Violating A Restraining Order in New Jersey

When a family experiences domestic violence, the first recourse of the victim is to obtain a restraining order. Restraining orders prevent a person from interacting with a certain person or their family, and can frequently interfere in matters of custody that may have already been agreed upon. In New Jersey, violating a restraining order can occur through actions that may seem simple or innocuous. When this happens a person can find themselves facing criminal charges. In New Jersey, crimes fall into one of three categories: indictable crimes, disorderly person offenses, and petty disorderly person offenses.

Violating A Restraining Order

Criminal contempt charges result from violating a restraining order. A conviction on these charges can potentially result in a number of adverse consequences in a person's life. If the violation of the restraining order was particularly serious, criminal charges in the fourth degree may result, in addition to whatever criminal charges may stem from the violation, such as assault.

Typical violations include:

  • Entering the plaintiff's residence: Restraining orders typically contain language that prevents a defendant from entering the plaintiff's residence, and may even demand that a defendant is a certain distance away. Defendants may find themselves in violation while trying to get to work or recover property from the plaintiff.
  • Appearing in areas restricted by the order: Similar to the restriction of the defendant from entering or being within a certain distance of a plaintiff's residence, at times the restraining order may place other restrictions on the defendant's physical location, such as not being able to be close to the plaintiff's place of work or a child's school. This can interfere with a defendant's ability to maneuver around town.
  • Subjecting the plaintiff to further violence: If a defendant engages in activity that can be perceived as domestic violence, depending on the circumstances, criminal charges may be involved.
  • Violating provisions related to parenting time and custody: Many families that experience domestic violence may already have standing custody or parenting agreements. The court may put certain provisions on these, and if the defendant does not adhere to them, they will be in violation of the order.
  • Contacting the plaintiff: At times, restraining orders will preclude the defendant from any and all contact with the plaintiff. Attempting to contact the plaintiff, even as an honest mistake may be considered a violation.
  • Failing to compensate the defendant: Certain restraining orders can demand the defendant to compensate or support the defendant. This can be monetary, or it can be as simple as returning certain property. Failing to do so may result in violation and action from the court against the defendant.

Many times, a defendant may not be aware of, nor intended on, committing any act that was in violation of the restraining order. Restraining orders can heavily interfere with several different aspects of a defendant's life. If you or a loved one is involved in a domestic violence case, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

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.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.