Defending Against Domestic Violence FAQ

A conviction of a domestic violence-related charge could have serious criminal penalties, as well as a potentially lasting impact on someone’s life and career. If you are the target of domestic violence allegations, you are likely left with many questions on how this will affect you, and what path to take forward.

At my firm, The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, I have over 35 years of experience defending New Jersey residents against a wide range of criminal accusations, including those resulting from domestic disputes. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions on domestic violence. For more specific questions about your unique case, schedule a free initial consultation today. Call 908-643-6801 or reach out online to get started.

What Are The Penalties For Domestic Violence?

As with any crime, the exact penalties you may face depend on the severity of the crime. In cases of domestic assault that result in serious injury, the abuser may be facing an aggravated assault charge that could result in prison time and large fines. Less serious allegations may still result in removal from the home, a temporary restraining order (TRO) or mandatory anger management classes.

What Is The Difference Between Assault And Aggravated Assault?

The difference between an assault and aggravated assault depends on the severity of the injuries. When an assault results in serious injuries such as permanent disfigurement, temporary or permanent loss of any of the five senses or risk of death, it will typically be classified as aggravated and will carry much steeper penalties. 

What Happens If My Partner Files A Restraining Order Against Me?

Initially, your partner will likely petition the court for a temporary restraining order (TPO). These are typically given on the spot for those who claim they are in present danger of domestic violence, and only last until the final restraining order hearing, which will happen within 10 days. A TRO may be granted against you without your input, preventing you from calling or visiting the home of your partner, albeit only for a short time.

While your input is not needed for a TRO against you, you will need to be at the final hearing. This is where you and your partner will each attempt to prove your side of the story before a judge. A final restraining order will only be issued if the judge finds that domestic violence occurred, and will typically prevent you from contacting the other party or going to any location where the other party frequents, such as their home or work.

What Happens If I Violate A Restraining Order?

Violating a restraining order is considered contempt of court and can carry large penalties of its own, up to and including 18 months in prison and $25,000 in fines. 

How Can I Prove Domestic Violence Allegations Are False?

If you have received a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the other party, be sure to follow it until your final hearing. Whether you are guilty or not, violating a TRO has its own consequences, and the mere violation of a TRO may have a negative impact on the rest of your case.

In the meantime, be sure to keep any and all records of communication between you and the other party and gather any other documentation that might help prove your case. You will have an opportunity to tell your story before a judge, present any evidence and have witnesses share their stories. If you are facing allegations, be sure to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to begin building a strong case in your defense.