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Expungement of a Domestic Violence Offense vs. Vacating a Restraining Order in New Jersey

Erase Domestic Violence Record in NJConflict with a loved one or a person you thought you loved can be extremely stressful. If there is a record of an arrest or conviction for a domestic violence offense in your criminal history or a permanent restraining order against you that resulted from a domestic dispute in New Jersey, you are probably eager to clear your name and put the past behind you.

Erasing a domestic violence offense from your record and ending a restraining order require two different legal approaches. The arrest or conviction for a domestic violence offense like stalking, criminal trespass, simple assault, or harassment may be eligible for expungement from your record. On the other hand, a final restraining order (FRO) must be vacated by the court.

How to Expunge a Domestic Violence Arrest

Typically, there is a waiting period before you are eligible to apply for an expungement. However, if you were arrested for a domestic violence offense, but the charges against you were dismissed, you may apply for expungement immediately. This is true regardless of the degree of the offense.

The ability to expunge an arrest record is important because some employment and professional licensing applications will run a criminal background check on you and an arrest for assault, sexual assault, lewdness, stalking, or any other domestic violence offense will likely reflect poorly.

To file for an expungement, you will need to obtain court records about your case and submit a Petition for Expungement to the Superior Court in the county where you were arrested, along with all other necessary documents. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you to navigate this process, which can be complex.

How to Expunge a Domestic Violence Conviction

If you have been convicted of a domestic violence offense, the first and most important thing that you need to know if that there are certain crimes that are classified as domestic violence offenses which cannot be expunged. These offenses include kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual contact.

If you were convicted of a domestic violence offense that is subject to expungement, the wait time to petition for expungement depends on whether you were convicted of a disorderly person offense or an indictable offense.

Simple assault, lewdness, criminal trespass, or harassment are disorderly persons offenses and require a 5 year wait period until you are eligible to petition for expungement of the conviction record. Beginning on October 1, 2018, if you are convicted of an indictable domestic violence offense like stalking or burglary, you must wait 6 years until you are eligible to petition for expungement. A new expungement law in New Jersey reduced the wait time for expungement of indictable offenses from 10 years to 6 years.

Vacating a Restraining Order: How to Remove an FRO in NJ

In New Jersey, a final restraining order (FRO) is permanent and can only be vacated by a court. In order to get an FRO vacated, you must make a motion to the court showing good cause. You will be scheduled for a hearing, known as a Carfagno hearing, where the court will consider the following factors: if the victim consents to lifting the FRO, if the victim fears the defendant, the relationship between the victim and defendant, defendant’s prior convictions for contempt for violating the FRO, defendant’s drug or alcohol abuse, defendant’s history of other violent acts, defendant’s age and health, whether defendant is in counseling, if victim is opposing defendant’s motion in good faith, whether there are restraining orders against defendant in other jurisdictions to protect the victim, and other relevant factors.

After a hearing, the court may decide to vacate the FRO, if they determine there is good cause to do so. The order will not completely remove all record of the restraining order. Your name will still be listed on the National Domestic Violence Registry, but the order itself will be lifted. This means you will no longer be subject to criminal charges for violation of a restraining order if you go near the other party or interact with them in any way.

Need to Erase Domestic Violence Restraining Order Records in New Jersey

Navigating the requirements of expunging a domestic violence arrest or conviction in New Jersey, and vacating a final restraining order can be complicated processes that require legal knowledge and experience to execute effectively. Criminal defense lawyer Leonard D. Biddison is available immediately to review your case and help you to finally move on with your life. Call 856-427-6888 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

New Jersey Law on Domestic Violence Simple Assault

NJ Domestic Violence Simple Assault LawyersSimple assault is a crime in New Jersey and in the context of a domestic relationship, an allegation of simple assault can have even more extensive consequences. Victims of domestic violence are protected under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act, which imposes special requirements and procedures for handling and investigating allegations of domestic abuse. If you have been accused of committing domestic violence simple assault in New Jersey, you are facing potential jail time, fines, and a criminal record in connection with the criminal charges. You may also be facing a restraining order, as simple assault is considered a predicate act of domestic violence and thus, grounds for a restraining order under NJ Law. With so much on the line, it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer defending you during your upcoming legal proceedings. For more information regarding domestic assault, contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison to speak with an attorney who can provide you with a free consultation. You can reach our law office anytime at 856-427-6888 or contact us online.

