Category: Restraining Orders

Failing to Appear in Ocean or Monmouth County Courts

Serving Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, and Wall Township and across the Jersey Shore

failure to appear arrest warrant jail court oder failure to respond to summons bench warrant court fine contempt of court Bronzino Law Firm LLCIn New Jersey, a notice to appear is an official court order and should not be ignored. There can be serious consequences for failing to appear in court on a scheduled court date or to respond to a summons in a criminal offense or motor vehicle violation.  What could have initially seemed to have been a simple parking ticket, traffic violation, or minor civil disturbance matter can evolve into a loss of driving privileges, court fees, the issuance of a warrant, revocation of bail, contempt of court charges, and even detention while you await trial. 

No matter the reason, once a summons date has passed the issue is escalated, and the court or the judge has a greater amount of discretion to take. This includes issuing a bench warrant that authorizes police to make an immediate arrest. In addition, as part of the court record, bench warrants will likely show up on future background checks, even if the defendant is found guilty of failing to appear in a criminal matter, and is later acquitted of the underlying criminal charges.

Significant and unexpected events can happen in life, which may prevent someone from being able to make their court appearance. Open and honest communication with one´s legal counsel can help prevent any misunderstandings, arrest warrants, contempt fines, or jail time away from their loved ones.

Failure to Appear in Court: New Jersey Court Rule 7:8-9

Under New Jersey Court Rule 7:8-9, a judge can convict someone for failing to appear or respond to a court summons if:

  • there is sufficient evidence that the person had proper notice of the trial date, and
  • the court determines that the person intentionally did not come to court.

Potential Defenses for Failing to Appear in Court in Monmouth County, NJ

You will need to prove to the judge that a serious emergency physically prevented you from getting to court or responding to your summons. Potentially acceptable reasons may include:

  • not being notified of the court date and time
  • a previously scheduled court appearance
  • a serious accident or illness
  • a natural disaster
  • a death in the family

Invalid Reasons for Failure to Appear in Court in Toms River, NJ

You:

  • moved and did not notify the court of your address change.
  • forgot.
  • thought the judge waived your appearance.
  • had to work.
  • were stuck in traffic.

Your car broke down.

The weather was bad.

I Missed My Court Date. What Now?

If you or someone you love in New Jersey, missed a court date for a traffic violation or a criminal offense or is trying to resolve a license suspension, arrest warrant, or an outstanding case, it is vital that you consult an experienced attorney who can best present your unique circumstances and explain your missed court appearance. Thus, possibly minimizing or avoiding any resulting penalties. This attorney should also be someone who can provide a strong defense of the underlying charges and increase the chances of an acquittal or reduction to a lesser charge.

CONTACT US AT OUR BRICK OR SEA GIRT OFFICE LOCATIONS

One of our lawyers is ready to provide a free case evaluation today!

The Bronzino Law Firm has decades of experience defending clients against traffic citations and criminal charges in Ocean and Monmouth County towns such as Wall, Jackson, Point Pleasant, Sea Girt, and the surrounding communities. 

We believe that by communicating honestly with our clients and keeping them well informed, we can find realistic and effective solutions for any legal matter. Attorney Peter J. Bronzino has built his practice based on the belief that each one of his clients deserves compassionate, highly attentive and effective legal counsel.

Whether you are facing a failure to appear charge related to a traffic violation, a disorderly person offense, or a city ordinance violation, our law firm can help you to negotiate with local courts, protect your rights, and ensure the future of you and your family.

Speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation. Please contact us online, or through either our Brick or Sea Girt, NJ offices at (732) 812-3102.

Electronic Threats, Harassment, and Final Restraining Order Attorneys

Domestic Violence and Restraining Order Attorneys serving Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Ocean Township, Red Bank and across the Jersey Shore

Electronic Threats, Harassment, and Final Restraining Order AttorneysNew Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is a comprehensive and progressive piece of legislation designed to reduce violence between domestic partners and the precursors that lead up to it. This can mean addressing the issue of violence during the threat phase. These threats can come in many forms including physical, verbal or even electronic.

