Protecting Your Rights When You’ve Been Accused of Domestic Abuse
Like most states, New Jersey takes a tough stance when someone makes allegations of domestic violence or abuse. More often than not, if police are called to the scene, someone will be taken into custody. Under the law, if there’s any physical evidence of injury, police officers are required to make an arrest. However, a police officer may take a suspect into custody based solely on the statements of the purported victim, even though there’s no physical sign of violence or abuse.
If you are arrested, the police officer must notify you of your rights under the Miranda ruling. In addition, law enforcement officers must prepare a written report whenever they are called to the scene of a domestic dispute.
A domestic violence complaint may be filed, though, without calling police. A person who believes that he or she has been the victim of domestic abuse may file a complaint in the New Jersey family courts (the complaint must be filed in the county in which the abuse occurred or where one of the parties resides). Once the complaint is filed and the victim meets with a probation officer and someone from the state’s battered women’s program, the case goes to a judge/domestic violence hearing officer, who will make a determination as to whether or not the allegations fall under the definition of domestic violence. If the judge rules that they do, a temporary restraining order (TRO) will be issued, limiting the alleged perpetrator’s contact and access to the victim. The victim must advise local law enforcement of the existence of the TRO.
Once the TRO is in place, the court must schedule a final hearing, where both parties will be allowed to give testimony. The final hearing must take place within 10 days of the issuance of the TRO. At that hearing, the judge will decide whether to put a Final Domestic Violence Restraining Order (FRO) in place, and, if so, what the terms of that order will be.
Contact Our Office
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we bring more than 14 years of experience individuals who have suffered any type of personal injury, including physical injuries in a work-related accident. To set up an appointment, contact our office at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 or send us an e-mail.