Domestic violence is defined as an act of a spouse or partner to control or manipulate the other party in the relationship. Domestic violence charges have been strengthened in recent history, and police can now detain and arrest an individual if there are signs of physical injury on the other partner in the relationship. Domestic violence encompasses a range of actions, including stalking, verbal and written threats, assault, and sexual assault. Unfortunately, children are often present during incidents of domestic violence.
It’s important to note that domestic violence is seen differently under New Jersey law than other forms of assault. Domestic Violence charges in NJ are levied against those who have been or are currently involved with the other party. These relationships include:
- Individuals that are married.
- Those who are divorced or separated.
- Parties that have previously or are currently living in the same household.
- Those who have dated.
- Couples who have a child together or where the mother is now pregnant.
Here we’ll discuss some of the charges that can stem from domestic violence in New Jersey and what you’ll need to know if you’re a victim or a perpetrator.
Domestic Violence and Simple Assault Charges
Under NJ laws, domestic violence can qualify as a simple assault under three separate conditions. An individual must be found to have committed one of the following acts:
- An attempt to cause bodily injury to the other party recklessly, knowingly, and/or purposely.
- Uses a weapon and negligently causes harm to their partner.
- Through a physical act, puts the fear of imminent serious bodily harm to the other party.
Cases involving simple assault usually involve a restraining order, and if convicted of simple assault, the perpetrator can face up to six months in prison and a thousand-dollar fine. However, it’s critical to mention that, in certain circumstances, punishments may be more lenient or severe depending on the incident.
Domestic Violence and Aggravated Assault Charges
The penalties for aggravated assault are much more severe than those for simple assault. Aggravated assault charges are often used when serious bodily injury, sexual assault, or permanent disfigurement occurs due to the attack. The punishment for aggravated assault can vary greatly depending on the circumstances, but more often than not, it can result in up to five years in prison and significant fines. Additionally, aggravated assault charges when it comes to domestic violence in New Jersey can be even more severe if the individual was knowingly indifferent to the value of human life.
Restraining Orders and Domestic Violence in New Jersey
Restraining orders are often issued when an incident of domestic violence occurs in New Jersey. Restraining orders are meant to protect the victim from any additional contact with the alleged perpetrator. They can be obtained with little to no evidence and are considered a separate legal matter from domestic violence charges in NJ. Violating a restraining order can result in the defendant being found in contempt of court and facing up to eighteen months in jail and a $25,000.00 fine.
If you need legal representation in New Jersey, contact the team at Zapicchi and Liller. We offer a range of services, including being a leading Burlington County criminal defense attorney. We also represent those facing charges for burglary in NJ. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a consultation.