Simple Assault & Domestic Violence in New Jersey

If your significant other or spouse accuses you of physically hurting them and the police have probable cause to believe that you purposely, knowingly, or recklessly caused them bodily harm, you can be charged with simple assault. You can also be charged with this offense if you negligently injured them with a deadly weapon or attempted to put them in fear of imminent serious injury through a physical threat. Typically, when charges of simple assault are filed in a domestic context, a temporary restraining order is also available to the victim. You will be arrested and held in jail for up to 48 hours prior to appearing before a judge. The prosecutor will also often file a motion for detention, meaning you will be held in jail until your case is decided. Prosecutors generally file motions for detention if they feel that the alleged victim could be in danger if you are released. It is not uncommon for the prosecutor to exercise an abundance of caution and file the motion to protect the alleged victim.

If the prosecutor files a motion for detention with the court, you will be entitled to a detention hearing. At the detention hearing, the judge can only order you to be detained pending trial if he or she believes that no condition or set of conditions would reasonably assure that, if released, you would not be a danger to others, you would not fail to appear in court, and you would not obstruct the criminal justice system. If the prosecutor does not file a motion for detention and allows you to be released, they will have to impose a condition of checking in with an officer at regularly scheduled times, if the alleged victim does not want contact with you.

When dealing with criminal charges for simple assault, you are exposed to serious penalties if you’re ultimately found guilty. Simple assault as a form of domestic violence is a disorderly persons offense. If convicted, you can face up to 6 months of imprisonment and up to $1,000 in fines. You may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution. If a temporary restraining order is issued, you will also need to appear in Family Court for a final restraining order hearing, after which the judge will decide is the temporary order should be made permanent. It is highly advisable to have an attorney defending you at this hearing because an FRO can change your life in a variety of ways, including seemingly unrelated matters like divorce and child custody.

Mount Holly Domestic Violence Simple Assault Attorney

It is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you against domestic violence simple assault allegations in New Jersey. The stakes are high and these charges could turn into a conviction, create a criminal record, and lead to a permanent protective order against you. If you have been accused of domestic abuse, contact our attorneys today at 856-427-6888 for a free review of your case. With several convenient South Jersey office locations, we serve clients in Mount Holly, Willingboro, Gloucester, Mount Laurel, Evesham Township, Bordentown, Camden, Cherry Hill, and surrounding areas.

Tabernacle ROTC Leader Charged with Cyber Harassment

A 64-year-old junior ROTC leader at Seneca High School in Tabernacle, New Jersey was recently charged with cyber harassment for sending inappropriate messages to a female student. The JROTC leader, who worked at the school for less than 6 months, is no longer allowed on school property. Charges for cyber harassment are very serious in New Jersey and may lead to severe penalties for those convicted. If you or a loved one has been charged with cyber harassment in Burlington County or elsewhere in New Jersey, here’s what you need to know. You can also contact our law firm anytime at 856-427-6888 for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

What is cyber harassment under New Jersey law?

Since January 2014, cyber harassment has been a separate and distinct crime from harassment under New Jersey law (NJSA 2C:33-4.1). It is usually a fourth degree indictable offense, comparable to a felony in other states, and carries with it the right of the accused to a grand jury indictment and a trial by jury. However, if certain aggravating factors exist, cyber harassment can be charged as a third degree crime.

A person is guilty of third degree cyber harassment if—with the intent to harass—they threaten another person physically or threaten another person’s property through online communicCyber Harassment Charges Burlington NJation, including the use of social media. Cyber harassment also includes trying to cause another person emotional harm by sending them obscene materials online or using the internet or social media to threaten to commit a crime against another person.

