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Last Updated on: 24th September 2023, 11:12 pm
NJ Third Degree Domestic Violence Lawyers
Dealing with domestic violence charges in New Jersey can be scary and overwhelming. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Third degree domestic violence is a serious criminal offense that carries penalties of 3-5 years in prison. Having an experienced New Jersey domestic violence lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
Domestic violence laws in New Jersey are complex. There are many nuances and defenses that a skilled lawyer understands. Don’t take chances with your future. Get the strong legal defense you deserve.
What Constitutes Third Degree Domestic Violence in NJ?
Under New Jersey law, domestic violence includes any crime or disorderly persons offense committed by a spouse, former spouse, dating partner, household member, someone with whom you have a child, or other qualifying relationship . Third degree crimes require the prosecutor to prove bodily injury or use of a weapon. Some examples include:
- Simple assault against a domestic partner that results in bodily injury
- Terroristic threats against a domestic partner involving a weapon or serious bodily injury
- Stalking a domestic partner in violation of a restraining order 
It’s important to remember that domestic violence charges can arise from a wide range of behaviors – both physical and nonphysical. Any harassing, threatening, or violent act against a domestic partner could potentially be charged as a third degree crime if the circumstances are aggravated.
Penalties for Third Degree Domestic Violence
A conviction for third degree domestic violence is a very serious matter. It is considered a felony-level offense. Potential penalties include:
- 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison
- Fines up to $15,000
- Mandatory counseling or intervention program
- Permanent criminal record
- Loss of certain civil rights, like voting and owning a firearm
You could also face civil restraints, such as a permanent domestic violence restraining order prohibiting contact with the victim. Your employment, housing, and finances may be negatively impacted as well.
Defenses to Third Degree Domestic Violence Charges
Just because you have been accused of domestic violence does not automatically mean you are guilty. An experienced New Jersey domestic violence lawyer can evaluate the details of your case and build a strong defense to fight the charges. Some possible defenses include:
- Self-defense – You acted reasonably to protect yourself from an attack by your partner
- False allegations – Your partner is fabricating or exaggerating the charges out of anger, jealousy, or other ulterior motives
- Mistaken identity – You did not actually commit the alleged acts of violence or harassment
- No bodily injury – Despite an argument or confrontation, you did not inflict any physical harm
An effective lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case, interview witnesses, and advocate for you in negotiations with the prosecution. Many domestic violence cases can be resolved through plea bargains or diversionary programs resulting in reduced charges or dismissed cases.
The Importance of an Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer in NJ
Domestic violence charges should never be taken lightly. The consequences can haunt you for years and seriously impact your life. The deck is often stacked against defendants in these cases. That’s why having an assertive lawyer you can trust is critical.
Look for a lawyer who is well-versed in New Jersey’s domestic violence laws and has a proven track record defending these types of cases. Understand the nuances. Be your zealous advocate. Fight to get charges reduced or dismissed. That’s what you need and deserve.
Don’t leave your fate in the hands of an overworked public defender. Hire an experienced domestic violence lawyer who will treat you like their top priority. Interview lawyers and find someone you feel comfortable with. This is your future on the line.
The Legal Process for Defending Domestic Violence Charges in NJ
Once domestic violence charges are filed in New Jersey, here is a basic overview of the legal process that will follow:
- Arrest – Police will arrest the alleged abuser based on probable cause. Weapons may be seized as well .
- Charges filed – The prosecution will file formal criminal charges, typically within 10 days of arrest.
- First court appearance – At the first hearing, bail may be set and temporary restraining orders issued.
- Plea or trial – Your lawyer will negotiate with the prosecution and advocate for an agreeable resolution. If no plea bargain is reached, the case will go to trial.
- Sentencing – If found guilty, the judge will impose penalties like fines, prison time, and counseling.
Having an experienced lawyer guide you through this process is invaluable. They will protect your rights, seek pre-trial release, and aggressively defend you against allegations.
Finding the Right Domestic Violence Lawyer in NJ
Not all lawyers are equal when it comes to defending domestic violence charges. You need someone with specific experience and knowledge in this field. Here are important factors to consider:
- Strong record of favorable case results
- Familiarity with local courts, judges, and prosecutors
- Understanding of the complex laws, penalties, and defenses
- Willingness to take an aggressive stance fighting the allegations
- Compassion for clients and commitment to their needs
- Clear communication and responsiveness
Be wary of lawyers who seem quick to plead out cases or don’t give your situation the attention it deserves. This is your life and reputation at stake.
Ask trusted friends or family for referrals to domestic violence lawyers. Search respected legal directories. Meet with lawyers in person before hiring one. Go with your gut feeling on who you can trust to fight for you.
The Cost of Hiring a Domestic Violence Lawyer in New Jersey
The cost of hiring a private domestic violence lawyer in New Jersey can vary greatly. Factors that impact fees include:
- Experience and reputation of the lawyer
- Size and location of the law firm
- Complexity and seriousness of the charges
- Amount of time spent on the case
- Whether the case goes to trial vs. ends in a plea deal
For a serious third degree domestic violence case, total legal fees often range from $5,000-$15,000 or more. However, rates for individual attorneys can start under $2,000 for limited services. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so be sure to discuss costs upfront and understand your options.
Hiring an experienced domestic violence lawyer is an investment in your future that could pay off tremendously in avoided jail time, dismissed charges, and peace of mind. Don’t let the potential costs deter you from getting the strong defense you need.
Common Questions and Concerns
Defending against domestic violence charges can be frightening and overwhelming. Here are answers to some common questions people in this situation have:
Should I speak to the police if accused of domestic violence?
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you. Politely decline to answer any questions until you have legal counsel.
What if I can’t afford bail?
Your lawyer can request reduced bail or an affordable bail option. If you can’t post bail, you may have to remain in jail pending trial.
Are domestic violence charges easy to beat?
No, these cases can be challenging to defend. An experienced lawyer is essential to have a chance at a favorable outcome. False allegations do happen, but real evidence is needed to prove your innocence.
Should I just plead guilty and avoid trial?
Not necessarily – an attorney may be able to get charges dropped or reduced through negotiations. Admitting guilt should be an absolute last resort.
How long will this legal process take?
Cases vary, but often take 2-6 months until resolution. Your lawyer will work to expedite matters while being thorough.
Facing criminal charges for domestic violence can derail your life. But an experienced New Jersey domestic violence lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and achieve the best possible outcome. Don’t go through this alone. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer today.
With an aggressive defense focused on the specifics of your case, charges can potentially be reduced or dismissed. This is your chance to take control of your future. A knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer will be in your corner every step of the way.