Domestic violence is a serious criminal charge in New Jersey. Victims of domestic violence may petition the courts for restraining orders, make modifications to existing family law agreements, and even file criminal charges. These regulations are all put in place to protect victims and their families from domestic abuse. However, what happens when accusations of domestic violence are unfounded? If you or a loved on has been falsely accused of domestic violence, it is vital that you work with a qualified and experienced attorney to clear your name.
The NJ domestic violence attorneys of Jacobs Berger have extensive experience serving victims of domestic violence as well as those falsely accused from Morris County and Northern New Jersey. We understand that false allegations of domestic violence can have a potentially devastating impact on victims. Lean on our experience to show that you have not committed the acts for which you have been accused so that you can move on with your life.
Reach out to our family law firm in Morristown for a comprehensive and confidential case assessment regarding your domestic violence case, the false allegations being leveled against you, and to discuss a potential plan of action.
How Can I Defend Against False Accusations of Domestic Violence in New Jersey?
For those who have been falsely accused of domestic violence, there are many tactics our Morris County domestic violence defense attorneys might employ. These may include but are not limited to:
- Requesting a continuance. As we will discuss below, the turnaround between initial filing of a domestic report claim and your court date will be ten (10) days or less. We may request a continuance if necessary to prepare your case
- Arguing that your relationship is not “domestic” in nature pursuant to the New Jersey Domestic Violence act
- Refuting evidence that may include medical records, witness testimony, written statements, the TRO transcript and more
- Calling character witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Proving that your actions were in self defense and were not in violation of domestic violence statutes
- Much more
Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders for Domestic Violence
The domestic violence legal process might look something like this: an individual files for restraining order on the grounds of domestic violence. Hearings are scheduled to determine whether a final restraining order is required. Criminal charges may also be filed. Our Madison falsely accused victims’ lawyers understand the importance of moving quickly during these proceedings.
Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) are granted before any hearings take place. In other words, there is no way for a defendant to reasonably expect to block this action. During this time period, the accused may not have contact with the alleged victims or family members. The only silver lining is that TROs are short lived, and a court date for a final restraining order must be scheduled within ten (10) days of the initial TRO petition.
Final Restraining Orders (FROs) are only granted after a formal FRO hearing in front of a judge. This is our attorneys’ opportunity to prove your innocence. In order for a FRO to be enforced, the plaintiff must show that the defendant committed domestic violence as per the definition given in the previous section. While ten (10) days of preparation is a quick turnaround, it is vital to go into these hearings with a strong legal game plan.
The Impact of False Allegations of Domestic Violence on Child Custody Hearings
Fast forwarding, what happens between co-parents after false allegations of domestic violence? A lawyer may be able to show that a false allegation of domestic violence is evidence that a co-parent or other family member is unfit as a guardian. Keeping in mind that New Jersey family courts consider the needs and wellbeing of children first, the character and mental fitness of a parent will be called into question after it has been proven that they falsely accused you or another individual of domestic violence.
During child custody discussions, a history of domestic violence can play a major role in deciding the best arrangements for children. In fact, false accusations of domestic violence may be considered a form of parental alienation, which can be seriously damaging to the psyche of children. If you have been proven innocent through a FRO hearing or a criminal investigation into domestic violence after being falsely accused, it is possible that the accusing party will lose some or all of their legal right to child custody.
Contact our Morristown Domestic Violence Lawyers Today
At Jacobs Berger, our family law and divorce attorneys believe that domestic violence is an extremely serious crime. Therefore, being falsely accused of such an act can be damaging personally, legally, and financially. We take pride in defending clients who have been falsely accused of domestic violence across New Jersey – contact us today to schedule a consultation.