Domestic Violence is a term that applies to a wide variety of criminal activity when committed against a person who is protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1990. Individuals facing Domestic Violence Offenses are often anxious and confused. This is because domestic violence spans across criminal and family court and has a variety of severe penalties and legal repercussions. For information on your domestic violence charges, call 732.924.4200 today for a free consultation with a local domestic violence attorney.
Toms River Domestic Violence Attorney
The parties to domestic violence actions are usually adults that are in a family or romantic relationship. Courts and prosecutors treat DV charges seriously and these cases often move quickly. Penalties are far-reaching and may include issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and, if a child is involved, loss of visitation rights. It is for these reasons that it is important to gain an understanding of charges you are facing and options that you have. Often, domestic violence charges accompany criminal complaints such as:
- Simple Assault
- Terroristic Threats
- Aggravated Assault
- Criminal Mischief
McGuckin Law assists clients facing domestic violence charges throughout Ocean County including Toms River, Brick, Stafford, Manchester, Seaside Heights, Barnegat, and Little Egg Harbor. In addition to defending criminal charges associated with DV, we also help clients facing:
- Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)
- Final Restraining Order (FRO) Hearings
- Vacating a Final Restraining Order
- Contempt of a TRO or FRO
- No Contact Orders
DV charges are often comprised of two elements; criminal and family. The actual DV and underlying criminal offense called the predicate act such as simple assault will be heard in Municipal Court. If the underlying charge is an indictable offense, then the criminal complaint will be adjudicated in Ocean County Superior Court. It is important to be proactive and take these charges seriously. We often advise our clients to immediately enroll in anger management or relationship counseling. It is extremely important to be prepared with any saved voicemail, text messages, and emails that may play a role in your case. For additional information on how we can assist your domestic violence case, call 732.924.4200 for a free consultation today.
If the alleged victim filed a Temporary Restraining Order against you, then you also have to appear in Ocean County Family Court for the Final Restraining Order Hearing. Once a judge issues a TRO against you, there is to be absolutely no contact between you and the alleged victim. Furthermore, child custody may be altered depending upon the allegations, and you will be forced to surrender all firearms for the duration of your matter.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of arrests each year in Toms River for domestic violence incidents that often give rise to the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order against one or both of the parties involved. These matters are highly delicate because they typically involve husband and wife or people in an otherwise romantic relationship. Often, children are involved and divorce proceedings may not be far off. Compounding these situations is the dual nature of these charges- criminal and family.
While restraining orders are useful and necessary tools for people who are unfortunate enough to be caught in the cycle of domestic abuse, it is a sad reality that many of TROs are sought for personal reasons such as leverage in divorce or custody proceedings or retribution. Often, these matters are dismissed as a result of domestic contretemps, the sometimes volatile nature of people in relationships. We assist clients in the defense and prosecution of TRO and Final Restraining Order Hearings.
If you have been issued a Temporary Restringing Order (TRO), then you MUST appear at Ocean County Superior Court on the scheduled date for your Final Restraining Order (FRO) Hearing. FROs are serious because, even though they are not criminal convictions, they are official judgments of domestic violence. This can negatively impact your divorce settlement, custody arrangements, and ability to travel or own firearms.
FRO Hearings are actual trials in which both parties present evidence and testimony before the judge who will determine by the preponderance the evidence, whether to issue an FRO in favor of the victim. It is important to gather all possible information. In many relationships there is a pattern of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse on both sides, domestic contretemps, and the judge does rules against the issuance of a FRO.
If you contact the alleged victim in anyway while there is a TRO or FRO in place against you, then you are at risk of immediate arrest. DO NOT CONTACT THE VICTIM! It is far better to resolve the matter in court with an attorney than to risk everything.
If a great of time has passed or the circumstances surrounding your FRO have changed substantially, it is possible to have the FRO vacated (dismissed). A motion to vacate a FRO must take place at least one year after its issuance. However, the more time that passes since the FRO the greater the chance of a successful motion. Motions to Vacate will be argued before the same court that issued the FRO.
Protect Your Rights – Call McGuckin Law
Domestic Violence charges and Restraining Orders are serious events with grave consequences. Proceedings are delicate and require the utmost attention and understanding of your situation. McGuckin Law regularly assists clients facing these charges and are often able to achieve a downgrade or dismissal of the underlying criminal event. We also work with the victim or victim’s attorney when possible to structure a no contact order agreement civilly without the enforcement of a judge. In cases involving spouses or parents with a child in common, we often achieve civil restraints, which are temporary agreements outlining the extent of communication between the parties. For more information on how we can help you with your Ocean County Domestic Violence, or Restraining Order case, call 732.924.4200 for a free consultation.