Free Initial Consultation · 24 / 7

Recent News

NJ Governor Christie Approves Closed-Circuit Testimony in Domestic Violence Cases

Published: October 1, 2017

Client Reviews

  • Upon reading the success in the reviews of Travis' law firm, I decided to give him a call. That call would be the best, life changing call I ever made. full review

  • After receiving a Restraining Order by an ex girlfriend accusing me of harassment which was false, I contacted the law firm. Chris helped to get the case dismissed as quickly as possible ... full review

  • He assured me that he would aggressively try to get this unsubstantiated TRO dismissed as well as the harassment charge. Sure enough he did just that and on such short notice that it left... full review

    a client

Domestic Violence Cases NJNJ Governor Chris Christie recently signed legislation to permit victims and witnesses of alleged domestic violence or sexual assault to testify against defendants using closed-circuit television. Previously, the court system utilized closed-circuit testimony for witnesses 16 years old or younger in prosecutions for aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, human trafficking involving sexual activity, child abuse, or neglect or abuse of a child. Under the new law, victims of alleged domestic violence, regardless of their age, may be permitted to provide closed-circuit testimony. This new law echoes the overwhelming public sentiment that domestic violence is a serious issue in the United States. For instance, in New Jersey alone there were 61,659 reported domestic violence offenses in 2015. Of those cases, about 80 percent were dismissed. Now that victims can testify via closed-circuit television, that statistic may change for the better.

Under the new legislation, closed-circuit testimony can only be used if the court finds a substantial likelihood that the witness would suffer severe emotional or mental distress if required to testify in open court. Additional procedural safeguards also require that the victim or witness testify under oath and be subject to cross-examination by the defendant’s attorney. In fact, the defendant’s attorney must be present in the same room as the victim or witness during the testimony and the defendant and the defendant’s attorney may confer privately with each other during the testimony through a separate audio system. Lastly, if the victim or witness is under the age of 18 at the time of court proceedings, any recording of audio will not constitute part of the record on appeal and shall be deemed confidential unless the court orders otherwise for good cause shown upon the motion of the parties. (However, if the victim or witness is 18 years or older at the time of the proceedings, any recording of the audio portion of the testimony shall constitute part of the record on appeal.)

Does the Victim have to be in same courtroom as Defendant? NJ Domestic Violence Law

The bottom line is that the new law does not change the fact that all defendants are entitled to their day in court. Moreover, when it comes to criminal domestic violence charges, the prosecution must the charges against the defendant prove beyond a reasonable doubt. This new piece of legislation only changes the methods by which the prosecution can present its case in court.

If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense in NJ, you probably have many questions about the charges and how you can defend yourself. That’s where the Tormey Law Firm comes in. Our team of domestic violence defense attorneys not only boasts decades of experience, we have also successfully defended clients accused of domestic violence crimes in courts across New Jersey. If you’re facing domestic violence accusations in Essex County, Bergen County, or anywhere else in NJ, call the Tormey Law Firm today.

Filed under: NJ Domestic Violence Law

Visit Our Offices

With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Middletown, and New Brunswick, our lawyers can represent you anywhere in New Jersey and are available immediately to assist you at (908)-336-5008

Hackensack / Bergen County

254 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

  • 201-556-1570
  • 201-556-1572
Hackensack Office

Morristown / Morris County

60 Washington St Suite 200A,
Morristown, NJ 07960

  • 908-336-5008
  • 201-556-1572
Morristown Office

Newark / Essex County

1 Gateway Center Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

  • 201-654-3464
  • 201-556-1572
Newark Office

for a free initial consultation Contact the Tormey Law Firm

Travis J. Tormey is a distinguished member of the legal community and a respected legal resource on domestic violence. He has been featured in a variety of prominent publications and media outlets, including CBS radio, Aol News, the Asbury Park Press,, and the Daily Record. Mr. Tormey has also been recognized as one of the the top criminal attorneys under 40 years of age by the National Trial Lawyers Association and the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Whether representing victims or the wrongly accused, Travis remains passionately committed to protecting the rights of the innocent.

Areas we serve

The Tormey Law Firm LLC handles restraining order cases in Bergen County (Hackensack), Morris County (Morristown), Passaic County (Paterson), Union County (Elizabeth), Hudson County (Jersey City), Middlesex County (New Brunswick), Somerset County (Somerville), Sussex County (Newton), Essex County (Newark), Hunterdon County (Flemington), Mercer County (Trenton), Monmouth County (Freehold), Warren County (Belvidere), Ocean County (Toms River), Burlington County (Mount Holly), and throughout NJ.

Tell us how we can help

Contacting our office does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not share any confidential information until such a relationship has been established.