It is common for courts to issue certain orders during various proceedings in the criminal justice process. These orders may be in conjunction with a final sentence or imposed temporarily until the underlying issue can be resolved. Court orders may only be temporary or may last indefinitely, depending upon the needs of the case. A protective order is normally issued in domestic relations cases in which one party requires protection from the other party. These kinds of orders are common in cases involving domestic abuse or violence. No matter what the order is, it is imperative that all parties bound by the order adhere to its terms.
A violation of a protective order, or any other court order, may result in serious consequences. Read on to learn more about the consequences of violating a protective order from the Atlantic City protective order violation lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych.
What is a Protective Order in New Jersey?
Protective orders may also be known as restraining orders. They are commonly issued by the court in domestic relations cases when one party fears an attack or further abuse from the other party. They are normally issued in cases of domestic violence or child abuse. The purpose of the protective order is to prevent one party from having any contact, face-to-face or otherwise, with the other party. If the party bound by the order contacts the other person in any way, they are in violation of the order and may face serious consequences.
A protective order issued in a domestic relations case could be temporary or indefinite. These orders are often issued before the case is settled as a means of protecting the victim. If the charges are dropped, the case is dismissed, or the defendant is found not guilty, the order may be lifted. A protective order may also be indefinite and issued as part of a sentence. A defendant convicted of a domestic abuse crime may be ordered to stay away from his victim or face further penalties.
Why Are Protective Orders Issued in New Jersey?
Court orders may be issued for a wide variety of reasons. Protective orders are typically issued in domestic relations cases when the victim needs to be protected from the defendant’s abuse. Protective orders will be considered in domestic violence cases when the defendant is permitted to be released on bail. Courts want to prevent any further harm or injury to the victim and understand that releasing a possibly violent defendant on bail poses a risk to the victim’s safety. Protective orders are designed to keep defendants away from their victims or they will face criminal consequences.
A protective order is imposed for the benefit of the victim, but usually at the defendant’s cost or detriment. Defendants who are bound by a protective order may find it difficult to visit their children or other loved ones if their spouse is the one protected by the order. In cases involving families, protective orders can become hotly contested issues. If you feel that the protective order issued against you is overly burdensome, you should contact one of our Egg Harbor Township restraining order violation attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych for help.
Penalties and Jail Time for Violating a Protective Order in NJ
A defendant charged with violating a court order, including protective orders, is referred to as being in contempt. A defendant found to be in contempt will face numerous different penalties depending on the nature of their offense and the nature of the order.
A person charged with violating a protective order in Galloway Township or elsewhere in NJ issued pursuant to a domestic violence or abuse statute may be guilty of a fourth-degree crime. A crime of the fourth degree may be punishable by a maximum of 18 months in prison. These charges may be upgraded if the violation itself constitutes a crime on its own. For example, if the protective order prevents a defendant from being within 500 feet of the victim, but they violate that order by arriving at the victim’s home and beating them up, this may be a more serious charge. The violation of the order involved beating up the victim, which is a crime in and of itself.
How to Have a Protective Order Lifted in New Jersey
Protective orders can become very burdensome to a defendant. Protective orders can be lifted by either the defendant or the victim. If the victim wishes to have a protective order lifted, they must notify the court that the order is no longer necessary. There could be a variety of reasons a victim would want the order lifted. For example, they may have forgiven the defendant, the two parties may have reconciled and repaired their relationship, or they may have children together and the order is interfering with the parent-child relationship.
If the defendant wants to have a protective order lifted, they must file a motion with the court. A seasoned Ocean City restraining order violation lawyer can help you with this process. In their motion, the defendant must explain all the reasons the court should lift the protective order. For example, the order may prevent the defendant from seeing their children. The judge will consider the victim’s wishes and whether the defendant is attempting to lift the order in good faith.
Contact Our New Jersey Protective Order Violation Defense Attorney Today
Violating a court order is a bigger deal than you might realize. The duty of the judge and the court in any criminal trial is to maintain order until a verdict can be reached. When court orders are violated, it tells the judge that the violating party needs to be reined in and punished to maintain order. Judges do not appreciate defendants violating their orders and will show little mercy if you are held in contempt. If you or someone you know has violated a protective order issued by a judge, contact our skilled NJ criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation with a qualified New Jersey criminal defense lawyer.