Experienced New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer
New Jersey’s criminal law deals with allegations of domestic violence with utmost seriousness. While it’s undeniable that domestic violence is a pressing issue that requires appropriate legal measures, it’s also true that false accusations occur more frequently than commonly assumed.
A recent survey by YouGov, as reported by The Center For Prosecutor Integrity, reveals that about 8 percent of Americans have been falsely accused of domestic violence or other forms of abuse. This equates to approximately 20.4 million people in the United States. The implications of a domestic abuse accusation can be severe, ranging from criminal penalties and imprisonment to damage to one’s personal and professional reputation, and even loss of access to their children and family.
Everyone has the legal right to defend themselves against such claims and charges. If you’ve been subjected to a domestic violence investigation or have been charged with an offense related to domestic violence, it’s imperative to engage skilled legal defense as soon as possible. Facing the law alone should never be an option.
At Lustberg Law Office, experienced New Jersey domestic violence attorney Adam M. Lustberg, along with our team of criminal defense attorneys in New Jersey, have dedicated our careers to defending individuals facing criminal charges, helping them secure their futures.
To schedule a free initial consultation, reach out to us today at (201) 880-5311. Don’t let false accusations tarnish your future. Allow us to fight for your rights and safeguard your best interests.
The New Jersey state police defines domestic violence as “a pattern of physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, which includes, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or financial control.” It encompasses a range of abusive behaviors that occur within domestic relationships. Understanding this broad definition is essential for recognizing the different scenarios in which domestic violence may occur, leading to the appropriate legal response.
|Type of Domestic Abuse||Description|
|Physical Abuse||Involves causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person, including assault, kidnapping, and criminal restraint.|
|Sexual Abuse||Encompasses forced or coerced sexual acts or behaviors, such as rape, sexual assault, or criminal sexual contact.|
|Emotional or Psychological Abuse||Involves behavior intended to undermine a person’s self-worth or self-esteem, including constant criticism, humiliation, or damaging relationships.|
|Economic Abuse||Refers to controlling a person’s financial resources, including controlling spending, withholding money, or preventing work or education.|
|Threats and Intimidation||Involves behavior meant to inspire fear or danger, such as threats of harm, property damage, or stalking, often categorized as terroristic threats or criminal mischief.|
|Violation of a Restraining Order||Occurs when a court order intended to protect the victim is disobeyed, including contacting or coming near the victim or violating specific prohibitions in the order.|
Under New Jersey law, domestic violence encompasses a wide range of abusive behaviors, which are not limited to physical violence. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act recognizes 19 offenses as forms of domestic abuse.
These offenses can be broadly categorized into the following types of abuse:
Physical abuse involves causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person. This can range from slapping, pushing, and hitting to more severe forms of violence. In New Jersey, the offenses that fall under this category include assault, kidnapping, and criminal restraint.
Sexual abuse involves any forced or coerced sexual act or behavior. This can include rape, sexual assault, or criminal sexual contact. In the context of domestic violence, it’s important to note that a person can still be charged with domestic violence regardless of whether the defendant and the alleged victim are married or share an intimate relationship.
Emotional or psychological abuse involves behavior intended to undermine another person’s sense of self-worth or self-esteem. This can include constant criticism, humiliation, or undermining a person’s relationship with their children. While New Jersey law may not explicitly define emotional abuse as a separate offense, such behavior can often be categorized as harassment.
Economic or financial abuse involves controlling a person’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial resources. This can include controlling how money is spent, withholding money or credit cards, or preventing a person from working or attending school. While not a separate offense under New Jersey law, such behavior can contribute to a broader pattern of domestic violence.
Threats and intimidation involve behavior meant to inspire fear or a sense of danger. This can include threatening to harm the alleged victim or their loved ones, damaging property, or stalking. These actions can be categorized as terroristic threats or criminal mischief under New Jersey law.
Violation of a restraining order is a form of abuse that involves disobeying a court order intended to protect the alleged victim from further abuse. This can include contacting or coming within a certain distance of the victim or any other specific prohibitions listed in the restraining order.
It’s important to note that these categories often overlap, and many instances of domestic violence involve multiple forms of abuse.
In the state of New Jersey, the legal definition of domestic violence is not confined to a single offense. Instead, it’s a broad range of actions that involve physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse of a current or former spouse, a romantic partner, or any other member of the same household. The most reported types of domestic violence typically involve physical or sexual assault, harassment, and threats.
