Domestic violence is a component of various crimes in New Jersey. If the defendant commits certain offenses against a person he or she lives or formerly lived with (called a “cohabitant”), such as a spouse, child, girlfriend, or boyfriend, he or she has committed a domestic violence crime. When a defendant is convicted of a domestic violence crime in Atlantic County, he or she may be imprisoned, fined, and/or placed on probation. A person on probation will be supervised by a probation officer, to whom the probationer must regularly report while following strict rules. Here, our Atlantic City probation violation lawyers explain what to expect after you are placed on probation for a domestic violence in New Jersey.
Examples of Domestic Violence Crimes in New Jersey
Under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1990 and N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-19, all of the following crimes can be classified as acts of domestic violence if committed against a cohabitant:
- Aggravated Assault
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Restraint
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Criminal Trespass
- False Imprisonment
- Homicide (Manslaughter, Murder, Death by Auto)
- Sexual Assault
- Simple Assault
- Terroristic Threats
If you are found guilty of committing any of these offenses against a spouse, former spouse, or a person you live with, you will be categorized as a domestic violence offender and will need an experienced domestic violence defense attorney immediately. The fines and sentencing you will face if convicted depend on how the underlying crime is classified. For example, because stalking is a third or fourth degree crime depending on the situation, a convicted defendant could face a prison term as long as five years. If convicted of the second degree crime of sexual assault, which is even more serious than stalking, the defendant could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
In addition to facing fines and imprisonment, the defendant can also be sentenced to probation, which should not be confused with parole. Parole refers to early release from prison, whereas probation means the person remains free, but is bound to strict conditions, until the probation period ends. Probation may be sentenced if the defendant:
- Violates a restraining order.
- Commits or threatens to commit any of the offenses listed above.
- Has pending charges related to either of the above offenses.
What Happens When You Are Placed on Probation for a Domestic Violence Offense in Atlantic County?
If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime in Atlantic County, you may be placed under probation by:
- Family Courts, which handles matters like divorce, child custody, child abuse, and alleged juvenile crimes.
- Municipal Court, which handles disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses (lesser offenses that are similar to misdemeanors in other states). Use our reference guide to find your municipal court in Atlantic County.
- Criminal Court, which handles indictable offenses (felonies). Most of the defendants who appear in criminal court are adults, though the cases of juveniles charged with serious felonies are occasionally waived to the criminal courts.
Once you have been placed on probation, you will be monitored by the Domestic Violence Supervision Unit of Adult Supervision. Supervision can involve any and all of the following:
- Mandatory counseling or rehabilitation for drug and/or alcohol abuse and dependency. Be aware that your probation officer will communicate with your doctor to make sure you are actually showing up for appointments and going through with the treatment as ordered.
- Periodic visits to and inspections of your house or apartment. If your probation officer finds any contraband, such as illegal firearms or controlled substances, your probation may be revoked, and you can be charged with a new crime (e.g. unlawful possession of a weapon). The Constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure normally afforded by the Fourth Amendment does not apply to probationers as it does in other situations.
- Regular drug testing. Tampering with a urine test is an example of a probation violation.
- Scheduled interviews and office meetings to track the progress your case is making.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Atlantic City Defense Attorneys
Supervision will be intensive toward the beginning of the probationary period. However, if the probationer is able to consistently comply with the conditions of probation, the degree of supervision may be gradually relaxed. As the judiciary explains, “[A] close supervision level will be maintained for the first half of the probation term and [will be] continued if [the] caseplan objectives have not been achieved.”
If you need to contact the Domestic Violence Supervision Unit in Atlantic County, use the contact information provided below:
Atlantic County Criminal Courts Complex
Domestic Violence Unit
4997 Unami Boulevard
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
Monday – Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime or probation violation in Atlantic County, you face harsh criminal penalties. Don’t wait another day to take action to defend your rights. Call the Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 to set up a free and confidential legal consultation.