here are two types of restraining orders in New Jersey:
- a temporary restraining order (TRO) and
- a final restraining order (FRO).
Although a restraining order may contain other conditions, its primary purpose is to prevent you from having contact with the person who sought the order against you.
The following information is designed to help you better understand the process through which a restraining order is obtained and the repercussions associated with violating a restraining order in NJ.
Obtaining a Restraining Order in NJ
In order to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO), a person must first fill out the requisite documents and check the appropriate box for which a restraining order is being sought.
Typically, an individual will file for a temporary restraining order due to:
- Domestic Violence
- Terroristic Threats
In order to obtain a TRO, there usually needs to be a familial relationship between the parties or they must have previously lived together.
Consequently, a TRO is not available in every case of assault or harassment.
If, at a hearing, a person convinces a judge to issue a TRO, it will prevent you from going near the alleged victim, their place of employment, home, and any other places or people that are named in the restraining order. A TRO will have the opportunity to become final at a hearing that is usually scheduled 10 days after the issuance of the TRO. If a final restraining order (FRO) is issued, then all of the things that you were temporarily prohibited from doing will become permanent. In almost all cases, getting a temporary restraining order is handled in Family Court while violations of restraining orders are dealt with in Criminal Court.
Violating a Restraining Order [N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9]
If someone successfully obtains a restraining order against you, be very careful not to violate it. Doing so is considered a crime in New Jersey.
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9A, if you purposely or knowingly disobey a judicial order or hinder, obstruct, or impede the effectuation of a judicial order (or the exercise of jurisdiction over any person, thing, or controversy by a court, administrative body, or investigative entity) you could be charged with contempt.
Contempt is a fourth degree crime in New Jersey that carries with it the potential of serving up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Since a restraining order is considered a “judicial order,” disobeying it squarely falls into the category of contempt. Therefore, if you violate a restraining order, you could be looking at jail time and a fine. Make sure to contact an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid a contempt conviction due to violating a restraining order.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
The legal system can be very complicated and confusing. If you are being accused of domestic abuse or violating a restraining order you should speak to a criminal defense attorney today. An attorney will be able to defend you and help answer all your questions. The Rosenblum Law Firm can assist you and provide you with the best legal service for your case. Call us today for a free consultation, we can help. Call 888-815-3649.