Violating A Restraining Order In NJ
Restraining orders are usually entered by the court to protect an individual’s safety and well-being. Generally, when a restraining order is granted, the defendant/accused party is barred from having any form of contact with the plaintiff/protected party. After a restraining order has been granted, the defendant must follow the order’s restrictions. Failure to follow the restrictions of an NJ restraining order can be a criminal violation. Failing to obey the terms and conditions of a New Jersey restraining order can result in harsh consequences. Below, we discuss what qualifies as violating a restraining order in NJ, the penalties you can face for violating an NJ restraining order, and how to respond if accused of violating a restraining order in NJ.
What Qualifies as Violating a Restraining Order in NJ?
Every restraining order has different terms and conditions that the defendant must obey. So what constitutes violating a restraining order is dependent on the restrictions of a restraining order. However, even the slightest deviation from the terms and conditions of a restraining order can constitute a violation.
That said, the following are some actions defendants engage in that constitute violating a restraining order;
- Contacting the plaintiff
- Being within a certain proximity of the protected person
- Trying to contact the plaintiff through call, text, or social media
- Purchasing or possessing a gun
- Failing to move out of your home
Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order
New Jersey courts take restraining orders very seriously since they protect people’s safety. For this reason, violating a restraining order in NJ can result in harsh consequences.
Often, restraining order violations are considered fourth-degree felony offenses. Fourth-degree felonies are the least serious felonies, but they can still attract hefty consequences. If convicted of violating a restraining order in NJ, you could spend up to one and a half years in prison and/or pay a fine of up to $10,000. And if a second-, third-, or fourth-degree act of domestic violence is also implicated, the potential jail time could increase.
How To Respond if Accused of Violating a Restraining Order
Given the harsh penalties you risk facing if you are declared guilty of violating an NJ restraining order, it is in your best interest to contact a qualified defense attorney if accused of violating a restraining order. You should avoid confronting the plaintiff, as that will only worsen the situation. A qualified attorney can help you develop a strong defense strategy. If, for example, you did not possess notice of the restraining order, an attorney can help you avoid being held accountable for a violation. An attorney can help you avoid being held accountable for a violation if you were not served with a copy of the restraining order or otherwise notified of its existence. However, ignorance of the law cannot be used as an excuse for illegal behavior. If you reasonably knew a restraining order was issued against you, you cannot claim ignorance to escape accountability.
Contact Citizen Soldier Law for Legal Help
If an NJ restraining order has been issued against you or you are being accused of violating a restraining order, contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney at Citizen Soldier Law to discuss your case.