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Navigating 3rd Degree Domestic Violence Charges in New Jersey

NJ Third Degree Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys

Third Degree Domestic Violence NJ Best Defense The term domestic violence gives an intimate name to something that can destroy both an alleged victim’s and an accused abuser’s lives. Domestic violence covers a wide range of offenses, but we’re going to address third degree domestic violence here. Third-degree felony convictions can have long-ranging consequences that impact every part of your life, including employment, housing, the division of property or child custody in a divorce, and even your ability to vote or own a firearm. This can be devastating under any circumstances, but it can be particularly painful if you are not guilty of what you have been accused of doing.

A conviction for third degree domestic violence can profoundly affect your future, but with the experience and commitment of The Tormey Law Firm’s seasoned domestic violence attorneys, you’ll have adept support to defend against the charges, potentially securing reductions, dismissals, or favorable plea arrangements to mitigate the consequences. With your freedom and reputation on the line, you need a skilled and dedicated advocate by your side. That’s where we come in. Contact a member of our staff today at (908)-336-5008 for a confidential free consultation.

What Makes a Third Degree Crime Domestic Violence in NJ?

In some states, domestic violence is its own charge. Those states will define domestic violence based on the relationship between the alleged abuser and alleged victim, and then classify crimes that are considered domestic violence. In New Jersey, there are 19 separate crimes that an individual may be charged with for domestic violence. In order to qualify with the domestic violence component, the relationship between the alleged abuser and alleged victim must be a married couple, dating couple, couple in a romantic relationship who live together, two people who were previously married to each other, dating each other, or living together in a romantic relationship, or two people who have a child together, regardless of any current or previous relationship status. Family members in general can commit and be found guilty for acts of domestic violence.

Is a Third Degree Domestic Violence Crime a Felony in NJ?

A third degree crime is an indictable offense, otherwise known as a felony. Most states divide crimes into misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less severe crimes, while felonies are more severe. New Jersey uses the term disorderly persons offense to describe many of the crimes that would be called misdemeanors in other states. Indictable offenses are what New Jersey calls crimes that would often be considered felonies in other states. Disorderly persons offenses are tried in municipal court and the most severe possible sentence is several months in county jail. Indictable offenses are serious crimes where the punishment may be several years in a state prison, and defendants may spend additional time on probation or other supervised release after being released from prison.

Penalties for NJ Third Degree Domestic Violence Offenses

The name third-degree felony indicates that there are first- and second-degree felonies, both of which would be more severe crimes. While this would make one think that a third-degree crime is a minor crime, there is no such thing as a minor crime when you are the one who must deal with the consequences and acknowledge this conviction on job or housing applications and other complicated life situations. In addition to difficulty finding employment or housing, you will lose your right to vote until your sentence has been served and may permanently lose the right to own a firearm.

A third degree indictable offense comes with the possibility of three to five years in state prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Third-degree domestic violence convictions include additional penalties such as mandatory counseling and a permanent criminal record. A third degree felony conviction, or even a credible allegation without conviction, may lead to a less favorable property division in a divorce as well as limit the time you are able to spend with your children.

Factors Influencing Third Degree Domestic Violence Cases in New Jersey

Many crimes can be charged under first, second, third, or even fourth degree offenses. What categorizes a specific crime as being a third degree offense is not necessarily the crime itself, but the circumstances surrounding it. Drug possession, aggravated assault, shoplifting, and check fraud are all crimes that may be third degree offenses if the circumstances of the offense fall within the third-degree crime range in the appropriate governing statute.

Third degree domestic violence charges will require the prosecutor to prove bodily injury, the use of a weapon, or the threat of bodily injury or use of a weapon to the alleged victim. Other factors that are considered in determining whether to charge someone with a third degree offense or a different degree offense include if the alleged victim sustained serious injuries from the offense or was pregnant when the offense happened. Whether a child was present during the offense is also relevant.

The prosecutor will consider the defendant’s prior convictions for domestic violence or other violent convictions and if the alleged abuser used a deadly weapon during the offense. Potentially mitigating factors that the prosecution will consider include if the alleged abuser actively sought counseling or treatment after the offense or has existing mental or emotional issues that may have triggered the offense.

Examples of 3rd Degree Indictable Domestic Violence Crimes

The most common third degree indictable domestic violence offense in New Jersey is aggravated assault involving bodily injury. Some other examples of third degree indictable domestic violence offenses include terroristic threats, stalking a domestic partner when there is a restraining order in place or while on probation or parole. Burglary is yet another domestic violence crime of the third degree, as is aggravated criminal sexual contact.

Defense Perspectives to Fight Third Degree Domestic Violence Charges

There may be many defenses against third-degree domestic violence charges. The potential defenses available to you will depend on the specific facts involved in your case. You might argue that the confrontation or argument did not involve any physical harm and, therefore, is not considered domestic violence. You could present the defense that you acted in self-defense if the alleged victim initiated the attack and your actions were reasonably necessary and proportional to defend and protect yourself.

You may argue that the allegations against you are false and the alleged victim is making false claims against you or exaggerating an argument or confrontation to make it sound worse than it was because they are jealous, angry, or have other motives for attempting to hurt you. These and many other defenses may be called upon to win a domestic violence case.

Connection Between Third Degree Domestic Violence Allegations and Restraining Orders in NJ

Our Domestic Violence Attorneys Detail the Potential Effects of Third-Degree Domestic Violence in NJAn alleged victim can request a restraining order at the same time they file a criminal report or separate from filing a report, simply because they feel unsafe and want to keep the alleged abuser away. They may also request a restraining order because they want to resolve issues pertaining to child custody, visitation, or support without engaging with the alleged abuser.

If the restraining order is granted, it will first be a temporary order until a hearing scheduled 10 days later, which will determine whether the restraining order will be dismissed or become a final restraining order. If it becomes a final restraining order, it will remain in effect forever unless changed by the court.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you may wonder if you can protect yourself from future allegations made by your partner or former partner. While this is not generally possible, you should mount the most compelling defense with help from an experienced attorney in order to protect yourself if the allegations are unfounded. Getting the restraining order and the domestic violence charges dismissed is fundamental to preserving your freedom and your future.

Don’t Delay in Challenging Third Degree Domestic Violence Accusations in New Jersey

A third degree domestic violence conviction can have a significant negative impact on the rest of your life. A skilled and experienced domestic violence attorney at The Tormey Law Firm is highly equipped to assist you in defending against the charges. To set up a complimentary review of your case involving third degree domestic violence in Somerville, Middlesex, Belvidere, Scotch Plains, Jersey City, Edison, Bridgewater, or elsewhere in New Jersey, please contact us today at (908)-336-5008.

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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
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Hackensack Office

Morristown / Morris County

60 Washington St Suite 200A,
Morristown, NJ 07960

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Morristown Office

Newark / Essex County

1 Gateway Center Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

  • 201-654-3464
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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.

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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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