A “restraining order,” sometimes called a protective order, and a “no-contact order” sound remarkably similar. Both are designed to keep potentially dangerous individuals away from their victims. However, the circumstances under which the courts issue these orders are quite different as are the rules for following these orders and the penalties for violating them. Read on from Atlantic City protective order violation lawyer to learn more about the difference between restraining orders and no-contact orders from the legal team at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych.

What is a Restraining Order in New Jersey?

A restraining order or a protective order is often issued in cases of domestic violence. These may be temporary and only effective for the duration of court proceedings. They may also become more permanent or longer lasting when they are issued as a final order. The terms of the restraining order will depend on the needs of the case and the victim.

These are often issued in domestic violence cases where the victim is an abused spouse or partner. The order is designed to keep the alleged abuser away from the victim until the court proceedings are over. Often, a restraining order is granted at the request of the victim. A hearing will be held to determine if the order is necessary for the victim’s protection and both parties will be permitted to argue for or against the order.

A restraining order can also be made final rather than temporary. A final restraining order will usually happen at the end of court proceedings and is intended to continue protecting the victim after a trial is over. Exactly how long a restraining order will last will be determined by the court.

What is a No Contact Order in New Jersey?

A no-contact order may be issued against a criminal defendant if their case involves a victim. Not all criminal cases involve a real victim, such as nonviolent drug offenses. However, when there is a victim, especially in cases involving violence, courts can issue no-contact orders. These orders are intended to prevent the defendant from having any contact with the victim for the duration of the trial.

No-contact orders can be imposed at the judge’s will regardless of what the victim wants, although victims can request no-contact orders be imposed. This order aims to ensure the victim’s protection and safety and prevent the defendant from intimidating the victim. It is not uncommon for defendants or their friends to intimidate victims into not showing up for court. A no-contact order prevents any contact with the victim of the crime. Read more from our Hamilton Township restraining order violation lawyers today.

How Are Restraining Order and No Contact Orders Different in New Jersey?

One significant difference between a restraining order and a no-contact order is the courts that issue them. A family court judge typically issues a restraining order in relation to domestic violence or abuse cases. Restraining orders are civil in nature and are not necessarily associated with any criminal charges. On the other hand, a no-contact order is issued in a criminal court concerning criminal charges. While a restraining order is typically for a domestic abuse or violence case, a no-contact order can be issued for any kind of case where a victim may need protection, not just domestic issues.

Eligibility for restraining orders is also different than that required for no-contact orders. For a restraining order, the alleged victim must be in some sort of domestic relationship or former partnership with the abuser. They may also be someone who shares a child with the abuser. Most often, they are a spouse or romantic partner who lives with the abuser. If this domestic relationship does not exist, a restraining order will likely not be issued.

For a no-contact order, there does not need to be a domestic relationship between the parties. In fact, there does not have to be any relationship between the parties. A no-contact order may be instituted in any criminal case in which a victim’s safety and security could be threatened. The victim and defendant could be total strangers. Also, the underlying crime for a no-contact order does not have to be domestic.

How Are Restraining Orders and No Contract Orders Similar in New Jersey?

Restraining orders and no-contact orders are somewhat similar in New Jersey because they are both protective in nature. In either circumstance, a victim needs protection from future abuse, violence, or retaliation. Additionally, they tend to be issued under very similar circumstances. While a no-contact order could be issued for potentially any crime, both orders are frequently issued for domestic violence offenses.

Both types of orders also come with criminal penalties for violations. Someone who violates a restraining order or a no-contact order may be held in contempt of court and charged with a fourth-degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in prison. If the conduct which caused the violation is itself a crime, you may be charged with a crime of the third-degree in addition to any new criminal charges. Additionally, you may be held without bail.

Call Our New Jersey Attorney for Restraining and No Contact Orders

If you or someone you know is bound by a restraining order or a no-contact order, contact our Egg Harbor restraining order violation attorneys. We can help you get the order against you lifted or deal with charges associated with violating the order. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation with our experienced legal team.