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What is the punishment for violating restraining orders?

Most of our New Jersey readers know that domestic violence is a widespread problem in American society, but also that the domestic situations that lead to an outburst of violence can be extremely complicated. Every relationship is different, with no two couples treating each other exactly like the other. When allegations of violent crimes are inserted into an already complicated relationship dynamic, many things can begin to spiral out of control.

In many cases, even when a conviction hasn't occurred yet, an alleged victim secures a restraining order against the alleged abuser. This is a common court order that is intended to ensure that the alleged abuser is pointedly told not to contact the alleged victim in any way, whether it be in person or via some electronic communication, like a phone call or text message. But, what kind of punishment can New Jersey residents expect for violating restraining orders?

Being accused of violating a restraining order can seem like a whole new criminal case. In most cases, it is the alleged victim who notifies law enforcement officials that the restraining order has been violated, and this often triggers an almost automatic right to arrest the alleged perpetrator. After the arrest, the alleged abuser will be presented to the court that put the restraining order in place in order to answer for the allegations of violating the order.

If an alleged domestic abuser is found to have actually violated a restraining order, that person could end up getting thrown in jail or being ordered to pay a fine. After already facing domestic abuse charges, allegations of violating a restraining order can seem like piling on to a New Jersey criminal defendant.

Source:, "Domestic Violence," Accessed on Dec. 26, 2014

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