When You Are Facing Domestic Violence Charges
You admit it, your girlfriend gets you so angry sometimes. And there have been times when your fights turned physical. But you never thought it was domestic abuse — until the police show up at your door after a particularly bad argument. You’re arrested on domestic violence charges and are taken to jail. The next day, your girlfriend files a restraining order and plans to pursue the case. What does this mean? What is in store for your future?
Let’s first look at how domestic violence is determined by the law. According to New Jersey law, domestic violence means one or more of the following criminal offenses occurred against an intimate partner, family member, or had dating relationship:
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint and/or kidnapping
- Sexual assault or criminal sexual contact
- Stalking and harassment
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal mischief
If a police officer suspects domestic violence, it is his/her duty to arrest you and take you into custody. Domestic violence charges will be filed if there is evidence of injury on the victim that was caused by an act of domestic violence or the victim says he/she was abused. In fact, the police may arrest someone if they just suspect domestic violence occurred, even if there’s no evidence of violence. If both partners have signs of physical injury and say they are the victim, it’s up to the arresting officer to decide who the aggressor is.
When you are charged with domestic violence in New Jersey, it can be an either a criminal matter or a civil one. If it’s going to family court, then you will probably only get a fine of up to $500. But if it is a criminal charge, the punishment is steeper. You could be facing up to five years in prison, depending on the severity of the crime. In addition, if you violate the restraining order, then you can also be expecting some time in jail.
If you are accused of domestic violence, the best thing to do is to get an experienced attorney to walk you through your options. Let us help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.