Domestic Violence Detention Hearings and Protective Orders in New Jersey

If an individual is arrested for an assaultive crime in New Jersey, then they will face a detention hearing to determine if they will be free while the case is pending or if they will remain in custody. Protective orders can be affected by a pending criminal case, as can the people that are involved. If you are facing an allegation of domestic violence, then it is important to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

What Is a Detention Hearing in New Jersey?

If someone has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in New Jersey, then they is entitled to have a detention hearing within 24 to 48 hours after being arrested. This hearing will determine if the individual will be released on his or her recognizance, released with conditions set by the court, or remanded to custody pending the resolution of his or her criminal case. The allegations made in a domestic violence complaint can also lay the foundation for a protective order, such as a restraining order from the court. If the defendant is remanded to custody and his or her release is denied, then the defendant must be tried by the court within 180 days. If the prosecutor intends to have the defendant remain in custody, then they must file a motion for detention.

What Happens at a Detention Hearing in New Jersey?

A detention hearing determines what conditions will be set regarding the freedom or incarceration of the defendant before trial. A public safety assessment will take place to determine the defendant's risk of committing another crime while out, whether the defendant is likely to return to court, and whether the defendant will follow the court's pretrial orders. A rating between 1 and 6 will be determined, where 1 is the lowest likelihood of violations, and 6 is the highest likelihood of violations of pretrial orders. This rating is based on the defendant's prior criminal history, nature of the offense, and ties to the community, among other variables. It is important to have an attorney represent you at this hearing.

Is Bail an Option?

No, due to recent criminal justice reform in the state of New Jersey, the previous bail system has been abolished. This means that once an individual is arrested, a detention hearing takes place, and the judge will decide whether to release the defendant on their recognizance, release the defendant with specific conditions, or simply keep the defendant in custody in the local county jail. Posting money for bail is no longer an option or consideration in New Jersey under new bail reform laws.

Is House Arrest an Option?

House arrest is a potential option during a domestic violence case if the judge agrees to it. If a court orders house arrest instead of jail custody, then the defendant will only be allowed to leave his or her home for work, school, doctor's appointments, and attorney meetings. The defendant will not be allowed to leave his or her house otherwise while the case is pending and will be forbidden from having any contact with the complainant. The defendant will likely be required to wear a GPS tether and report to probation while on house arrest.

What Is a Protective Order?

A protective order is an order issued by a judge that can prohibit someone from several actions involving someone else. These orders are requested when there are allegations of domestic violence and other qualifying reasons. Common protections include no-contact orders and other orders restraining certain types of actions or conduct. Restraining orders are a form of a protective order and are commonly issued to protect alleged victims from potential future harm or violence.

Restraining orders routinely prohibit contact between the parties involved and can also prohibit contact with the alleged victim's family, friends, acquaintances, roommates, and/or other relevant persons. Orders prohibiting the defendant from going to certain places such as the petitioner's home and workplace are also common. If the parties live together, then the defendant will be required to move out while the orders are in place.

It is important to note that if the parties decide to reconcile, then the judge must agree to cancel any existing protective orders or violations that may occur, which can lead to arrest and prosecution. Protective orders are decided by the court, not by the parties involved. Make sure to have an experienced attorney help you if you intend to have any protective orders canceled.

Do You Need an Attorney?

Domestic violence cases are handled in criminal court, while restraining order cases are handled in family court, but they often intersect. While each can operate independently of one another, the issues and orders in the cases often overlap and can result in severe punishment to the defendant for any alleged violations. If you are facing allegations of domestic violence or are a victim of domestic violence, then expect that you may have to deal with both types of cases. This situation calls for experienced help in the form of an experienced family attorney. Make sure you know what you are doing in court, so you don't face unintended consequences or difficulties regardless of what side you are on. If you have questions, then call us at the Lento Law Firm.

Contact the Lento Law Firm Today

If you have questions about a domestic violence case or any related restraining orders, then it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney right away. It is important to understand the criminal and restraining order process to effectively deal with your case. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right decision to help you, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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