Tag: What to do for Restraining Order Ocean County NJ

How to Manage Your Contempt Charges with the Help of an Experienced Criminal Law Attorney

Being charged with contempt of court can significantly impact your life and result in punishments as severe as jail time, a fine, or even a felony conviction on your permanent record.

How to Keep from Being Charged with Contempt of Court in New JerseyAlthough a person can be charged with contempt for inappropriate behavior which delays or disrupts court proceedings, very often a person can be charged with contempt as the result of violating a temporary restraining order (TRO) or final restraining order in simple assault or domestic violence cases. They can also be found in contempt for violating a family law court order related to child support or in problematic divorce cases where equal distribution of assets, property division, or alimony/spousal support agreement are an issue. In other cases, contempt charges may be brought for failing to appear in court or respond to a court summons.

If you or someone you know has been charged with contempt of court in New Jersey, or if you or a loved one is seeking to enforce a court-mandated order against a co-parent for child support, child custody agreement, or failure to honor a marital agreement, it’s best to retain experienced legal representation. No matter how minor the violation may seem, we can help you protect your rights. Our defense attorneys approach agreement resolution with a collaborative and amicable mindset, but will not hesitate to aggressively defend you in court.

At The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, we have extensive experience protecting our clients’ rights and finding realistic and effective solutions for any legal matter in local Ocean County and Monmouth County communities, including Brick, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Howell, Wall, Point Pleasant, Toms River and all of Southern New Jersey.

Contact us online or call our office today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your questions and concerns or for any other family law matter.

What Constitutes Contempt of Court in New Jersey?

At its foundation, court contempt of court occurs when someone deliberately violates court order, does something to intentionally prevent a court order from being exercised, acts inappropriately in court, or disrespects the judge while court is in session, or behaves in a disrespectful manner while court is in session.

Even if the contempt violations were unintentional or committed in good faith, and may seem as minor as making contact via text message, a social media post, email, or a phone call, the state may move forward with charging that person with a disorderly persons offense.

What is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Contempt in New Jersey?

Although there are numerous ways to be found in contempt of court, it is generally differentiated between direct and indirect criminal contempt and civil contempt.

Direct contempt is considered inappropriate behavior (i.e., offensive language or not following court rules or decorum) that occurs in front of the judge, which is dealt with on the spot. Indirect contempt occurs outside the presence of a judge and may involve a lawyer or juror willfully violating a judicial order, such as a “gag order” to not discuss the case or court proceedings outside of court. Proving this type of offense requires the court to rely on third-party testimony.

Civil contempt of court charges, on the other hand, are often brought after the plaintiff files a suit against a defendant for financial damages or injunctive relief from the court. Typically examples are failure to obey a restraining order, pay child support, follow parental visitation orders, or a divorce decree.

Another distinction between civil and criminal contempt of court charges is the constitutional safeguards a person charged with criminal contempt has. Whereas criminal contempt is subjective and must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, civil contempt must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

What are the Penalties for Contempt in New Jersey?

What are the Penalties for Contempt in New Jersey?The purpose of imposing criminal contempt charges is to punish disobedience and to preserve the court’s authority. Punishment for civil contempt charges are remedial and are designed to benefit the complainant. New Jersey family courts exercise a great deal of discretion when imposing penalties, and more often than not, the person found in contempt is ordered to pay the other’s attorney’s fees.

Depending on the situation, violating a court order can be classified as a disorderly persons offense or a fourth-degree criminal offense, especially if one commits another crime while violating the order. Although the threat of jail is often enough to gain compliance with a court order, the court may impose community service, wage garnishment, fines, drug or alcohol treatment, or loss of driving privileges.

Whether it’s yourself or someone you know, violating a restraining order in New Jersey can be classified as a fourth-degree criminal offense or a disorderly persons offense.

A disorderly persons offense in New Jersey is punishable by:

  • Fine: up to $1000
  • Incarceration: 6 months in the county jail
  • Criminal Record: a conviction will appear on your criminal record

A fourth-degree felony in New Jersey is punishable by:

  • Fine:up to $10,000
  • Incarceration: up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison
  • Probation: an extensive probationary period
  • Criminal Record: a felony conviction appearing on your criminal record

In family law matters, when one party knowingly refuses or fails to follow a court order it can result in additional stress, confusion, and possibly fear for one’s safety and wellbeing. If the alleged contempt of court violation is significant, you should seek to remedy this immediately.

If you have concerns or questions about a possible contempt of court case, contact an experienced Ocean County family law attorney for advice.

