Woodbridge NJ Final Restraining Order Lawyers
Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys in Middlesex County, New Jersey
If you are involved in a final restraining order proceeding as a result of domestic violence then it is highly recommended that you hire an experienced restraining order attorney who can assist you throughout this process. A Final Restraining Order (“FRO”) Hearing is a civil proceeding heard before a Superior Court Family Division Judge in the county where the alleged incidents took place. A restraining order proceeding is a process that is completely distinct from any alleged criminal acts and hearings that may have brought upon the FRO in the first place. Such crimes that can act as the basis of the restraining order often include Simple Assault, Harassment, and Terroristic Threats. Criminal charges will be heard separately before a Municipal Court Judge or Superior Court Criminal Judge, depending on the degree, severity, and location of the crime.
While the FRO and criminal proceedings are isolated from one another, sometimes the outcome of one case can affect how the other case proceeds. However, testimony from one case is usually not unavailable to be introduced in the other case. These types of proceedings are usually very complicated by their nature and can be very overwhelming for those who do not understand court procedures and are unaware of their rights. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the court system and will often make the difference in the ultimate result of your case. If you are required to appear for a Final Restraining Order hearing in Middlesex County, contact The Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver today at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation. We will listen to the specific circumstances of your case and answer all of your questions.
Final Restraining Orders: What do they mean in New Jersey?
The entire FRO process moves very quickly. A Final Restraining Order Hearing will be set within 10 days of the date of when the Temporary Restraining Order had been entered entered. The FRO Hearing is a set trial date in which the parties will present evidence regarding the alleged domestic violence, harassment, or assault. During the FRO hearing, The Family Court judge will hear testimony from both sides to determine if you committed an act of domestic violence against the alleged victim.
The standard of proof required for the judge to issue an FRO is less than the standard required in a criminal proceeding. The judge’s decision of whether to issue an FRO and what type of relief should be granted will be based on a “preponderance of the evidence”—the same standard of proof required in a civil case. It will also come to conclusions regarding injunctive relief such as spousal or child support, custody or visitation, and the need for substance testing or counseling. The superior court judge has the discretion to order a risk assessment at this time.
In order for a Final Restraining Order to be entered, the judge must find that there was a predicate act (i.e. assault), a prior history of domestic violence, and that a reasonable person would be in fear for their safety based on the totality of the circumstances. If the judge finds that these requirements are met, the defendant or “aggressor” will have a Final Restraining Order entered against them. If an FRO is issued, the judge may prohibit the defendant from calling the victim, contacting the victim through social media or any other means, going to the victim’s residence or place of employment, harassing or stalking the victim or anyone else, or committing any future acts of domestic violence. Then, the defendant will be fingerprinted so that the order can be registered in the state and national domestic violence database.
Thereafter, consequences of a FRO include forfeiture of the defendant’s weapons and potential criminal charges if the defendant is charged with violation of the FRO. Moreover, once a FRO is entered it is on the defendant’s record permanently and will remain unless the defendant successfully petitions the court in the future for a motion to Vacate the Restraining Order. Although an FRO can be vacated in certain circumstances, your name cannot be removed once it has been adedd to the domestic violence registry.
Have a Final Restraining Order Hearing in Middlesex County, Where Will My Case be Heard?
If a temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued against you in Middlesex County, you will have an opportunity to defend yourself against the allegations at a hearing before a final restraining order (FRO) is issued. Your case will be handled in the Family Division of the Superior Court in Middlesex County, located at 120 New Street in New Brunswick, NJ 08903. As mentioned previously, the FRO hearing will be scheduled for a date within 10 days after the court issues a TRO. You have the right to be represented by an attorney.
It is important to note: if you have also been charged with a criminal offense for domestic violence, you must be arrested and held in jail, and then appear before a judge for a detention hearing. If the prosecutor seeks to have you detained until your case is resolved and the judge deems this necessary, you will remain in jail for the duration of the legal proceedings in your criminal case.
Contact a New Brunswick NJ Final Restraining Order Attorney
If a final restraining order (FRO) has been issued against you anywhere in Middlesex County, including Woodbridge, Edison, Highland Park, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, or Piscataway, then you are also possibly facing some domestic abuse or assault and threat criminal charge. Feel free to contact and experienced Middlesex County domestic violence defense attorney to guide you through the FRO process and best protect your interests in the charges that you may be facing. For a free consultation contact us at (732) 659-9600.