The New Jersey State Police website defines domestic violence as, “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner.” Intimate partner violence can be very destructive for victims and abusers alike and shouldn’t be condoned. But this broad definition can turn simple misunderstandings between loved ones into a heated legal battle pitting one person’s version of events against another’s. Whomever reaches the authorities first is often considered the victim, leaving the supposed abuser at the mercy of the criminal justice system.

No one wants to have a reputation as an abuser. In addition to the shame and humiliation allegations of intimate partner assault bring, alleged abusers may also be shackled with charges in multiple courts.

Civil and criminal charges

New Jersey courts and law enforcement officers take a hard stance on intimate partner violence. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act allows alleged victims to file both a civil complaint and a criminal complaint. The civil complaint is meant to protect the alleged victim. The criminal complaint provides prosecutors an opportunity to punish you for your alleged actions.

If accused of violence against a spouse or partner, this could result in a temporary restraining order against you. A restraining order can prevent you from seeing your children, returning home or even just grabbing necessities to get through the next few days. A temporary restraining order creates significant inconveniences, but lasting troubles can follow criminal charges.

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest for domestic violence, criminal charges could include harassment, assault or a weapons offense. Potential penalties include incarceration, steep fines and a criminal record.

Act quickly to protect yourself

Don’t let a domestic violence charge derail your personal and professional reputation. Let Anthony Palumbo help. Don’t delay. Reach the firm online or call 908-643-6801 to arrange a free initial appointment.