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Somerset County Domestic Violence Penalties

A conviction on criminal charges can have serious consequences, and charges related to domestic violence is no exception. While most people are aware of the potential for violent crimes to land them in jail, not all forms of domestic violence involve traditional physical abuse. Understanding the types of behavior that can qualify as domestic violence is an important first step in understanding the potential consequences of a domestic violence conviction.

As with most other criminal offenses, the exact penalties for a domestic violence conviction are hard to predict, as they can depend heavily on the circumstances surrounding the charge and the conviction. A skilled family violence lawyer could work with you to understand more about the potential Somerset County domestic violence penalties you might face if convicted.

Types of Domestic Violence

Most people are familiar with the traditional notion of physical abuse when it comes to domestic violence. However, domestic violence can also include:

  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Burglary
  • Trespassing
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Sexual assault or criminal sexual contact

A wide range of behaviors can result in domestic violence charges, and facing those charges can be intimidating. However, an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Somerset County could work with people accused of such crimes and ensure they do not have to defend their best interests alone.

What are Protective Orders?

One of the most common remedies for domestic violence issues is a protective order. Protective orders prevent an offender from contacting or harassing the alleged victim, contacting or harassing the accuser’s friends and family members, and entering the alleged victim’s home or place of work. Protective orders also mean an offender must surrender firearms in their possession and are not allowed to own them again if a final order has been put in place.

Such orders can also prevent an individual from entering their own home if that home is shared with the accuser. This can be a costly consequence, as not being allowed to return to their home does not relieve a person of legal obligations attached to their ownership.

Alternative Domestic Violence Consequences

While protective orders are common in domestic violence, they are not the only possible punishment. Domestic violence is a serious charge, and the consequences mirror that severity.

As with any criminal charge, domestic violence charges that are prosecuted at the criminal level can result in jail time. The consequences can be compounded and increased if domestic violence charges result in a restraining order that the accused party subsequently violates the terms of. Even a minor violation of a protective order can result in up to 18 months in jail.

Aggravating Factors in a Family Violence Case

Like other crimes, certain aggravated circumstances can significantly increase the Somerset County domestic violence penalties after conviction. For instance, committing an act of domestic violence with a deadly weapon would increase the potential penalties an individual may face.

While many forms of domestic violence result in simple assault charges, causing serious bodily injury or putting an accuser at risk of such injury can also increase the penalties of a conviction. These actions can result in an aggravated assault charge. Purposely causing injury with a weapon could result in up to five years in jail under New Jersey’s sentencing guidelines.

Help from a Somerset County Domestic Violence Attorney

There are many nuances in the law that can have a substantial impact on your case. Experienced criminal defense lawyers understand those nuances and could take a thorough approach in helping you to explore the options that might be available to you.

When it comes to accusations of domestic violence, each involved party has significant rights that must be understood and asserted. That is why working with an experienced Somerset County domestic violence lawyer may be an important part of how you approach domestic violence charges. If you have questions or concerns about possible Somerset County domestic violence penalties, call today to see how a dedicated attorney could help you.