Is Domestic Violence a Felony in New Jersey?
Posted July 7th, 2023.
A charge of domestic violence is a serious one, and it can easily end up becoming a felony charge depending on the accusations leveled at you, your own criminal record, and some other factors. That is why you need to be ready to defend yourself from these charges and the harsh penalties that a conviction can bring. A New Jersey criminal defense attorney from our law firm can help you.
What Happens When I Am Charged for Domestic Violence?
Many different types of crimes can lead to a domestic violence charge. You could be arrested if you are accused of committing any of the following against a partner, a former partner, or someone that you live with:
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal coercion
- Sexual assault or criminal sexual contact
If you are accused of committing domestic violence, a temporary restraining order is going to be issued. This will keep you away from your alleged victim. Then a hearing will determine whether or not a judge thinks there is a need for an FRO, or final restraining order. If you violate this in any way, you can be charged with criminal contempt. That means jail time.
This is something that you should take seriously. If you have children, this restraining order can keep you away from them. You need to be ready to defend yourself from these accusations.
When is Domestic Violence a Felony?
Domestic violence can become a felony when you are accused of sexual assault or aggravated assault. Aggravated assault generally involves a weapon of some kind. If someone thinks that you came to hurt them and that you could have easily used deadly force against them due to the weapon you used, that can be aggravated assault. If you are accused of these crimes, you can end up facing felony charges and jail time.
How Can I Be Punished for Felony Domestic Violence?
Your punishment and its severity can vary based on the type of felony you are charged with. The general guidelines are:
- Up to 18 months in jail for a fourth-degree felony
- Three to five years in jail for a third-degree felony
- Five to 10 years in jail for a second-degree felony
- Up to 20 years in jail for a first-degree felony
These are not the only penalties you can face though. You could also be forced to enroll in anger management classes and made to pay back restitution to the victim in a civil lawsuit. You could also be barred from buying a gun. A conviction also stays on your record, meaning that anyone who does a background check on you will see it. This can include prospective employers and landlords.
Talk to a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
You do not want to try to talk your way out of these charges on your own. Contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick and set up a consultation today. Our legal team can tell you more about how we can help you fight to clear your name and get these charges dropped.