In New Jersey, often times an alleged criminal act of domestic violence such as Simple Assault, Harassment or Terroristic Threats can result in a Final Restraining Order “FRO” hearing. A restraining order hearing will ultimately take place before a Superior Court Judge in the county where the alleged acts were committed. Although, by its nature, a FRO trial is a civil proceeding, it can have serious and long lasting affects which can include impacting your freedoms and future employment. For instance, if the judge decides that a Final Restraining Order is warranted then any subsequent Violation of a Final Restraining Order would be a criminal charge where jail time becomes mandatory after the first offense. That is why it is always best to challenge the plaintiff’s claims against you and avoid a finding for a final restraining order. At Proetta & Oliver we represent clients against with final restraining orders throughout New Jersey including Jersey City, Secaucus, Bloomfield, Hoboken, Montclair, Weehawken, North Bergen, West New York, Kearny, and Bayonne. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our office at (201) 793-8018 to speak with an experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer.
It is also important to understand that if you are arrested for a criminal charge such as Simple Assault and issued a restraining order, that these charges will be handled separately. Even though the proceedings are separated, the outcome of one case can sometimes affect the how the other case proceeds however testimony from one case normally cannot be introduced in the other case. These types of proceedings are equivalent to a bench trial and can usually get very complicated very quickly – which can be overwhelming for someone who lacks experience. The plaintiff has the burden of proving their case by a preponderance of the evidence often by showing that the alleged act of domestic violence took place, there is a prior history of domestic violence, and the plaintiff needs the restraints to protect herself or himself. All rules of evidence apply including direct examination, cross examination and hearsay. Moreover, the parties will have to present evidence for injunctive relief that they seek such as spousal or child support, custody or visitation, and the need for substance testing or counseling.
Final Restraining Order Hearing in New Jersey
The entire process normally moves very quickly because a Temporary Restraining Order is considered “emergent” relief. For instance, a FRO Hearing will normally be set to go before a Superior Court Judge within 10 days of the date of the Temporary Restraining Order is entered. If a Final Restraining Order is entered against you, then you will be fingerprinted so the order can be registered in the state as well as the national domestic violence database. Thereafter, additional consequences of a FRO include forfeiture of the defendant’s weapons and firearms. Moreover, once a FRO is entered it is on your record permanently and will never go away unless you petition the court in the future for a motion to Dismiss the Restraining Order and are success at vacating the order.