Do you need a lawyer for a restraining order hearing in Sussex County? Have you been falsely accused of violating the restraining order and arrested? Contact us now for help. Here is a recent news story regarding a police officer allegedly violating a temporary restraining order in Sussex County NJ.
A Sussex County police officer was recently accused of violating a temporary restraining order that was issued after an alleged incident of simple assault. According to First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller, the Ogdensburg police officer assaulted his girlfriend during an altercation. This resulted in a court issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the suspect. Subsequently, the officer was charged with harassment and contempt for allegedly violating the restraining order by making comments on the victim’s Facebook page. In addition to facing the criminal charges, the officer is also going to be the subject of an internal affairs investigation.
This case could have serious consequences for the suspect because violations of restraining orders in New Jersey are considered criminal offenses and are prosecuted in the New Jersey Superior Courts. 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. In other words: if the violation of the restraining order is an independent criminal offense or a disorderly persons offense, then the contempt will be charged as a fourth degree crime; however, if the violation is based on a non-criminal action, then the contempt will be charged as a disorderly persons offense.
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 up to a $10,000 fine and 18 months in prison, while a disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six (6) months in jail. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-30, the PDVA further establishes 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.
Charged with Violating a Restraining Order in Sussex County NJ? Contact Us Now
If you were charged with contempt due to allegedly violating a restraining order, the above penalties apply to you. That’s why you should not hesitate to call the restraining order and contempt defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm. We have handled countless restraining order cases and contempt matters in Superior Courts throughout New Jersey and we are ready to defend you today. Contact us now.