If a restraining order has been filed against you and served on you, it’s very important that you talk to an attorney as soon as possible so you know what your rights are and what your obligations are. Chances are, on the restraining order paperwork, you will have a date for a final restraining order hearing, which will be in a very short time frame, maybe only a couple of days. It’s important that you take this matter very seriously because it has very serious consequences.
First of all, it’s imperative that you read the domestic violence restraining order and you understand what you’re precluded from doing. You may not contact the victim in any way. You may not contact the victim through third parties in any way. You can’t post on Facebook or social media, anything regarding the circumstances under which the restraining order was obtained. You may also have some restrictions including contacting the victim’s family, contacting the victim’s employer, being in certain places like his or her place of employment
It’s imperative that you comply with the restraining because a violation of a temporary restraining order has some consequences as to whether or not a final restraining order will be imposed. Violations of a final restraining order will be construed as contempt of court and could result in some considerable jail time; 30 days jail time. It’s important that you consult with an attorney. A domestic violence final restraining order hearing happens very quickly. You do not have the benefit of discovery as you would in a normal family trial or criminal trial. You must defend this case on the merits with the limited amount of information that you will obtain on the day of your final restraining order trial.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to get counsel involved in the case as quickly as possible. You also need to know that this is not considered a criminal offense, even though the imposition of a final restraining order can have some dire consequences in terms of your ability to be employed or your ability to travel. You’re not entitled to the benefit, for instance, of a public defender in this type of case. It’s considered civil in nature, even though it has some quasi-criminal ramifications. It’s important that you get your own attorney involved in the case. You can’t rely on the court to appoint somebody for you. I cannot stress it enough. It has to be determined and evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so you need to contact someone as quickly as possible.
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced criminal defense attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your criminal charges or procedures.