Criminal Mischief Acts of Domestic Violence NJ
Criminal Mischief – One of the Predicate Acts of Domestic Violence in New Jersey
Did you receive a criminal charge arising out of a domestic violence incident in NJ for criminal mischief? Was a temporary restraining order with false allegations filed against you? The Tormey Law Firm can help.
Criminal mischief is one of the predicate acts of domestic violence in NJ. This essentially involves purposefully damaging the property of another during a fight or argument. Even breaking your significant other’s phone during an argument could be deemed as criminal mischief and an act of domestic violence.
If you or a loved one has a restraining order case in New Jersey and are in need of legal assistance, the Tormey Law Firm LLC can help. Our experienced restraining order attorneys have handled these types of cases in practically every county in the State of NJ including in Edison, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, and Piscataway. As a result, our lawyers are ready and able to assist you with your restraining order case immediately. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at (908)-336-5008.
Travis J. Tormey has been cited in numerous publications including the Star Ledger, Daily Record, Bergen Record, Asbury Park Press and AOL News. He has also appeared as a legal resource on CBS radio with regards to domestic violence in New Jersey. Mr. Tormey has received numerous awards from the American Trial Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He also received the clients choice awards from Avvo.com in ’13, ’14’, ’15, and ’16 and is a 10.0 rating.
Here is a review from one of our many satisfied domestic violence, restraining order clients:
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Posted by anonymous
“Chris was respectful, courteous, well spoken and very professional. He slowly explained the entire process, prepped me patiently before the court hearing and it looked like he genuinely cared about his work. Afterwards he stuck around to answer any questions I may have. I highly recommend Chris if you want a lawyer you feel like you can trust and not just take your money. He made the experience very personable and even gave me his direct cell phone. If I ever need another lawyer in NJ I will call Chris for sure!”
Criminal Mischief as An Act of Domestic Violence in New Jersey
Criminal mischief in New Jersey is governed by the New Jersey criminal code under N.J.S. 2C:17-3, which provides in pertinent part:
a. Offense defined. A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:
(1) Purposely or knowingly damages tangible property of another or damages tangible property of another recklessly or negligently in the employment of fire, explosives or other dangerous means listed in subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-2; or
(2) Purposely, knowingly or recklessly tampers with tangible property of another so as to endanger person or property, including the damaging or destroying of a rental premises by a tenant in retaliation for institution of eviction proceedings.
Proving Criminal Mischief at a NJ Restraining Order Hearing – Evidence At Trial
To prove criminal mischief at a final restraining order (FRO) hearing in NJ, the plaintiff must show that either sections (1) or (2) were violated above. Basically, criminal mischief requires the intentional or reckless destruction of another person’s property. For example, taking your girlfriend’s cell phone and smashing it during an argument could be deemed criminal mischief by a Judge.
Typical evidence used to prove a criminal mischief act of domestic violence includes the following:
- Plaintiff’s testimony of the incident
- Any witnesses to the incident testifying
- Pictures of damages to the property involved
- Videos of the incident if any
Can it be criminal mischief if I destroyed my own property?
One defense that our attorneys have used in the past is that the property was the defendant’s and not the plaintiff’s. Thus, you are allowed to destroy your own property, just not the property of others. So, if the property was yours in the first place, even if you damaged or destroyed it you can’t be found to violate the criminal mischief statute.
It is also important to remember that, although criminal mischief is a criminal charge and we use the criminal statute under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3, the plaintiff must only establish the civil standard of “preponderance of evidence” in a restraining order case because a restraining order is civil in nature. Preponderance of evidence is a “more likely than not” standard so the plaintiff must establish 51% that the offense was committed and that is sufficient in a civil case.
Whether or not the defendant was arrested and charged criminally with criminal mischief is irrelevant to the restraining order case. They are two completely separate matters with different burdens of proof and elements required to establish your case.
Local Middlesex County Domestic Violence Lawyers
For additional information, contact the Tormey Law Firm LLC directly at (908)-336-5008. We are available now for a free initial consultation.