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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Restraining Orders in NJ 

DACA Shields Childhood Arrivals from Deportation, But Violating a NJ Restraining Order can Risk Your Immigration Status

Impact of Restraining Orders on DACA Status in New JerseyThere are millions of people in the United States who do not have permanent U.S. citizenship. Included in those numbers are individuals protected by the 2012 law Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Those who arrived as children to the United States are eligible for DACA, which defers removal action for a period of two years and is subject to renewal. While DACA does not provide legal status for the individuals it protects, it does provide immediate protection from deportation prosecution and a buffer during which time the person can begin the immigration process. Those protected under DACA and all others on the path to U.S. citizenship must abide by strict legal behavior in order to avoid deportation. While a restraining order alone may not result in deportation, things change dramatically if you are charged with a domestic violence criminal offense along with being subject to a restraining order. Unfortunately, a person who violates a New Jersey restraining order also puts their immigration status at severe risk.

If you are a DACA-protected individual and have been charged with a domestic violence crime or contempt for violating a restraining order in the state of New Jersey, contact our team at The Tormey Law Firm immediately to set restorative measures in motion and aggressively defend your case in Hunterdon, Jersey City, Clifton, Union, Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Belvidere, or elsewhere. It’s crucial to have a defense attorney who understands these matters, as convictions could disrupt your DACA or immigration status. Our experienced attorneys aim to keep you out of jail and put you in the best position to secure your residency in the US. Contact us today for a free consultation at (908)-336-5008.

How NJ Restraining Orders Influence Immigration Applications

Both temporary and final restraining orders (TROs and FROs) are civil matters. As such, they rarely in and of themselves interrupt an immigration application. However, a violation of the terms of a restraining order may lead to deportation. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9, violating a restraining order constitutes contempt, a 4th degree crime, when the act involved in the violation constitutes an indictable crime or disorderly persons offense. Conviction for such an offense could lead to jail time of up to 18 months and constitute grounds for deportation, upending an immigration process.

Understanding the Impact of Restraining Orders on DACA and Immigration Proceedings

As noted, a restraining order is a civil order that does not, except very rarely, interrupt the immigration process for an individual seeking legal status under DACA. This is because it is not inherently tied to criminal activity against another person or a crime of “moral turpitude,” two elements that can disrupt an immigration application and result in deportation and refusal of re-entry into the country. For example, a temporary restraining order can be issued without a criminal domestic violence conviction if a judge deems that such a move is warranted based on the information provided by the petitioner. A final restraining order often accompanies a criminal conviction; however, a petitioner for a restraining order must demonstrate that the accused engaged in an act of domestic violence. Restraining order issues only move from civil to criminal matters themselves when a person violates their terms.

Serious Implications of Violating a Restraining Order on Immigration Status

Violation of a restraining order is a criminal offense under N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-31. However, if the restraining order violation includes threat or harm to an individual, it constitutes an act that is deportable and can not only ruin one’s chance at immigration, but can result in an inability to re-enter the country in the future.

Defense for a Restraining Order with DACA status in NJCan DACA Status be Impacted by a Restraining Order Violation?

While protected individuals can have deportation delayed under DACA, no one is above the law when it comes to crimes threatening or harming other individuals. A person protected by DACA who is convicted of violating a civil restraining order in a way that threatens the safety or well-being of another is subject to deportation and forfeited immigration procedure.

Get Defense for a DACA Individual with a Restraining Order Case in NJ

A restraining order defense attorney is crucial if you have been served with a TRO. Additionally, a domestic violence defense lawyer is essential if you have been charged with a restraining order violation. A knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer is absolutely necessary because, in both cases, there is a chance that your DACA protection status and your immigration status can be interrupted or upended for associated criminal convictions. Having an experienced defense attorney will not only keep you out of jail or successfully get the restraining order dismissed if possible, but it will also keep you in the United States and on the path to citizenship. If you have been charged with violating a domestic violence restraining order and are not a permanent US citizen, if you are facing the prospect of final restraining order as a non-citizen, or if you have been charged with a domestic violence offense or sex crime associated with a sexual assault protection order in NJ, contact our offices today at (908)-336-5008 for a free and confidential consultation. We proudly represent citizenship-seekers in Hoboken, Bergenfield, Elizabeth, Paramus, New Brunswick, Somerville, Bridgewater, and beyond, and are committed to keeping you on the path to becoming a fully legal member of our national community.

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.

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