Keep in mind that cyber harassment does not only include direct messages to an alleged victim, but it can also take the form of social media posts or comments. Some social media apps, like Snapchat, are known for deleting content within a short time frame, but evidence of cyber harassment—even on these types of apps—can be preserved in many ways.

If an individual commits the actions described above and they are 21 years of age or older and impersonate a minor while committing the cyber harassment, they can be charged with third degree cyber harassment.

What are the penalties for cyber harassment in New Jersey?

Fourth degree cyber harassment is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000. An individual charged with third degree cyber harassment—where certain aggravating factors exist—faces a term of imprisonment of 3 to 5 years and a fine of up to $15,000.

If the individual who committed the acts of cyber harassment is a minor under 16 years of age, then the court may order them to complete a class to reduce their tendency to commit cyber harassment and increase their awareness of the harm caused by cyber harassment.

I was charged with cyber harassment in New Jersey. What should I do?

If you are charged with cyber harassment in New Jersey, you have the right to inform law enforcement that you do not wish to answer their questions without a lawyer present. In order to obtain a conviction for cyber harassment, there are certain elements of the crime that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Any statements that you make to law enforcement could be used by the prosecutor as evidence against you in court. For more information about cyber harassment charges in NJ. Contact the Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison today at 856-427-6888. One of our experienced criminal lawyers will review your case and determine what defenses you may have available to you.

We have several convenient office locations to serve clients in Mount Holly, Bordentown, Cinnaminson, Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden, NJ.

What is a No Contact Order in New Jersey?

No Contact Order in Burlington County NJIn New Jersey, a no contact order is an order issued by a judge in a criminal proceeding that prohibits a person from contacting another specific person and is often a condition of bail. A no contact order prohibits a person from being in contact with another person, either verbally or in person. It is different from a restraining order, which is a civil order issued by a judge in Family Court, pursuant to the request of an alleged victim of domestic violence.

Cases in which a judge may include a no contact order as a condition of bail include domestic violence charges, assault charges, sex crimes, harassment charges, and any other case that involves an alleged victim who may be better protected with a no contact order. No contact orders are most commonly applied to domestic violence charges, where there is a personal relationship between two individuals and the logistics of a relationship, such as two parents trying to coordinate their mutual duties in caring for their children, can make a no contact order difficult. However, it is absolutely crucial that you obey a no contact order, as violating it could result in your detention. If an alleged victim requests a no contact order to be dropped, the judge may do so in his or her discretion.

No Contact Order as a Condition of Bail in NJ

Under New Jersey’s bail reform measures, a person cannot be held in detention while they await their trial unless a judge finds that no condition or set of conditions will reasonably assure that the defendant will not fail to appear, threaten public safety, or obstruct justice. The condition of a no contact order aims to ensure the safety of an alleged victim after the release of a defendant pending the resolution of their case. If the court does not believe the defendant will comply with a no contact order, they will probably not release them from detention. If a person is unwilling or unlikely to comply with a no contact order, they are a heightened risk to public safety and, specifically, the alleged victim.

It is crucial to take a no contact order seriously and obey its terms. The consequences for violating a no contact order are significant. If a no contact order is a condition of your bail, violating the order may lead to imprisonment while you wait for your trial. In addition, violating a no contact order and contacting an alleged victim in any way increases the likelihood of further conflict with that individual and the conflict may potentially result in additional charges against you.

If a defendant can prove a material change in circumstances, they may make a motion for the court to review their conditions of pre-trial release. If a judge finds a material change in circumstances, they may order new conditions. However, if the judge is concerned about the safety of the person named in the no contact order, they will probably be unwilling to modify the condition. Even in cases where the defendant is not detained prior to their case being adjudicated, the judge may decide that a no contact order is necessary. For example, if you’re accused of stalking someone, you may be subject to a no contact order pending the outcome of your stalking charges.

