Under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, which was enacted in 1991, there are fourteen types of Domestic Violence Offenses in New Jersey. In order to obtain a temporary and/or final restraining order in NJ, one of the fourteen domestic violence offenses must be proven. They are:
c) Terroristic Threats;
e) False Imprisonment;
f) Criminal Restraint;
g) Sexual Assault;
h) Criminal Sexual Contact;
k) Criminal Mischief;
l) Criminal Trespass;
Although the above fourteen types of domestic violence offenses have been enacted under the statute, in common practice, most domestic violence complaints allege assault and/or harassment. In fact, some of the domestic violence offenses in New Jersey have never or rarely been alleged in a Court of law. Harassment in particular is a common charge, as it is one of the easier allegations to successfully try.
Statutes also define the specific elements that must be proven to successfully allege each of the above New Jersey domestic violence offenses.
In a future blog post, I will review the basic statutory elements of harassment and assault.
It should also be noted that the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act only applies to certain classes of victims and certain relationships. For instance, under the Act, a “victim” generally must be 18 years of age, or have a child in common/be married/have a dating relationship with the alleged abuser. Statutes define “victim” under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.
Although the fourteen (14) types of domestic violence offenses in New Jersey appear pretty cut and dry, there actually is a lot of gray area as to what exactly rises to the level of domestic violence.
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