You could be charged with domestic violence following a heated argument with a family member, even if no one was physically harmed. Domestic violence charges are very serious, and you could face incarceration if found guilty.
When dealing with a domestic violence charge, you need an attorney on your side who can help you fight to successfully resolve the situation. By working with an experienced Trenton domestic violence lawyer, you could ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire legal process.
Domestic violence is categorized as family violence under the law in Trenton. Family violence can occur between members of the same family or household including spouses, parents, and children. Examples of actions that constitute domestic violence include:
In many instances of domestic violence, a protective order, sometimes called a restraining order, is issued to limit or prevent contact between certain family members. The primary purpose of such an order is to protect family or household members who have been victimized by family violence. An attorney who knows about protective orders in Trenton could help a defendant understand the common restrictions outlined in a domestic violence protective order and how it will affect their life.
The first offense of domestic violence that involves battery is charged as a misdemeanor in Trenton. Sanctions include up to $1,000 in fines and a jail sentence of up to 12 months.
Additional incidents of domestic violence with battery are elevated to the felony level. Convictions for additional offenses could be penalized by a prison sentence ranging from one to five years. Multiple priors for domestic violence involving battery can increase the likelihood of the maximum five-year prison term being imposed at sentencing.
Penalties can also be imposed for violating a protective order. A violation is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 12 months, as well as a $1,000 fine. A lawyer who practices family violence laws in Trenton could explain the punishments that can be imposed for specific offenses involving domestic violence.
Individuals convicted of family violence are likely to face a term of confinement, as well as a fine. In addition to imposing such punishments, the court might also require a defendant to participate in a family violence intervention program. Individuals mandated to attend must also bear the cost of the program themselves.
Mandatory program participation can also be imposed prior to prosecution or sentencing. For instance, when issuing a protective order against family violence following an arrest, the court might also impose mandatory participation in such a program.
Some of the goals of family violence intervention programs include helping individuals learn to better manage their anger, as well as how to resolve family issues appropriately. An attorney familiar with domestic violence intervention programs in Trenton could provide additional details such as the duration and cost of such programs.
Reach out to a Trenton domestic violence lawyer right away if you are facing criminal charges for family violence. It is particularly vital that you seek legal representation if this is not your first offense since all subsequent charges are prosecuted as felonies. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights throughout the process and to fight for a positive outcome.