Restraining Orders, sometimes called protective orders, are intended to protect victims of abuse from their abusers. Restraining orders are common in cases where the defendant shares a close personal relationship with the victim. However, they may also be used in cases where the defendant and victim are strangers. Restraining orders are for the benefit of victims but often come at very high costs to the defendant. Restraining orders can prevent defendants from seeing family members and other loved ones who might be close with the victim.
It is possible to lift restraining orders, but it can often be difficult. Courts are hesitant to lift restraining orders without the cooperation and consent of the alleged victim because courts do not want to place victims at risk for future harm. However, you can request to have the order lifted in a special hearing where you can argue your case. Restraining orders are more easily lifted if the defendant can prove that the order is no longer necessary or that they have reconciled with the alleged victim.
Lifting a restraining order would allow a defendant to resume seeing those close to them. Getting a restraining order lifted will be much more attainable with the assistance of our Atlantic City protective order defense attorneys. To schedule a free legal consultation with our dedicated team, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.
Reasons You Can Lift a Restraining Order in NJ
Restraining orders are imposed by courts and keep defendants away from their alleged victims. Restraining orders are common in criminal cases involving domestic violence and may also occur in family law matters such as divorce. Restraining orders are intended to protect one party from the other when the other party is deemed a danger or threat. Getting an order lifted means having a hearing and explaining to a court why the order should be lifted.
There are a number of reasons a restraining order should be lifted. Perhaps the easiest way to get a restraining order lifted is by reconciling with the other party. Restraining orders are common in cases of domestic violence or domestic disputes. If the parties reconcile, there is no longer a need for a restraining order.
You can also show that a restraining order is unnecessary because you do not pose a danger to the alleged victim. For example, restraining orders are often imposed when a defendant is not only charged with a crime of domestic violence but has a history of violence as well. If you can demonstrate that you have no history of violence prior to your domestic violence charges, a judge may agree that a restraining order is unnecessary.
Defendants should also challenge restraining orders when they are too difficult to comply with, and violations are almost certain to occur. For example, some restraining orders prevent a defendant from seeing their partner or spouse in addition to their children and other family members. Defendants are sometimes prevented from seeing friends and loved ones simply because they are also close to the alleged victim. A restraining order may be overly broad and should be lifted or at least adjusted in such cases.
If you want to challenge a restraining order keeping you away from your family, call our Egg Harbor restraining order defense lawyers.
What Is a Restraining Order In NJ?
Restraining orders are issued by the courts, usually at the alleged victim’s request, in cases where the victim’s immediate safety may be in jeopardy. Orders may also be imposed by the court of its own volition. The purpose of the restraining order is to keep the defendant away from the victim for the trial’s duration if the defendant is out on bail. Requests for restraining orders are typically granted if the victim can demonstrate a history of domestic abuse or violence between the parties. Restraining orders are also commonly imposed as part of a final sentence in cases of domestic violence. Convicted defendants will typically be ordered to adhere to the terms of a restraining order and stay away from the victim.
Restraining orders are issued to protect victims who may be in danger of violent retaliation from their abusers. The orders are designed to protect victims but infringe on the rights and liberties of defendants. For example, a restraining order may require that a defendant stay at least several hundred feet away from the victim, keep away from the victim’s home, and have zero contact with the victim. While this ensures the victim’s safety, it may prevent the defendant from seeing other family members who might live with the victim, such as children.
If you want to have a restraining order lifted, our Galloway Township restraining order defense lawyers can help. Reach out to our offices to set up a legal consultation regarding your case.
Getting a Restraining Order Lifted in NJ
Having a restraining order lifted can be difficult in many cases. The courts have a great interest in keeping victims of domestic violence safe from their alleged abusers. A restraining order may only be temporary, but the damage caused by a violent abuser can be long-lasting, even permanent. Convincing a court that a restraining order is not necessary is challenging but not impossible.
Getting a restraining order lifted will require another hearing, which both parties to the order must attend. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to present information demonstrating that the protective order imposes too much of a burden or is unnecessary. It is also possible to have a restraining order lifted by the mutual agreement of both parties. This kind of agreement is common when the parties have reconciled and wish to drop the entire case. Our New Jersey restraining order defense attorneys can work to help you lift an order imposed against you.
Important Factors to Consider when Lifting NJ Restraining Orders
Lifting a restraining order is no easy feat without the cooperation of the alleged victim. Courts do not like the idea of putting an alleged victim’s safety at risk. However, when you request that the restraining order against you be lifted, the court will consider numerous factors before making a decision.
