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Domestic abuse is an unfortunate reality of our everyday world. While it's kept mostly in the shadows, many of us have known or know of someone who has been in an abusive relationship. Most readers will also be aware of someone who stayed far too long in one of these relationships because of societal pressure or for fear of retribution.

If someone has been hurt or there is a realistic threat of harm it’s essential they are aware that steps can be taken to ensure it does not happen again or for a first time. The 1982 Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is one such way the state of New Jersey has tried to protect those in these dangerous situations. That protection comes in the form of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and should a judge see cause to grant one, a final restraining order (FRO.)

The purpose of these orders is to keep the accused abuser physically away from the victim. This distance can come in several different ways. A minimum physical proximity is to be maintained at all times. They are also not to contact the victim via forms of traditional communication such as telephone or through social media. They will not be able to contact those connected through social or familial bonds to try to influence the victim.

A TRO can be obtained at either the Family Division of the superior court house located nearest to where the victim lives or from the local police department. The defendant will not be able to offer evidence or argument at this point. A judge will make his ruling based on the submitted domestic violence complaint. It is not essential for there to be an arrest or other pending criminal charges although that is often the case. Once issued, the officers will serve it immediately, and all relevant firearms are seized at that point.

As state statute commands, within ten days a hearing will be held to establish the facts of the case. At that point a family court judge will make a decision about whether the restraining order should be dropped of a Final Restraining Order should be issued.

If you are either the accused or the accuser in a domestic violence situation, it's imperative that you find yourself a family law attorney with significant experience in this field. Although having an FRO is a civil charge and therefore likely won't have any jail time associated with it, there are steep penalties you may be forced to pay. You may find yourself placed on the National Domestic Violence Registry, and that is aside from being permanently prevented from contacting the accused.

If you are seeking representation for a domestic violence, restraining order or any related charge call today for a free consultation 800-709-1131 or fill out a contact form on our website for a no-cost consultation.We hope to hear from you today!