New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyers
Protection and Representation for Victims in South Jersey and Surrounding Areas
At Burnham Douglass Attorneys at Law, our knowledgeable and experienced domestic violence attorneys are dedicated to protecting and fighting for the rights of victims throughout the state. Backed by 60+ years of combined experience, we have earned a reputation for providing our clients with reliable and compassionate legal representation in their times of need. We want to do the same for you.
New Jersey has strict laws regarding domestic violence, as well as several legal protections available for domestic violence victims. Depending on the nature of the domestic violence crime, offenders may face lengthy terms of imprisonment and hefty fines. Burnham Douglass Attorneys at Law is here to help protect you from a domestic violence offender.
New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act
The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) provides protection for anyone over the age of 18 who is being physically, sexually, emotionally, or economically abused or threatened by their:
- Current or former spouse
- Current or former household member
- Current or former dating partner
- Biological or adoptive parent
Generally, the PDVA covers anyone who is being abused or threatened by someone with whom they have, or have had, an intimate relationship. Women comprise almost 95% of domestic violence victims, although both men and women can be perpetrators or victims.
Domestic violence is an underreported crime, partly due to the cycle of violence, in which the abuser wields some form of power and control over the victim, causing them to feel as if they have no choice but to stay in the abusive relationship.
Domestic violence not only consists of physical harm, but psychological and/or emotional harm as well, such as constant threats or humiliation. Economic abuse is another form of domestic violence that makes the victim financially dependent on the abuser, and therefore subject to their control.
There are 14 criminal offenses that are specifically prohibited under the Act:
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal trespass
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Terrorist threats
Protections for Domestic Violence Victims
Victims of domestic violence in New Jersey have several protections available to them. If you were subject to one of the 14 crimes listed above, you may be able to press criminal charges against your abuser, in addition to getting a civil restraining order.
The purpose of a restraining order is to prevent your abuser from coming near you or contacting you. Restraining orders may also require the abuser to attend counseling or give up possession of firearms and other deadly weapons.
Temporary and Final Restraining Orders
Once a domestic violence complaint has been filed, the case will be heard informally by a judge/domestic violence hearing officer, who will decide whether to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) until the final hearing can be held.
If a TRO is issued, the victim must bring a copy to the local police department. A final hearing must be held within 10 days of the TRO issuance. At the final hearing, the judge will listen to both sides of the case and decide whether to issue a Final Domestic Violence Restraining Order (FRO).
If the abuser violates the terms of either the TRO or the FRO, the victim may file a criminal complaint for Contempt of Court. The case will then be handled by a New Jersey Assistant Prosecutor. Violating a restraining order may result in up to 18 months in prison and fines in excess of $10,000.
Victims of domestic violence may also utilize the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP), which allows them to obtain a legal substitute address that they can put on all their legal documents, instead of their physical address.
If children are at risk, relevant terms and restrictions may be placed in the restraining order, and custody or child support orders may be modified.
Request Your Free, Confidential Consultation Today
If you were subject to of any form of domestic violence, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. A New Jersey domestic violence lawyer at Burnham Douglass Attorneys at Law can help you through this difficult time. Our offices are conveniently located in Marlton and Somers Point, allowing us to represent clients throughout South Jersey and beyond.