Types of Domestic Violence in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are 14 acts that are considered acts of domestic violence:
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal trespass
You may be facing charges based on alleged actions against a spouse, former spouse, someone who lives with you, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or an ex. Domestic abuse may be physical, sexual, or psychological in nature.
Potential Impact of a Domestic Violence Conviction
If you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, you may be facing severe penalties, including:
- Loss of employment
- Loss of your right to see your children
- Loss of custody
- Restraining orders
- Permanent criminal record
- Mandatory registry as a sex offender
- Prison sentence
- Inability to legally possess a firearm
Additionally, you may face criticism and judgement from your friends, family, and colleagues. In this way, a domestic violence conviction can be life-altering.
Domestic Violence Defense Strategies
Your domestic violence attorney will gather evidence to support whichever defense strategy is most likely to prove your innocence or minimize your guilt — you could also be eligible for a pretrial release.
The following defense strategies are commonly used for domestic violence cases:
- False Charges – Sometimes, the other party has made false allegations of domestic violence against you. To use this defense, your attorney will have to present evidence that is contrary to the charges against you.
- Self-Defense – If you were defending yourself from harm when you committed the action that is now being called domestic violence, the self-defense strategy may be applicable to your case.
- Wrong Person – It’s possible you are being accused of someone else’s crimes. If your Middlesex County domestic abuse lawyer can present evidence that proves this, your charges may be dismissed.
- No Proof – This defense strategy involves poking holes in the other party’s story to show that there is reason to doubt the allegations.
The Pitfalls of Self-Representation
Choosing to represent yourself in court is not likely to end well. Chances are you don’t have the legal qualifications, knowledge, and experience of a lawyer, but you’ll be up against a seasoned prosecutor who will know how to make you look guilty.
Because domestic violence charges can result in such severe punishments, you won’t want to weaken your defense by opting not to have a lawyer. A domestic violence defense lawyer will give you the best chance possible of having your charges dropped.