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Final Protective Orders for Sex Crime Victims in New Jersey

Newark Final Protective Order Lawyers

NJ Sexual Assault Final Protective Order HelpAs the name suggests, a final protective order in New Jersey is a permanent civil order of protection for a victim of a sex crime. According to the NJ Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act (SASPA), if a person files an application for an order of protection after an alleged act of nonconsensual sexual contact, a judge will determine if a temporary protective order should issue. If a temporary sexual assault restraining order is issued, a final hearing must be held within 10 days.

It is important to note that a sex crime protective order hearing is civil in nature, as opposed to criminal. If criminal charges have been filed against the defendant, this is a separate legal proceeding that will be held in a different venue. Hearings for final protective orders are held in the Superior Court, Family Division in the county where the temporary order was issued.

Final Protective Order Hearings in NJ: Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act

Because a protective order hearing is a civil proceeding, the standard of proof is a “preponderance of the evidence.” This is a lesser burden that a criminal case, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to obtain a final order of protective, the victim must prove that it is “more likely than not” that the defendant committed or attempted to commit a sexual offense against them, and there is a risk to the victim’s safety or well-being.

During the hearing, the victim will testify and then the defendant is entitled to testify and/or have their lawyer cross-examine the victim. Your attorney can help you gather any evidence that strengthens your case, including medical records, photos, emails, text messages, social media posts, etc. You can also present witnesses who can testify to the sequence of events. The court will not hear any evidence related to the victim’s clothing at the time of the offense or the victim’s sexual history.

When deciding whether to issue a final protective order in a sex crime case, the judge will consider the following factors, as well as any others deemed relevant:

  • The occurrence of one or more acts of nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual penetration, or lewdness, or any attempt at such conduct, against the alleged victim; and
  • The possibility of future risk to the safety or well-being of the alleged victim.

The judge will not refuse to issue a final protective order if:

  • The victim was intoxicated
  • The victim did not sustain physical injuries
  • The victim did not flee to prevent the sexual offense; or
  • The victim did not file a police report

If the judge finds sufficient evidence to support a final protective order, this order will remain in place permanently unless a judge removes it at a later date. The victim can request to remove a permanent protective order, at which point there will be a new hearing before a judge. Additionally, if the defendant submits a motion to vacate the protective order in the future, the victim can contest this request.

Final Protective Order Attorneys for Sexual Assault Survivors in NJ

If you are scheduled to appear for a final protective order hearing in New Jersey, it is essential to have an attorney representing you during these proceedings, as the process is complex and the stakes extremely high. For additional information, contact the Tormey Law Firm at (908)-336-5008 to speak with an experienced New Jersey protective order lawyer. To find support for sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, visit the NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

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, NJ.com, 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.

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