Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
Obtaining a restraining order is a two step process in New Jersey. If you are arrested for an act of domestic violence such as simple assault, harassment, or terroristic threats in Mercer County you need the help of a restraining order defense attorney. A temporary restraining order will normally be imposed that same day if the victim requests it. A TRO is used to protect the victim’s interests in lieu of the Final Restraining Order Hearing. The TRO can be issued by the Mercer County Superior Court or the municipal court judge of the town in which the incident took place in if the Superior Court is closed. Requirements for a TRO are less stringent and only require that there appears to be a danger of domestic violence and it is necessary to protect the life, health, and well-being of the victim. In addition to obtaining a restraining order the defendant is usually subjected to a separate criminal prosecution for the underlying act that brought about the restraining order. This is not considered double jeopardy because the restraining order is a civil proceeding while charges such Simple Assault or Harassment are criminal proceedings. This process can be very complicated and stressful and it is important to retain a defense lawyer who can protect your rights and interests to make sure you are not convicted of a criminal charge or sanctioned with a permanent restraining order.What is a Temporary Restraining Order “TRO”?
Temporary Restraining Orders provide emergency relief for an alleged victim of domestic violence before a Final Restraining Order can be entered. Once the TRO is issued a Final Restraining Order Hearing must be set within 10 days of the date of the TRO. The FRO hearing will be heard by a family court judge in the Superior Court. In order for a Temporary Restraining Order to be granted the State must find three factors:
- The victim must a “victim” as defined under the Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-18 and 2C:25-19d;
- The defendant must have committed one of the 14 acts constituting domestic violence under 2c:25-19a and;
- The victim must have satisified one of criteria set out in 2C:25-28(f),(g), or (i)
TRO’s are almost always based exclusively on sworn testimony from the victim and therefore there is rarely a formal hearing or the need for the victim to appear before a judge at the time they are entered. However, once the TRO is filed the victim’s appearance in court becomes mandatory if they wish to proceed. Dismissing a temporary restraining order is not an easy process even if the alleged victim wishes to not proceed any further. If the victim seeks to dismiss the restraining order and not move forward with the FRO hearing, the victim must appear in person at the Superior Court. This requirement is so that the Family Court Judge may determine whether the request for the dismissal is an informed one and not made under duress. An experienced restraining order defense attorney can work with all the parties involved to help come to a resolution so the restraining order is not entered. We represent clients on restraining orders throughout Mercer County, New Jersey such as Lawrenceville, Hamilton, West Windsor, Trenton, Hightstown, Hopewell, East Windsor, Princeton, Ewing, and Robbinsville. To speak with one of our attorneys call us our office at (609) 683-8102.