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New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorneys
Accomplished Legal Representation in Morristown and Essex County
New Jersey aggressively prosecutes domestic violence crimes. A conviction may result in prison time, fines, restraining orders, a loss of firearm rights, and other penalties. If you are facing these charges, it is in your best interest to seek immediate guidance from a qualified legal professional.
At Whipple Azzarello, LLC, we have a strong track record of successfully defending our clients from these and other criminal charges. Our New Jersey domestic violence lawyers have over 75 years of combined legal experience on both sides of the bench. We know how prosecutors approach these cases and can leverage our insight to put you in the best possible position.
If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime, call (973) 434-7788 or contact us online to discuss your case with our team. We offer free initial consultations.
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Under New Jersey law, an offense may be considered a domestic violence crime if the victim has a qualifying relationship with the perpetrator. Both men and women can commit acts of domestic violence, and both the victim and perpetrator must be at least 18 years of age or emancipated minors.
Domestic violence charges may apply if the victim is:
- Married to the perpetrator
- Separated from the perpetrator
- Divorced from the perpetrator
- A romantic or former partner of the perpetrator
- A member or former member of the perpetrator’s household
- The parent of the perpetrator’s child
- Pregnant with the perpetrator’s child
Our New Jersey domestic violence attorneys can defend in cases involving:
- Assault. A person commits assault when they deliberately or recklessly cause injury to another person. This offense may be considered a domestic violence offense if a perpetrator uses an object to strike their roommate, for example.
- Burglary. Burglary occurs when someone unlawfully enters a “structure” with an intent to commit some other crime. If a perpetrator enters a former romantic’s home with the intention of stealing something or committing assault, the burglary may also be considered a domestic violence offense.
- Criminal Coercion. Someone criminally coerces another person by using unlawful threats to prevent the victim from exercising their freedom. Criminal coercion could qualify as a domestic violence crime in a situation where a perpetrator threatens to expose damaging secrets if their romantic partner leaves them.
- False Imprisonment. A person commits this offense if they unlawfully restrict someone from leaving an area. If a perpetrator prevents their romantic partner from leaving their home, for example, the crime may also be considered an act of domestic violence.
- Harassment. Harassment charges cover multiple types of offensive conduct, including the use of offensive language, communicating at deliberately inconvenient hours, and engaging in behaviors designed to annoy or alarm the victim. A person may face domestic violence charges if they criminally harass a partner, former partner, or member of their household.
- Kidnapping. Kidnapping occurs when someone forcibly or coercively removes a person from an area without their consent. Domestic violence charges may come into play in a scenario where a perpetrator kidnaps their divorced spouse.
- Lewdness. This charge may be pursued if someone “flashes,” “moons,” or otherwise exposes their genitals to someone without their consent. Lewdness may also constitute a domestic violence offense if the victim has a qualifying relationship with the perpetrator. For example, a person who flashes their former romantic partner will likely also face domestic violence charges.
- Murder. Someone commits murder when they intentionally kill another person. Killing a partner, former partner, or household member will likely trigger domestic violence charges.
- Robbery. Theft or attempted theft becomes robbery if a victim is seriously injured or if the perpetrator threatens to inflict serious injury. This charge may also apply if the perpetrator commits or threatens to commit a first- or second-degree crime in connection with the theft. Robbery may also be considered a domestic violence crime if the victim is a partner, former partner, or household member.
- Sexual Assault. Sexual assault, or rape, occurs when someone forcibly or coercively penetrates a victim without their consent. This crime will likely be considered an act of domestic violence in a situation where a perpetrator sexually assaults their roommate, partner, or former partner.
- Stalking. Someone “stalks” another person if their deliberate conduct results in the victim reasonably fearing bodily harm. Domestic violence charges may be pursued in a case where someone aggressively follows their divorced spouse, for example.
- Terroristic Threats. A person makes a “terroristic threat” if they claim they will kill someone else in such a way that makes the subject of the threat fear for their life. The offense may become a domestic violence crime if the victim has a qualifying relationship with the perpetrator.
- Trespassing. Someone “trespasses” when they enter and remain in private property without permission. Criminal trespassing may become a domestic violence offense in a scenario where a perpetrator unlawfully enters the home of a former romantic partner, for example.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Crimes in New Jersey
In New Jersey, domestic violence crimes may be considered misdemeanors (called “disorderly persons offenses”) or felonies. The circumstances and severity of the offense will influence how the crime is charged.
Some domestic violence offenses may only be charged as disorderly persons offenses if the perpetrator is a first-time offender. Repeated offenses may trigger more serious felony charges, however. Felony domestic violence offenses are classified as crimes of the first, second, third, or fourth degree.
Incarceration penalties for felony domestic violence crimes include:
- Fourth-Degree Crimes. Up to 18 months of imprisonment.
- Third-Degree Crimes. 3 to 5 years of imprisonment.
- Second-Degree Crimes. 5 to 10 years of imprisonment.
- First-Degree Crimes. Up to 20 years of imprisonment.
In addition to prison time, a domestic violence conviction may also result in a ban on purchasing firearms and a requirement to pay restitution. Other restrictions may be included in a restraining order: A victim has the right to seek a temporary restraining order at the onset of a case, and a final restraining order may be entered when the case concludes. Restraining orders generally prevent the defendant from contacting or coming near the victim. Violating the terms of a restraining order can result in additional criminal charges.
When you have been accused of committing an act of domestic violence, your rights and freedom are on the line. Our New Jersey domestic violence lawyers know what is at stake and are prepared to zealously defend you in and out of the courtroom. At Whipple Azzarello, LLC, you will have direct access to our legal team throughout our handling of your case, and we will work diligently to obtain the favorable outcome you deserve.
Call (973) 434-7788 or contact us online today. Payment plans are available.