Threats of this nature could not have been imagined 30 years ago, however, as society evolves virtually and we have endless forms of communication at our fingertips, the courts have had to pay close attention to the harm these capabilities can deliver. Increased attention has been placed on abuse and criminal activity committed via electronic threats, via the transmission of texts, images, video, and more. Electronic threats, in fact,  can now even be used as grounds for filing a Final Restraining Order.

Over the years, we have grown a family law firm focused on families and pride ourselves on delivering value to satisfied clients. At Bronzino Law Firm, your problems become ours, and together we work hard to obtain a successful outcome in your case. Peter Bronzino and the attorneys on his staff help educate and counsel clients so that they can make informed decisions.

Contact us for more information and a dedicated Family Law Attorney will provide you with the proper guidance to help navigate through the legal process. Call us at 732-812-3102 or visit our website to fill an online form and schedule an appointment.

Representative Case Regarding Electronic Harassment and Restraining Order Charges

In the 2017 case M.Y. v. G.C., the parties were divorcing after five years of marriage. M.Y. filed a complaint with the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part in March 2016 for a temporary restraining order against G.C. She stated that G.C. had harassed her by calling and texting her repeatedly and that the calls and texts were threatening and harassing. The messages caused M.Y. to fear for her safety, kept her awake and made her feel sick.

The trial court judge granted M.Y. a final restraining order after finding that M.Y. was credible and believable. Using N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4(a) the judge determined that G.C. had committed a predicate act of harassment. The judge found that G.C.’s actions constituted harassment because G.C. sent M.Y. hundreds of messages over a four-day period with the intention of annoying or alarming her. Furthermore, the judge also concluded that a final restraining order was necessary to protect M.Y. from potential future harm or abuse.

What Constitutes Harassment in New Jersey?

Under 2C:33-4, harassment occurs when a person engages in any conduct which is alarming or repeats the behavior in a way which has the intent to annoy or alarm an individual seriously.

A person can be found guilty of harassment if they have the purpose to harass another by making communication anonymously, at extremely inconvenient hours or using offensively coarse language or communicating in any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm. Furthermore, a person can also be found guilty of harassment if they subject someone to striking, kicking, shoving, other offensive touching or threats to do so.

If a person engages in any conduct which is alarming or repeats conduct in a way which has the intent to annoy or alarm an individual seriously, they may also be found guilty of harassment. All of this conduct by itself would constitute a petty disorderly person offense. However, if a person is on probation or parole for any indictable offense, a new charge of harassment automatically becomes a fourth-degree offense, even when it is in no way related to the prior charge. A person will also be charged with a fourth-degree offense if they are serving a prison sentence at the time of the alleged Harassment.

First Amendment Protection of Offensive Language versus Harassment

It is important to note that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution permits the regulation of conduct, not expression. Consequently, the speech prohibited by the harassment statute must be said with the specific intention of harassing the listener.

In the 1981 New Jersey Appellate Division case of State v. Fin American Corp., it was clearly stated that the harassment statute was not enacted to prohibit mere speech, use of language, or other forms of expression. Therefore, the speech that is not permitted by the harassment statute has to be said with the specific intention of harassing the listener. Restraining orders predicated on harassment cannot be issued if based purely on a mere expression of opinion stated with offensive language or in an aggressive manner.

Contact a Toms River DV and Restraining Order Attorney Today

The Family Law Attorneys at Bronzino Law Firm handle clients facing harassment issues in Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Ocean Township, Red Bank and Monmouth County. Contact us today and let us protect your rights, and your privacy. Feel free to give us a call at 732-812-3102 to schedule a meeting at one of our conveniently located offices in Brick and Sea Girt or fill out the online form and we´ll get back you shortly.

