Wayne NJ Final Restraining Order Lawyer
Domestic Violence Attorney in Passaic County, New Jersey
If you or a loved one have been involved in a domestic violence or other related incident, there can be a number of serious consequences. You need an experienced defense lawyer who understands the law and is prepared to act quickly and aggressively on your behalf at both criminal proceedings and restraining order hearings.
Criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup represents clients throughout New Jersey, including in Wayne, Paterson, Clifton, Totowa, and West Milford who have been charged with domestic violence related criminal offenses such as harassment, simple assault, and false imprisonment.
She has successfully handled countless cases in New Jersey, in Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). She is a former domestic violence prosecutor and special deputy attorney general. Contact her office in Passaic County, New Jersey anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.
Final Restraining Orders (“FRO”) in New Jersey
A FRO will be issued once there has been a specific finding by a Judge of an act of domestic violence or upon entry of a stipulation by a defendant to the commission of an act or acts of domestic violence. A finding by a Judge can only occur after a hearing, which will be held within 10 days of the filing of the TRO.
Final Restraining Order Hearing
At the hearing, the allegations contained in the domestic violence complaint (TRO) must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., more likely than not). Courts must consider the following factors:
a. The previous history of domestic violence between the victim and the defendant, including threats, harassment, and physical abuse;
b. The existence of immediate danger to person or property;
c. The financial circumstances of the victim and the defendant;
d. The best interests of the victim and any child;
e. Protection of the victim’s safety in an award of custody or visitation; and
f. The existence of a verifiable Order of Protection from another jurisdiction.
Following a hearing, the Court may:
- Enter a FRO with appropriate relief;
- Dismiss the domestic violence complaint (TRO) and dissolve all restraints if domestic violence has not been established; or
- Adjourn the final hearing and continue the restraints on an interim (i.e., temporary) basis until a final determination can be made.
Entry of a Final Restraining Order in New Jersey
If a FRO is entered (i.e., there is a finding of domestic violence or an admission to an act of domestic violence), the Court may grant various forms of relief pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29b, including but not limited to:
a. Restraining the defendant from subjecting the victim to domestic violence.
b. Exclusive possession of the residence or household regardless of ownership, including payment of rent.
c. Parenting time – the Court may, upon request, order an investigation or evaluation by the appropriate agency to assess the risk of harm to a child or children prior to the entry of a parenting order. (This is known as a risk assessment.)
d. Monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of the act of domestic violence, including but not limited to loss of earnings or other support, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustains, the cost of repair or replacement of real or personal property damaged or destroyed, cost of counseling for the victim, moving or other travel expenses, reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, and compensation for pain and suffering. The court may also order punitive damages.
e. Counseling and/or anger management.
f. Restraints from entering the victim’s residence, property, school, or place of employment.
g. Restraints from contact with the victim directly or through third persons.
h. Payment of rent or mortgage payments, so long as the issue(s) has/have not been resolved or is/are being litigated in another action (i.e., a divorce proceeding).
i. Temporary possession of personal property, such as automobiles.
j. Emergency monetary relief including child support.
k. Temporary custody of a minor child. (There is a presumption that the best interest of the child is served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent.)
l. Supervision of the removal of personal belongings.
m. Any other appropriate relief for the victim and dependant child or children.
n. Preventing the defendant from possessing firearms or weapons.
o. Restraints from stalking, following or threatening to harm the victim and any other person(s) named in the order.
p. Psychiatric evaluation of the defendant.
If the defendant does not appear at the final hearing, and there is proof that he/she has been served with the TRO, the Court will proceed with the hearing and an FRO may be entered in default.
The dismissal of a TRO does not automatically result in dismissal of any associated criminal complaint(s).
If there is also a pending criminal complaint arising out of the same incident, testimony given by either the victim or the defendant at the FRO hearing can not be used in the criminal proceeding against the defendant. There are 2 exceptions: (1) testimony can be used in any subsequent Contempt proceeding; and (2) testimony can be used where it would be admissible hearsay at trial.
Contact a Passaic NJ Final Restraining Order Lawyer Today
Alissa D. Hascup understands the collateral consequences associated with a domestic violence incident. If you find yourself in a situation where you or a loved one have been charged with a crime involving domestic violence, the results can be serious. Ms. Hascup can help. Contact her immediately at 201-556-1573.