The 1991 Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of New Jersey identifies a comprehensive list of specific offenses that can be classified as domestic violence:
Furthermore, this list also includes any other crime involving the risk of death or serious bodily injury.
We have years of experience in courts through NJ and NY and a proven track record of success in criminal cases.
The New Jersey criminal justice system is firm in its stance against domestic violence. Nevertheless, incidents of domestic violence do not always present a straightforward scenario of the perpetrator and the victim. Often, law enforcement is summoned to a situation filled with heightened emotions, which may have been escalating over time, culminating in a ‘he-said, she-said’ situation.
In accordance with the law, the investigating officer’s duty is to safeguard the perceived victim. Even if the situation seems to have calmed down, law enforcement officials must discern who the victim is and detain a suspect if they have probable cause to believe domestic violence has occurred.
Probable cause can be established through several indicators:
Even in the absence of these indicators, an officer can exercise discretion and make an arrest.
When both parties are injured, the investigating officer is required to identify the primary aggressor and apprehend them..
This determination is based on several factors:
Typically, in addition to making an arrest, an officer will seek a Temporary Restraining Order, or an order of protection, against the suspect. This stipulates that the suspect should refrain from contacting or communicating with the accuser and may be required to vacate any shared residence. If a Temporary or Final Restraining Order is already in place against the suspect, the accused individual will be automatically taken into custody and charged with an offense.
Being accused of domestic abuse is a serious matter that carries not only severe legal implications but can also cause significant disruption to your life, potentially barring you from your home and children.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, it’s critical to secure the services of a seasoned New Jersey domestic violence defense attorney at the earliest opportunity to safeguard your legal rights. At Lustberg Law Offices, our skilled attorneys stand with you at every stage, defending your rights and assisting you in navigating a constructive path forward.
When people think of domestic violence, they invariably assume it is a spousal dispute. But other relationships besides marital relationships can be involved in acts of domestic violence under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act. Even individuals who are living under the same roof but not necessarily intimately involved can be victims of domestic violence as well. Basically, anyone who experienced domestic violence can be considered a victim.
Under New Jersey law, a domestic violence victim can be:
Men and women both may be considered perpetrators as well as victims of domestic violence.
While physical abuse is often what comes to mind when discussing domestic violence, it’s crucial to understand that domestic violence can extend beyond physical actions. It can include sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse, as well as threats of action against the other party. As a result, an individual could potentially face charges of domestic abuse without any physical contact with the alleged victim.
Facing charges related to domestic violence is a serious matter that requires legal assistance. If you find yourself implicated in a domestic violence case, it’s crucial to seek help from attorneys with a deep understanding of this area of law. A competent, experienced legal defense can significantly influence the outcome of your case and help mitigate the impact of a domestic violence accusation on your future.
A tenacious litigator who won’t back down. Prepared to challenge the evidence against you and will fight to protect your rights.
In New Jersey, the penalties for domestic violence crimes depend largely on the nature of the specific offense committed. Domestic violence is not a separate charge in itself, but rather a designation that can be applied to a wide range of offenses, each with its own penalties. Below are some potential consequences:
If the act of domestic violence falls under a criminal offense as defined by the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, such as assault, harassment, or stalking, the alleged perpetrator could face criminal charges.
Penalties for these charges can range from fines and probation to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the crime:
In addition to fines and a potential jail sentence, a person convicted of a domestic violence offense can face limitations related to their access to their family members and other penalties.
A conviction for domestic violence can have serious implications on child custody and visitation rights. The court may consider domestic violence as a factor when determining the best interests of the child, potentially limiting or denying visitation rights for the offending parent. In cases of divorce, domestic violence can be used as a fault-based ground in addition to being a deciding factor in determining child custody.
The court may also mandate the offender to attend counseling or a batterer’s intervention program as part of the sentence or as a condition of probation.
Under New Jersey law, individuals convicted of a domestic violence offense or subject to a restraining order are generally prohibited from possessing firearms.
These penalties can have severe and lasting effects on your life. If you’re facing domestic violence charges in New Jersey, it’s crucial to seek legal counsel promptly to protect your rights and navigate the legal process effectively.
Regardless of the charges, you will need an experienced domestic violence lawyer on your side when facing the criminal justice system. Prosecutors aggressively pursue domestic violence offenders, and you are entitled to your own aggressive legal defense.
The New Jersey domestic violence attorneys at Lustberg Law Offices have provided skilled defense for those who have been charged with criminal offenses, working diligently with the client, the prosecution, and the court to ensure the defendant’s rights are protected.