Criminal Mischief and Domestic Violence Attorneys Ocean County NJ

Criminal Mischief and Domestic Violence Attorneys Ocean County NJ

When people think of domestic violence, physical abuse often comes to mind. New Jersey courts have been giving the topic and concept of domestic violence the attention and respect it rightly deserves, particularly as it relates to actions that may occur in the home or between a couple that may not fall into the “cookie cutter” physical abuse that domestic violence often and unfortunately represents. Beyond the intoxicated husband striking his wife or the controlling lover that does not take the break up well, the courts have looked at and defined certain actions that are not as obviously criminal acts and determined that they could still be charged and prosecuted.

An individual could be committing domestic violence by abuse inflicted physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even by destroying property. New Jersey law addresses situations of the destruction of marital property for spite, in anger or for revenge under criminal mischief that falls under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.

The Bronzino Law Firm LLC has effectively used the law to represent and protect clients against domestic violence in many communities across New Jersey including Asbury Park, Neptune, Wall, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Brick, Jackson, Sea Girt, and all of Monmouth County, Ocean County and across the Jersey Shore. Contact our Brick or Sea Girt offices today by calling 732-812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation regarding your situation.

Criminal Mischief and the Destruction of Marital Property Brick NJ

The destruction of a significant other’s property is addressed under New Jersey statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3(a)(1), which states that an individual is guilty of criminal mischief if he or she “purposely or knowingly damages tangible property of another.” This can take the form of destruction of clothing or household items, vandalism of automobiles and even, in extreme cases, the burning of a marital home or other property. The destruction of shared property falls under the criminal mischief section of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.

Legal Precedent for Destruction of Marital Property being Criminal Mischief in NJ

The Appellate Division case H.C.F. v. J.T.B., (A-5618-14T3 (App. Div. Sept. 7, 2017), addressed a situation where a husband and wife, though separated, still resided together in separate rooms in a three bedroom marital home. The husband was accused of and admitted to damaging both the home as well as marital property that was in the possession of his wife. This included punching holes in a door, destruction of a doorframe and the damaging of stereo speakers.  The husband claimed that because the property technically belonged to both of them that he was within his rights to do with these items as he pleased.  The Appellate court did not agree.

The appellate court issued a restraining order on the grounds of criminal mischief. Despite both parties technically owning the house and the stereo equipment, the trial court noted that still did not give the husband the right to damage property in the house because both of the parties had an undivided interest in the home and the property.

The Appellate Division cited N.T.B. v. D.D.B., 442 N.J. Super. 205, 222 (App. Div. 2015), to support finding that damage to a spouse’s undivided interest in the home as a tenant by the husband constituted the predicated act of criminal mischief.  In this case, the Appellate Division turned to the model jury charge for criminal mischief, which instructs trial judges, “where appropriate, to charge that property of another includes property partly owned by defendant in which any other person has an interest which defendant is not privileged to infringe.” Thus, the damaged property, despite being located in the marital home, were the “property of another” under the statute and found the husband’s conduct constituted criminal mischief and supported a finding of domestic violence.

Contact a Sea Girt Domestic Violence Attorney Today

The attorneys that make up the Bronzino Family Law Team understand the dangers that domestic violence represents and how easily an incident or series of incidents can escalate from what one might consider minor to a highly volatile and dangerous situation. Whether physical, verbal, emotional, or even through the damaging of mutual owned property; none of these acts should be taken lightly. Our experienced criminal law attorneys have the knowledge to help guide you if you have been the unfortunate victim of domestic violence or you are facing charges based on criminal mischief and/or the damaging of property. We are here to walk our clients through the often complicated legal process and provide client-centered counsel every step of the way.

If you or someone you know has had their marital property damaged or destroyed by an angry spouse please contact our Brick or Sea Girt offices today by calling 732-812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation.

Why Retain Counsel in Your Monmouth or Ocean County Domestic Violence Case?

 

Under the New Jersey law, domestic violence is committed by a person who has a close relationship in your life, including a current or ex-spouse, any member of your household (past and current), any current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or a parent of your child or children. You do not need to be legally related to or currently living with an abuser to qualify for protection under this law, or to have charges filed against you.

