What Are The Common Penalties For Domestic Violence In New Jersey

Domestic violence is an awful and traumatizing experience. It is a criminal act from your spouse, partner, or household member. The incident can leave you with physical injuries and emotional damage. Fortunately, you can file a case if you experience domestic violence in New Jersey. The defendant will face numerous penalties and knowing about them is essential.

Here are the charges and penalties for domestic violence in New Jersey

Restraining order

A restraining order is one of the penalties for domestic violence in New Jersey. It is not-automatically issued after domestic violence charges. The judge can give a no-contact order that prevents you from communicating with the defendant, including emails and texts.

If the court issues a restraining order, it will prevent the defendant from visiting your home, place, or work. It can be temporary until the hearing is over or permanent, affecting your daily life. Therefore, you must learn How to Dismiss a Restraining Order in New Jersey.

A restraining may contain provisions that:

  • Prohibit the defendant from further abusing the victim.
  • Grant exclusive possession of the residence to the victim.
  • Offers temporary child custody and parenting home
  • Advocates for counseling or psychiatric evaluation
  • Allow temporary possession of the specified property and prohibit the defendant from possessing a firearm.

If you knowingly violate a restraining order term, you are guilty of criminal contempt, a crime in the fourth degree. A crime in the fourth degree can include penalties of up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Other fines and charges will depend on various factors. The court will examine prior offenses and specific conduct involved before determining the severity of the punishment.

If it’s a simple assault or harassment, it can be a potential conviction of up to six months in jail. And penalties could include anger management classes or probation. But for felony domestic violence, like possessing a weapon for unlawful purposes, and sexual assault, there will be more severe charges.

The penalties will depend on the degree as follows:

  • Fourth-degree: Up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison
  • Third-degree: 3 to 5 years
  • Second degree: 5 to 10 years
  • First-degree: up to 20 years

Types of domestic violence crimes in New Jersey

In New Jersey, domestic violence crime is the commission of the following criminal offenses by an adult or emancipated minor against a person who falls within the state’s definition of a domestic violence victim:

  • Homicide
  • Assault
  • Terrorist threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal mischief
  • Burglary
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Criminal trespass

However, New Jersey’s definition of domestic violence doesn’t include an instance where an emancipated minor committed the above offenses.

To be a domestic violence victim, the relationship must fall into the following categories:

  • Married
  • Separated
  • Divorced
  • Previous and present household members
  • The parties have a child or are expecting one.


Domestic violence case in New Jersey can have varying outcomes. It could lead you restraining orders, prison sentences, and providing you a criminal record. Also, the accuser can sue you in a civil court under tort law to receive compensation. Knowing the above penalties will help you fight in the justice system and defend your case.

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