you if want to request a temporary restraining order. You are beyond surprised. In reality, all you want is the woman to leave your apartment and never return.
Criminal Mischief: Destroying Property
According to New Jersey law, destroying property often falls under the criminal mischief statute found at NJSA 2C:17-3. The formal language states that a person is guilty of criminal mischief when they “purposely or knowingly damages tangible property of another.” The same is true if someone knowingly tampers with property to endanger the person or property.
Our example is somewhat straightforward. Meanwhile, there are many others. For example, a husband may decide to key his wife’s car because he is unhappy. Even something as simple as destroying a cell phone might fit into the contextual meaning of domestic violence.
New Jersey law clearly defines criminal mischief as one of the reasons that a party may need protective measures. Imagine if an intimate partner witnesses his or her angered lover throw a fist in the wall. Without question, this could be a devastating experience. There might be fear as far as where the next punch will go.
To understand who is protected by New Jersey’s domestic violence laws, you should read this article. If you fit into any of the named categories, you may be entitled to a restraining order. The first will be ordered on a temporary basis and is known as a temporary restraining order (TRO). After that, a court date will be set to see if you need the protections afforded by a final restraining order (FRO).
Are you the victim of domestic violence? Are you at risk for a restraining order against you? Under either circumstance, you should seek experienced legal counsel. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to see how we can assist you.