If you have experienced intimidation or abuse by your partner or spouse, you might be wondering whether you are facing domestic violence. State law clearly defines what constitutes domestic violence in New Jersey, and if your situation meets the criteria below, it is in your best interest to contact our office immediately for legal counsel.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, domestic violence is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following criminal offenses upon a person protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act: homicide, terroristic threats, criminal restraint, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, burglary, harassment, assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, lewdness, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and stalking. Domestic violence does not require that the victim be struck or hit.
Harassment is the offense most commonly charged by victims. Harassment is defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 as follows:
…A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he:
- Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm;
- Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or
- Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.
Stalking is another enumerated offense which does not require that the victim be struck or hit. Stalking is defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10b as follows: A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposely and repeatedly follows another person and engages in a course of conduct or makes a credible threat with the intent of annoying or placing that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury.
If you have questions about domestic violence lawyer in New Jersey, please contact our office to arrange a free confidential phone consultation. There is never a charge for initial telephone conferences. We welcome phone calls from potential clients, even if you are not sure whether or not you are ready to go forward.
Not ready to take that step yet? Read our guide to getting divorced in Morris County for insight into the divorce process.