Limits To Scope of Restraining Orders in NJ
- February 26, 2012
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In State v. S.K., A-1488-10, the defendant was convicted for violating a restraining order barring him from being anywhere near his ex-wife. Defendant was charged with violating the restraining order when his ex-wife reported to the police that he was at his son’s soccer game while she was seated in the bleachers at the game.
Defendant was arrested and spent several hours in custody. He later pled guilty to a contempt charge in a deal where he received no additional jail time. He was also ordered to pay a $125 penalty.
The Appellate Court ruled that such an overbroad order puts otherwise innocent individuals at risk of being charged with a crime for undertaking what is daily routine for others. A defendant subject to such an order would be unable to appear in public places for fear he would come into contact with the victim. The Appellate Court vacated the conviction and required that the Family Part consider amending the restraining order to delete the provision regarding defendant’s presence anywhere near the wife to something less overbroad.
Domestic violence and restraining orders are taken very seriously by members of the New Jersey criminal justice system and result in a substantial deprivation of your civil liberties. A domestic violence conviction or final restraining order on your record can result in loss of opportunities to enter your residence, spend time with your children and deprive you of your right to own a gun. If you are facing charges of domestic violence of violating a restraining order you consult an attorney immediately to protect your rights. An experienced lawyer will be aware of defenses and options such as diversionary programs which can help you avoid a restraining order.
For more information on domestic violence charges or restraining orders in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.