The court will often consider the relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim. Restraining orders are imposed because the parties were once close, but the alleged victim now fears the defendant. However, after the trial has ended and some time has passed, the victim may no longer fear the defendant. The current relationship between the parties may mean a restraining order is no longer necessary.
Courts will also look at the defendant’s history of violence. When a defendant has a history of violence, either against the victim or just in general, a court is more likely to leave a restraining order in place. If we can show a court that you do not have a history of violence and are unlikely to pose a threat to anyone, the court may agree to lift the restraining order.
We can also present evidence that you have entered counseling or treatment. It is not unusual for domestic violence to stem from a defendant’s poor mental health or even substance abuse problems. By getting treatment and counseling, you show a court that you are serious about reforming. A court is more likely to lift an order if they believe a defendant has changed for the better.
Courts consider many other factors, and the evidence needed to prove a defendant’s case will vary depending on their unique circumstances. Call our Ocean City restraining order defense lawyers for guidance.
Burdens of Restraining Orders on NJ Defendants
Restraining orders are imposed for the benefit of the alleged victim and often at the defendant’s detriment. A temporary restraining order is imposed at the beginning of trial and only lasts until the end of the trial. It may be imposed ex parte, meaning a judge can impose the temporary restraining order based only on the alleged victim’s story without hearing anything from the defendant. While the idea is to protect victims from abuse, defendants are subjected to heavy burdens before ever going through a trial.
Restraining orders require defendants to keep away from the alleged victim, often a former romantic partner or spouse. If these two parties share any children, the order may also cover the children. This means a defendant must cease contact with the alleged victim and their own children. This can be extremely hard on both the defendant and their children. A permanent restraining order imposed as part of a final sentence may prevent a defendant from having any meaningful relationship with their kids.
In other cases, the defendant and the alleged victim share a home together. A restraining order makes it impossible for the two parties to continue living under the same roof, so the defendant is forced to leave their home. It is not uncommon for these defendants to have nowhere else to go after being forced out of their own homes.
When a restraining order becomes so overly burdensome that a defendant can no longer live under the order, they can seek help from a qualified attorney to have the order lifted. Our New Jersey restraining order defense attorneys can help you fight to have a burdensome restraining order lifted.
Is There a Hearing for Lifting a Restraining Order in NJ?
There will be a hearing before a restraining order is imposed and before it is lifted. In both circumstances, each party is allowed to speak at the hearing and argue for or against the restraining order. A restraining order can be lifted in a number of ways. Perhaps both parties have reconciled and no longer need the restraining order. It is also possible that the restraining order has become overly burdensome on the defendant. In any case, to lift the restraining order you must file a request to do so with the judge who imposed it.
Once you have filed to have the restraining order lifted, a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, both parties may make arguments and both parties may be represented by a Galloway Township restraining order violation attorney. It is crucial to show up to this hearing because it will continue whether or not you are there. If the hearing happens in your absence, the other party will be the only one who speaks regarding the restraining order, and you are highly unlikely to have it lifted. If you know you are unable to attend the hearing, your attorney can contact the court and try to have the hearing rescheduled. Our New Jersey restraining order attorneys can provide more information on how these hearings work.
What Happens if You Ignore a Restraining Order in NJ?
The penalties for violating a restraining order can be harsh and must be taken seriously. Violating a restraining order will result in your arrest and new criminal charges against you. Violation of a restraining order in New Jersey will result in charges for a fourth-degree crime. Such a crime can be punished by up to 18 months in prison. This penalty will be in addition to any penalties that may be imposed as a result of your underlying charges. To avoid violating a restraining order, it is best to hire an Ocean City restraining order violation defense attorney who can help you have it lifted.
Additionally, once you violate the restraining order and you are arrested, the judge will decide whether or not you can be released on bail again. There is a chance the judge will decide you are too dangerous to let go, and you could be held without bail until your trial, which could be weeks or even months in some cases. Rather than risk violating a restraining order that may be overly burdensome, it is in your best interest to work with a Hamilton Township protective order violation attorney to get the order lifted.
Contact Our NJ Restraining Order Attorneys
If you or someone you know is bound by a restraining order or a protective order in New Jersey, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Our experienced legal team can help you get a restraining order lifted and help you see your family again. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation with our New Jersey restraining order attorneys.