A Secaucus man recently appeared in Hudson County Superior Court after allegedly violating a domestic violence restraining order three times in five days. The man was arrested and charged with contempt when he allegedly returned to the family home to retrieve his own belongings. According to authorities, the suspect was prohibited from going to the residence as part of a domestic violence restraining order. Hudson County Judge Margaret Marley ordered that the man be released from jail pending trial, reiterating the importance of abiding by the restraining order and not going back to the house. Judge Marley also made clear that if the man violates the restraining order again, he will be held in jail until trial for the contempt charges.
New Jersey superior courts and the NJ criminal justice system take violations of temporary restraining orders (TROs) and final restraining order (FROs) very seriously. In fact, according to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA), specifically N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(b), a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if that person purposely or knowingly violates any provision in a restraining order entered under the provisions of the PDVA when the conduct which constitutes the violation could also constitute a crime or a disorderly persons offense. In all other cases, a person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if that person knowingly violates a restraining order.
The penalties for contempt of a restraining order depend on whether the defendant is convicted of a fourth degree crime or a disorderly persons offense. Generally, a fourth degree crime is punishable in New Jersey by a $10,000 fine and 18 months in prison, while a disorderly persons offense is punishable by a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. However, under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-30, the PDVA also sets forth that any person convicted of a second or subsequent disorderly persons domestic violence contempt offense shall serve a mandatory minimum term of not less than 30 days in jail, without exception.
Need Domestic Violence Lawyer in Secaucus NJ? We Can Help
If you are charged with contempt for violating a restraining order, you face severe penalties that could include a mandatory 30 days in jail. The restraining order and contempt defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have handled countless contempt matters in Superior Court and they are ready to defend you against allegations that you violated a restraining order in New Jersey.