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Domestic Violence Laws in New Jersey

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects the lives of many families. This may occur in many different ways. It can happen between married couples, former spouses, dating couples, previous couples, those who live together, and those who share a child together. The state of New Jersey works hard to protect victims of abuse as well as those who are wrongfully accused of the act. In 1991, the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act declared the act as a serious crime against society. With this declaration, the state found that it is the responsibility of the court to protect these victims through criminal remedies and sanctions.

What is Domestic Violence?

There is no one type of victim of domestic violence. They come from all different backgrounds and can be any gender, age, social status, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. Often times, people think of domestic violence as solely physical abuse. However, it can be seen in numerous different ways and does not always show physical signs. Criminal offenses that can be classified as domestic violence under New Jersey law can include but is not limited to:

  • Homicide
  • Stalking 
  • Harassment
  • Simple or aggravated assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Lewdness
  • Burglary
  • Criminal trespass
  • Criminal restraint
  • Criminal coercion
  • False imprisonment
  • Terroristic threats

Methods of Protection

In the state of New Jersey, there are several ways that courts offer protection to victims of domestic violence. This can include:

  • Address Confidentiality Program: Victims of abuse can obtain a legal substitute address to use instead of their physical address to use for public agencies.
  • Protective Orders: Victims of abuse can apply for a protection of abuse order that is signed by the judge. This can include a Temporary Restraining Order that forbids the accused abuser from contacting the victim, possessing firearms, and more. 
  • Civil Lawsuit: The victim can file a civil lawsuit to recover any losses or expenses. This may be for medical bills or pain and suffering damages.
  • Child Custody or Support Orders: Any child custody, child support, or spousal support orders can be modified in order to prevent possible violence between the spouses, children, or other persons. 

False Accusations

When a person is accused of domestic violence, it can carry a lot of weight. These accusations can impact a person for the rest of their life, including a possible criminal record. It is because of this that it is crucial to not accuse anyone of abuse if they are not guilty of the act. This is because it can severely damage a person’s reputation and future. However, it is the unfortunate truth that some people take advantage of New Jersey’s strict laws regarding abuse and falsely accuse others of abuse. This may be the case during family law proceedings if one spouse wants to have power over the other. When facing false accusations, it is important to contact an experienced attorney that can clear your name. 

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If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.