The most important thing to remember is that a no contact order MUST be followed unless it is expressly dropped by a judge. Only in court based on a judge’s decision or a motion by the alleged victim can the no contact order be deemed null and void. Otherwise, violating a no contact order is similar to violating a restraining order and could lead to charges for contempt, pretrial detention, or further prosecution.

No Contact Order Lawyers in Burlington County, New Jersey

If you are dealing with issues surrounding a no contact order in Burlington County, New Jersey, contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm right away. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Leonard Biddison can help you if you are accused of violating a no contact order or if you’re subject to a no contact order and are seeking to modify the terms of your pretrial release. Contact our office in Collingswood today at 856-427-6888 or send us a message for additional information. We provide consultations free of charge and assist clients throughout Southern New Jersey, including in Camden, Mount Holly, Evesham Township, Woodbury, Mount Laurel, and Cherry Hill.

Former NJ Assemblywoman Discusses Domestic Violence, Mount Laurel Arrest

Mount Laurel Domestic Violence Lawyers
Photo Posted on Facebook

Domestic violence affects people from all walks of life in New Jersey. In fact, a former New Jersey assemblywoman recently told her story of abuse. Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, who served in the NJ State Legislature for the for the 8th legislative district, described her experience as a victim of domestic assault while in office.

Maria came out with her story through a recent post on Facebook. She explained the assault that occurred on New Year’s Day last year, which resulted in bruises and cuts to her face. According to Maria, this was not the first time she was the victim of domestic abuse, but it was the worst of all the incidents. After going to the hospital and choosing not to file a criminal complaint initially, she ultimately decided to file criminal charges against the other party, who remains unidentified.

Maria’s ex-boyfriend was arrested and charged with simple assault. She described his sentence as a slap on the wrist. Although her physical self was on the mend, she said she continued to suffer from panic attacks, sleeping difficulties, and depression as a result of the abuse. The effects of the volatility in her life was a contributor to her arrest in Mount Laurel, she said.

The arrest occurred after a car accident in April. The responding officer at the scene in Mount Laurel reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana in her vehicle. According to Maria’s attorney, the DWI blood test revealed some amount of alcohol in her system, but there was no indication of drugs present. Police searched the vehicle and did not find any drugs or open containers of alcohol. The DWI case has yet to be resolved.

Maria became the first Hispanic Republican woman elected to the New Jersey Legislature in 2013. Shortly thereafter, she was divorced and has been a single mom ever since. She kept the identity of her abuser confidential. Now, she lives in Medford with her two children. She will not be seeking a third term but pledges to continue her advocacy for domestic violence legislation that closes some of the holes in the New Jersey’s current law on domestic abuse.

Maria’s story underlies the reality: you never know what is going on in someone’s personal life. She urged victims of domestic violence to seek support. Victims of abuse in New Jersey can access support groups, shelters, and pursue two types of legal action against their abusers. First, you can file a restraining order that prohibits the person from coming anywhere near you or communicating with you. Violation of a restraining order exposes the other person to criminal charges for contempt. Also, you can file criminal charges based on the offense(s) against you. New Jersey law recognizes a variety of predicate acts of domestic violence, including aggravated assault, stalking, harassment, and terroristic threats. If you have questions about domestic violence in New Jersey, contact our law firm at (856) 427-6888 for a free consultation with an attorney who can help.

Restraining Order Lawyers in Mount Laurel, New Jersey

At The Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison, our experienced New Jersey domestic violence attorneys know that domestic abuse can happen to anyone. We regularly represent clients in Mount Laurel, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and throughout South Jersey who are seeking permanent restraining orders against their aggressors. If you need help with a temporary restraining order, you are seeking a final restraining order, or you are involved in a criminal case arising from domestic violence, contact our law firm at (856) 427-6888 for a free consultation. A member of our team is available immediately to assist you.

For additional information about this case, access the following article: ‘I was unraveling’ after traumatic domestic abuse, says ex-legislator

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