Domestic Violence Charges in Short Hills
A domestic abuse conviction can result in restraining orders, incarceration, and a permanent criminal record. If you are accused of family violence, let our experienced domestic violence attorneys help you. Our seasoned lawyers could assess your domestic violence charges in Short Hills and aggressively defend your rights in court.
What is Considered Domestic Abuse in New Jersey?
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) defines family violence as abuse committed by someone with whom the plaintiff lives or used to live with, has a child with, is a spouse or former spouse, or is a current or previous romantic partner. A knowledgeable Short Hills family abuse attorney could determine if the charges are for physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. Some of the criminal offenses listed as domestic battery by the PDVA include:
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal trespass
The relationship between the two parties is a factor that distinguishes domestic abuse charges from other criminal cases. The defendant must also be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor to be charged with this crime. The PDVA defines an emancipated minor as one who is married, has entered the military, has a child or is expecting, or is legally emancipated by a court.
Short Hills Family Abuse Charges and Penalties
New Jersey’s laws give prosecutors some discretion in charging domestic violence as a misdemeanor or a felony. Judges may consider the severity of the crime and any prior criminal record if sentencing a defendant.
Lesser family violence charges, including harassment or assault without a weapon, could result in up to six months in jail. A court may also order the convicted person to serve probation, attend anger management classes, or pay restitution to the plaintiff.
Severe family battery charges include sexual assault, aggravated assault, and other offenses that resulted in severe bodily injury to the alleged victim. Most acts of domestic abuse that involve the defendant’s use of a weapon lead to additional charges and more substantial penalties.
Under New Jersey law, a judge could sentence a person found guilty of felony family violence to up to 18 months for a fourth-degree conviction, three to five years for a third-degree conviction, five to ten years for a second-degree conviction, and up to 20 years for a first-degree conviction. State law also prohibits a person convicted of a crime of domestic violence from purchasing certain firearms.
A capable Short Hills attorney familiar with the ramifications of a domestic battery charge could advise an accused person of their legal options under the law.
Reach Out to a Qualified Short Hills Attorney About Domestic Violence Charges Today
New Jersey prosecutors and law enforcement take domestic violence very seriously and state judges do not hesitate to impose jail sentences or fines if you are convicted of a domestic abuse offense. If you have been charged with this crime, it is essential to have experienced legal help. Contact our defense attorneys familiar with domestic violence charges in Short Hills for more information about your case today.