The ramifications of being charged with a domestic violence offense extend far beyond legal repercussions. They can permeate various aspects of your personal and professional life, leaving a lasting impact even after you’ve served the prescribed punishment for your offense.
A criminal conviction can influence:
A restraining order, which can remain in effect for an extended period, could cause estrangement or create barriers between you and your loved ones. A domestic violence conviction can further complicate your familial relationships. If the court perceives you as a threat to your children, your custody rights and visitation privileges may be adversely affected.
In today’s world, criminal background checks have become a standard part of many employment processes. Having a domestic violence conviction on your record could make potential employers hesitant to hire you. If your conviction was for a felony, your employment opportunities could be significantly limited.
Felony convictions can lead to the loss of certain civil rights, including your right to vote.
A domestic violence conviction or a restraining order can result in the loss of your right to possess a firearm.
In light of these potential long-term effects, it is crucial to seek experienced legal counsel if you’re charged with a domestic violence offense.
It’s important to remember that even if a victim wants a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) lifted, it doesn’t automatically lead to its dismissal. For a TRO to be revoked, the victim must complete the necessary paperwork and appear in court. Typically, a meeting with a domestic violence counselor precedes the referral of the case to a judge. In New Jersey, restraining orders are civil matters adjudicated by the county Superior Court, Family Division. A ‘no-contact order’ can be dealt with separately as it may have been issued in tandem with criminal charges.
A common misconception is that restraining orders automatically dissolve when the victim and the accused decide to reconcile. Contrary to this belief, a TRO remains effective even if both parties have reestablished contact and are open to reconciliation. Despite any reconciliation, the accused individual can still face criminal charges for violation of the order. The TRO remains in force until the court mandates its withdrawal or conversion into a final restraining order.
Although the victim has the option to testify at the final hearing about why they wish to rescind the order, they will generally need to meet with a domestic violence counselor. Upon conclusion of this meeting, the victim can sign the paperwork signifying their intent to cancel the restraining orders. In some instances, such as when the victim has legal representation, they might not need to meet with a domestic violence counselor to have the restraining orders revoked.
The victim must request the court to remove the last restraining orders on the victim’s wishes. The victim must file a motion asking for a court date in order to complete the action. There will not be a pending court hearing related to the FRO once the judge has issued the order. Although the judge has the discretion to decide whether or not the permanent restraint order will be dropped, all reasonable arguments will be considered in the decision.
Domestic violence cases often hinge primarily on one person’s account against another’s, without substantial evidence corroborating anyone’s guilt. As a result, many domestic violence charges are either dismissed or lead to a not guilty verdict. This underlines why having a competent and robust legal defense is crucial.
A proficient New Jersey domestic violence lawyer, like those at Lustberg Law Offices, is well-versed in the intricacies of domestic violence laws. They recognize that many allegations and criminal complaints are made in the throes of emotional turmoil and can often be magnified. In some instances, the accusations may be entirely unfounded. Once the dust settles and the implications of a domestic violence charge come into focus, many victims decide to retract their charges.
Our team of experienced New Jersey attorneys comprehends the legal landscape and can work tirelessly to advocate for you and your narrative.
We delve into the specifics of your case to gather evidence regarding:
We collaborate closely with the prosecution and the court, aiming to have charges dismissed or reduced under certain circumstances. We can also assist in getting restraining orders rescinded or restoring your rights to visit your children. Our attorneys can protect your legal rights at each step and strive to fully leverage all available avenues to support the best possible outcome for your case.
Committed to providing clients with individual attention and crafting personalized defense strategies based on the facts of the case.
Facing domestic violence charges can be overwhelming. But remember, you don’t have to face this ordeal alone. Secure the help of a skilled New Jersey domestic violence attorney from Lustberg Law Offices, LLC. Our dedicated team of legal professionals can stand by your side, defend your rights, and safeguard your best interests.
Our expert attorneys can help you understand the intricate details of your case, compile supportive evidence, and build a robust defense strategy. We work tirelessly to challenge the prosecution’s assertions, with the goal of getting your charges reduced or dismissed and achieving the most favorable outcome for your situation.
Don’t let a domestic violence charge dictate the course of your life. Reach out today to a proficient New Jersey domestic violence attorney at Lustberg Law Offices, LLC. We can provide the legal guidance and representation you need to face these charges. Remember, you have rights, and with us on your side, they are in capable hands.
Act now to secure your future. Contact Lustberg Law Offices, LLC today at (201) 880-5311 to start your journey towards a strong defense.