Domestic Violence

Potential Defenses to Domestic Violence

domestic violence defense
Domestic violence charges are very serious and its conviction can carry serious consequences. If you have been wrongly accused of committing an act of domestic violence, a strong domestic violence defense is essential in protecting your reputation and freedom. Here are some potential defenses to domestic violence:

Wrong suspect: You can defend yourself by establishing that someone else was responsible for the abuse and not you. There are a number of ways to establish your innocence, such as presenting evidence as to whether you were near the scene of the alleged incident and whether you had a reliable alibi.

Self-defense: You may make a claim that your action was in self-defense or to protect your children. A claim of self-defense may work if you reasonably perceived an imminent threat, had a proportional response, and were not the initial aggressor.

Deliberate and false allegations: Sometimes, an accuser may make false allegations of abuse against partners out of spite. This is generally common in child custody and divorce cases. To turn away a conviction stemming from false allegations, your defense attorney will try to search for inconsistencies in the accuser’s story by comparing it to police records and witness accounts.

Consent: Although very uncommon, if the accuser gave consent to the act, then that same consent may work as a defense against a domestic violence charge.

Accused of Domestic Violence in NJ? Contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

If you have been accused of domestic violence in New Jersey, you should speak with our NJ domestic violence attorneys right away. Our experienced attorneys will provide valuable guidance throughout your case, while protecting your fundamental rights. Call us at (800) 889-3129 or email at


Is Domestic Violence a Felony?

Domestic violence is a broad term and can usually constitute violence between husband and wife, siblings, parents and children or same-sex partners.

Domestic violence can be considered a felony when:

•             A victim sustains serious injuries as a result of violence

•             Violence results in death of the victim

•             Violence committed on a minor or pregnant woman causes injuries

•             An act of violence or threat is done with use of a weapon

•             An act involves sexual assault or rape or forced sexual abuse

•             There is a history of domestic violence convictions

Contact Domestic Violence Lawyer in New Jersey

If you have been accused of domestic violence, then you should speak with a New Jersey domestic violence attorney at The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC.

To contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, call (800) 889-3129 or email


Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence is defined as an action taken by one partner in a relationship to control or hurt the other. Family courts and criminal courts have concurrent rules over “family offenses” such as assault, sexual misconduct or abuse, stalking, menacing, and strangulation. Anyone performing these acts can be charged with domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Accusations

•             Beatings or physical attacks such as kicking, slapping, punching or hair pulling.

•             Threats that make the victim afraid for themselves or others.

•             Kidnapping.

•             Involuntary sexual contact or rape under threats.

•             Theft or damage to personal property.

•             Forced entry into home, with or without a weapon.

•             Threats with a weapon such as a gun or knife.

•             Repeated verbal degradation and attacks.

•             Stalking by actions done more than one time.

Domestic Violence Penalties and Sentences

•             If the assault took place during a consensual fight, then the charge will be downgraded to a petty disorderly person offense.

•             If the assault occurred on a public official like a police officer, then the charge will be upgraded to a fourth degree crime which can carry up to 8 months in prison.

•             The charge may be upgraded to a third degree crime if the assault took place on a public official and bodily injury resulted. A third degree crime carries 3 to 5 years in prison if convicted.

•             Criminal contempt in domestic violence cases is a fourth degree crime which carries penalties of up to 8 months in prison and $25,000 in fines if convicted. (N.J. Rev. Stat. §§ 2C: 25-30, 2C:25-31, 2C: 29-9)

Whether you are guilty or innocent, you need a strong domestic violence defense attorney.

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney, New Jersey

We at the Law Office of Joel Silberman work for the best result for our client. We study your case and fight vigorously for you and do our best to dismiss or minimize your penalties.  We have offices in Jersey City, Newark, and New York. Call us today at 201-273-7070 for a consultation with Attorney Joel Silberman.


Types of Restraining Orders in New Jersey

A restraining order is a court order to protect someone from bodily abuse or harassment. Some restraining orders may also include family members of the protected person.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in New Jersey

Emergency restraining order: For immediate protection when the courts are closed, you can request an emergency restraining order from a police officer. The police officer will call a judge who is assigned to handle emergency requests for restraining orders. This order lasts for less than a week.

Temporary restraining order: A temporary restraining order (TRO) is issued when you apply for a permanent restraining order. This order lasts for less than a month. A TRO provides protection until a permanent restraining order is issued.

Permanent restraining order: A permanent restraining order is issued after a hearing, and it is not actually permanent. Depending on your state, the permanent restraining order will last for a specific amount of time. If a threat remains when the order expires, then it can be renewed or extended.

Violating a Restraining Order

If you violate a restraining order, then you may face fines and imprisonment. The minimum jail time for the violation of a restraining order is thirty days.

Domestic Violence Attorney in New Jersey

If you have questions about a restraining order, then contact an experienced domestic violence attorney. Attorney Joel Silberman is an experienced domestic violence attorney in NJ. For a clear idea about restraining orders, contact him at 201-273-7070.


The New Jersey Domestic Violence Act

Domestic violence is a serious crime against society, in which there are thousands of individuals in the United States who are regularly beaten, tortured, and in some cases even killed. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to assure the victims of domestic violence receive maximum protection from abuse. A NJ domestic violence offense can result in a restraining order, imprisonment and fines for the offender. Punishment for conviction of a domestic violence offense depends on the underlying crime committed.

Crimes that come under domestic violence:
  • Homicide
  • Assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal mischief
  • Burglary
  • Criminal trespass
  • Harassment, and
  • Stalking

When these crimes are committed by an adult or emancipated minor against a person of the state, then it comes under the NJ domestic violence offense. An emancipated minor is a person under 18 years of age, and has been granted the status of adulthood declared by a court or administrative agency.

Domestic Violence Victim
  • Who is 18 or older or is an emancipated minor who has been subjected to domestic violence by:
    • spouse
    • former spouse
    • any other person who is a present or former household member
    • person with who the victim had a dating relationship
Orders for protection of victim

Court imposes restraining orders upon the defendant

  • Prohibits the defendant from returning to the scene of the domestic violence.
  • Requires the search for and seizure of weapons from any place where the judge has reason to believe a weapon is located.
  • Bar the defendant from possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon specified under law, and
  • Award possession of an animal held by either party or a minor child.

If a person knowingly violates any of the terms of a domestic violence restraining order, he may be charged with a crime in the fourth degree, which can carry up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. Prison time is not mandatory for a first time conviction of criminal contempt of a domestic violence restraining order.
If the allegations against the defendant were proven, then the court may order:

  • Prohibit the defendant from abusing the victim
  • Grant exclusive possession of the residence to the plaintiff
  • Provide for temporary child custody and parenting time
  • Require the defendant to compensate the plaintiff for losses caused by the defendant
  • Require the defendant to receive counseling or a psychiatric evaluation
  • Prohibit the defendant from entering the plaintiff’s residence, workplace, or school
  • Prohibit the defendant from contacting the plaintiff
  • Require the defendant to pay the rent or mortgage on the plaintiff’s residence
  • Provide for the temporary possession of specified property, and
  • Prohibit the defendant from possessing a firearm

Any person convicted of a second degree contempt offense or more, shall serve a minimum of 30 days in jail.

Consult With New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorney

An experienced NJ Domestic violence attorney will provide valuable guidance throughout your case while protecting your fundamental rights. If you are accused of domestic violence, you should speak with a NJ domestic violence attorney right away.

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