In recent years, domestic violence has received significant public attention. Victims of domestic violence and individuals who advocate on behalf of domestic violence victims have done much to remove the stigma that at one time discouraged may victims from reporting domestic abuse and from seeking assistance from the courts. New Jersey (like many other states) has enacted tough domestic violence laws that enable courts to grant civil relief to victims of abuse through the granting of restraining orders and that enable criminal courts to punish abusers and those who violate restraining orders with fines and/or periods of incarceration.
It is no secret that these domestic violence laws are focused on protecting the safety and rights of the abuse victim, even if this means temporarily infringing on the rights of the alleged abuser.
What Can I Do if I am Accused of Domestic Violence?
If your partner or ex-spouse has filed an for a restraining order against you, you are likely already aware of the intense inconvenience and stress this can cause. You may have been ordered to vacate any residence you may share with the applicant, to turn over certain property (like a car) to the applicant for his or her temporary use, and to refrain from speaking with or coming near the applicant. If you and the applicant have children in common, you may have also had been ordered to refrain from seeing your children or told that you can only see your children under certain limited circumstances.
You need immediate relief from these harsh limitations and sanctions if you are being falsely accused of abusing the applicant. The following tips may help you navigate this difficult time more easily and more successfully:
- Obey the orders of the court: Even if you disagree with the applicant’s version of events or believe you are being treated unfairly, do not violate the orders of the court as reflected in the restraining order with which you were served. Doing so only complicates your legal problems and increases the amount of time it will take to resolve your situation.
- Begin identifying witnesses and evidence: Read through the restraining order and any supporting documentation, including the applicant’s statement of events. Begin thinking of how you might disprove these allegations through witnesses and testimony. Because many judges interpret domestic violence laws liberally, you may find that you are needing to “prove your innocence” in order to have a restraining order lifted.
- Seek help from a qualified attorney: Do not try to handle your restraining order case on your own. Failing to present sufficient evidence or convincing evidence can result in the court entering a final restraining order which will restrict your liberties and rights for a significant period of time. An attorney experienced in defending those accused of spousal or child abuse is able to craft a powerful trial strategy designed to expose the applicant – not you – as an “abuser” of domestic violence laws.
Bronzino Law Firm helps clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, and in the surrounding areas respond to restraining orders and allegations of abuse in order to protect their legal rights and interests. When Peter J. Bronzino accepts your domestic violence defense case, he is willing and capable of arguing persuasively and powerfully on your behalf. Contact his office today by calling (732) 812-3102 and discuss your case with Mr. Bronzino during your free initial consultation.