Contact a Brick, NJ Attorney About Your Contempt of Court Case Today

Punishment for a contempt offense can be significant. So whether you failed to appear in court, behaved inappropriately while in court, or unknowingly violated a court order, you will need a skilled Brick, NJ defense attorney to fight your charges.

If you have been charged with contempt in New Jersey or seek to enforce an existing court order, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, so that you can explore all of your available options. Regardless of how small you think the violation may be, failure to take aggressive action can direly impact your life for years to come.

At The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience helping clients in local Ocean County and Monmouth County communities including Seaside Heights, Fort Dix, Keansburg, Howell, Wall, Beachwood, Tinton Falls, and other Jersey Shore communities. Our firm is built on the foundation of strong attorney-client relationships which larger firms simply cannot match.

Please contact us online today or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation.

Seek the counsel of an Experienced Attorney to File a Restraining Order

Domestic violence is a severe issue in New Jersey and around the country.

Filing a Restraining Order Against an Abusive Partner in NJParticularly in this time of the pandemic, domestic abuse cases have gone up, as couples have been forced into long periods of quarantine together, and job losses have led one partner to take their frustration and fear out on their significant other.

If you are in an abusive partnership, there are ways to get support for a transition out of the relationship. The primary tool is a temporary restraining order. Read on to learn more about obtaining a temporary restraining order (TRO), where to turn for immediate help, and how to formulate an exit plan.

How to Obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in NJ 

In New Jersey, a Temporary Restraining Order is the most important piece of legal documentation that a victim of domestic violence can have. This is because it provides physical space, which is the most fundamental necessity in a dynamic of domestic abuse: the safe container within which emotional healing work and transition forward can occur. With a TRO, the abuser is legally not allowed to communicate with or contact you. They are barred from making physical or technological contact with you in any way.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey court system has reduced hours and caseloads. However, given the severity of the issue, most courts are open to receiving in-person applications for TROs. Contact your county’s courthouse to state that you need to file for a TRO and receive information regarding next steps. You can file a TRO in the county in which you live, the county in which the defendant lives, the county in which any act of domestic violence has taken place, or the county in which you will be relocating to seek safety. Alternatively, if you cannot go to the courthouse physically, you can file for a TRO with the New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part by calling the court during business hours.

As we know, cases of domestic violence that initiate the need for a TRO don’t always occur while the court is open to receive a request for a restraining order. As such, you can go directly to your local police department or call them to file a request for a TRO 24/7 as well. In this case, a police officer fills out the application for a TRO. At the same time, an on-call municipal court judge is called into a video or phone conference to issue the TRO immediately.

Domestic Violence Supports in New Jersey

Sometimes the most difficult step to exiting an abusive relationship is asking for help. There is no reason to be ashamed if you are a victim of domestic violence. Contact one of the myriad supports that are available to provide you resources and guidance in your safe transition out of the shared space and the relationship:

In New Jersey:

NJ Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 (800) 572-SAFE (7233)

Nationwide:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1(800) 799-7233

Preparing an Exit Plan

When you call a domestic violence hotline, a trained counselor will take your call and provide invaluable information regarding initial steps to take to transition out of an abusive domestic situation, focusing on your safety and covering many bases such as:

  • Preparing an Exit Plan for Domestic Violence in NJhow to financially prepare for an exit from a domestic partnership;
  • what to pack in an emergency overnight bag, including important documents;
  • how to safely and subtly prepare children for a transition;
  • how to ensure that pets are safely transitioned out of the home;
  • what phone numbers to have in your cell phone at the ready;
  • how to let one confidant know your plans so that you are supported by someone knowing your intentions,
  • and what information and documentation to provide them with.

A domestic violence counselor will advise you that, if you have children, it is important not to tell them outright that you are planning to leave home and take them out of it. Instead, you can prepare them for what to do in the case of an emergency, including practicing with them where to go, what their full name and address are (if they are young), and who to call. Because of the complex emotional life of a child and their bond with both parents, speaking only generally with them regarding local contacts in the case of an emergency is essential.

To ensure that you navigate your exit from an unsafe living situation, you must seek the support of a qualified Domestic Violence attorney.

If you have filed a TRO, need to obtain a restraining order, are seeking to leave an abusive relationship and use the law to guarantee your protection, and/or are moving toward divorce, we are on your side.

Attorney Peter J. Bronzino and our firm has a depth of experience representing individuals in divorce, family law, and domestic violence situations in Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

Contact us online or at our Brick, NJ office today at (732) 812-3102 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your individual restraining order matter or family law concerns.