Domestic Violence Types of Charges

The list below outlines 11 of the over 14 different charges that can be brought against an individual in a domestic violence case. The charges are accompanied by the associated statutes:

  • Homicide – N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1
  • Assault – N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1
  • Terroristic Threats – N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3
  • Kidnapping – N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1
  • Criminal restraint – N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2
  • False imprisonment – N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3
  • Sexual assault – N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2
  • Lewdness – N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4
  • Criminal mischief – N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3
  • Burglary – N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2
  • Criminal trespass – N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3
  • Harassment – N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4

If you or someone you love have been domestically victimized by one of the crimes listed above and is in need of a restraining order or if you have been falsely accused by someone close to you, please call our Sea Girt or Brick, NJ offices today at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation. Our qualified Family Law Team delivers quality counsel, with a client-centered approach, at aggressive rates in the market.

The Restraining Order Process in Brick and Sea Girt NJ

Temporary Restraining Orders – TRO’s

If an individual files because they feel there is a need for protection, they are tasked to provide enough evidence in what is called an “Informal Hearing”. If the court agrees, it would then issue a TRO or a Temporary Restraining Order. This order, in most circumstances, is in place to prohibit any and all contact between the two individuals unless otherwise outlined by the court. The court is at liberty to order additional or other conditions of the TRO that it determines are on an emergent basis.

If and when a TRO is issued, the court will then order that the defendant be served and a trial is set on the matter. The purpose of the trial is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence of abuse and danger to the individual that would warrant the transition from a TRO to an FRO, or Final restraining order.

Final Restraining Orders – FRO’s

The FRO can become a permanent order of the court to prohibit contact and other conditions, under penalty of arrest if the FRO conditions are violated in the future. The FRO can also prohibit certain rights, such as a right to own or posses a fire arm for the rest of the individual’s life.  It can also play a significant role in your divorce, impact the custody arrangement, and even have a financial impact on the divorce settlement in a number of ways.

Whether a TRO or FRO are violated by a defendant, such as making contact with the victim protected under either restraining order, then a New Jersey Criminal Complaint may be filed for “Contempt of Court.” These charges are now elevated into a criminal charge that is handled and prosecuted by a New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office attorney, referred to as an Assistant Prosecutor.

Why Hire a Lawyer for a TRO or FRO no matter what side you are on?

As you will hear in the video below, whether you are on either side of a TRO or FRO, it is imperative that you seek counsel and understand that these are not insignificant matters; in fact they can have major implications on your life and the life of your loved ones.

 

Transcription – Accuser or Accused: Why it is Important to Retain Counsel in a Domestic Violence Case

Domestic violence cases in New Jersey are very serious. That’s because a final restraining order is just that. It´s final. It´s permanent. And it´s not going to go away. There´s also serious consequences.  You are listed in the National Domestic Violence registry.  You cannot own a firearm and there are fines and penalties. I think is very important that you have an attorney with you during the final restraining order hearing whether or not you are a victim or you were accused of domestic violence because there´s a full trial. You are going to have to present your case. You are going to have to testify, cross-examine witnesses, introduce evidence, and just generally be composed during the trial. If you have an attorney with you is going to be very beneficial.

Contact and Experienced Toms River Domestic Violence and Restraining Order Law Firm Today

If you are made a victim at the hands of someone close to you, the first thing to do is call the police and report the domestic violence. Protect yourself and your family at all costs. Once you and your family members are safe, contact the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC today for a free and confidential case assessment.

These are serious charges, with serious consequences. Let our Family Law Team explore all options to provide educated counsel no matter if you are the accuser or accused. We understand, depending on the circumstance, there can be victims on either side of the aisle; those who have been victimized but also for those who have been wrongfully convicted of such a serious act.

Our approach revolves around the attorney-client relationship first and foremost, which is one of many reasons why we have secured high praise from clients over the years. Call today and take the first step to protecting your rights. Let us focus on protecting your future.