If you have been accused of domestic violence in New Jersey, you probably have questions about your rights as the accused party. In 1991, New Jersey drafted the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act that immediately protects the victim. It allows for the accuser to get a restraining order and take hold of assets that protect them from the financial burden of litigation or court proceedings. Domestic violence is a serious issue that destroys lives, but being accused of domestic violence comes with its own obstacles. Solely being accused can ruin reputations and relationships. Speak to an attorney at Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. to discuss your issue and see if the circumstances constitute a case for domestic violence.
New Jersey domestic violence laws are strict. Police officers will arrest the accused if there is any sign of physical injury. In most cases, even without witnesses or physical injuries present, officers will make an arrest. Any time there is a domestic violence call, officers must respond and inspect. New Jersey is one of the most proactive states when it comes to domestic violence.
The problem with such a proactive and aggressive stance on domestic violence is that the accused has little recourse when being falsely accused. Understandably, New Jersey takes a “better safe than sorry” position. We find that this stance cannot duly protect the rights of both parties and pins a guilty verdict on the accused in the court of public opinion, and most times, in the courts themselves.
If someone is accused of domestic violence during divorce proceedings where child custody is in question, the charge will surely affect judgment. A domestic violence case may limit or cease contact between the accused and children until the case is resolved. The restraining order under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act will immediately separate the accused from all immediate family members. Though it is in the best interest of everyone involved, an accuser could malevolently use this to his or her advantage if the separation or divorce gets heated. Obviously, a false domestic violence charge is illegal, but since domestic violence can be both physical and mental abuse, it is hard to defend oneself against the charge.
Regular crimes are upgraded to more serious offenses when a charge of domestic violence is involved, especially any assault charges. Courts will judge the accused aggressively in these cases. Protect yourself from a lifetime stigma and if you have been accused of domestic violence, contact one of our experienced attorneys at Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C.