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Is Domestic Violence a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2019 | Domestic Violence, Firm News

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Many people are familiar with the concept of felonies and misdemeanors, and the fact that felonies are accompanied by much more serious punishments. However, New Jersey has eliminated the concept of felonies and misdemeanors, choosing instead to classify crimes based on degree, and moving the concept of misdemeanors – which are generally much less serious – into a category of “disorderly persons.”

Domestic Violence Charges in Camden County, New Jersey

New Jersey’s criminal statutes define domestic violence as the commission of a crime against a person protected by the law. Protected individuals are:

  • Spouses and former spouses
  • Current or former household residents
  • Individuals that have a child in common, anticipate having a child in common, or are pregnant with a common child
  • Individuals that are currently dating or have dated in the past
  • Children under the age of 18

If any of the following crimes are committed against a protected individual, the individual committing will be charged with domestic violence.

In New Jersey, domestic violence has a criminal component and a civil component. When a protected person has had a crime committed against them, they are entitled to file criminal charges against the individual for the crime committed, and they are also entitled to file civil charges wherein they can request that a protective order be entered, limiting or eliminating contact between the victim and the alleged abuser. The criminal charges are designed to punish the abuser, while the civil charges are designed to protect the victim.

Being Charged with Domestic Violence in New Jersey

If you have been charged with domestic violence in New Jersey, it is incredibly important that you retain experienced counsel to represent you. Domestic violence charges can impact the charged individual in many different ways, none of which are good. Allowing yourself to be convicted of this crime if you are innocent will cause long-term problems for you that cannot be easily overcome.

Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges and Convictions

If you are charged with domestic violence and the protected individual seeks and is granted a restraining order, your access to your home and your family may be severely or even eliminated. Additionally, violation of this order – regardless of the reason – can result in serious fines and jail time. Being convicted of domestic violence in New Jersey is a charge that could seriously limit your employment opportunities and impact your ability to interact with your family. If you have been charged with domestic violence in New Jersey, do not attempt to handle these charges on your own or plead guilty in an attempt to “move on”. Hire an experienced domestic violence defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

Contact an Experienced Willingboro Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Domestic Violence Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with domestic violence in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Moorestown and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-333-3586 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.