Even after the issuance of a restraining order, domestic violence victims fear running across their abusers, thinking that the latter would retaliate because of the request for a protective order. Sadly, some restrained persons violate the court issuance against them and continue to approach, contact and harass their victims.
Nevertheless, the law protects victims and ensures their safety by carrying out the necessary actions in case of a restraining order violation.
Initial warning and further enforcement
If the abuser lightly breaches the terms of their restraining order, the victim should contact the police for further enforcement. In some cases, the restrained person simply needs a warning and a reminder of the possible consequences of violating the court order.
A restraining order violation is a felony
In New Jersey, a clear violation of the restraining order prompts the court to impose grave penalties against the violator. Specifically, a person who violates a restraining order will be held in contempt of the court and can be arrested. A person found guilty can face up to 18 months of imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines. Moreover, penalties for subsequent violations include at least 30 days of mandatory jail sentence.
Additionally, a contempt charge does not prevent the filing of another criminal charge for other illegal acts, such as harassment, stalking and assault, done by the restrained person.
Protecting your person and rights
If you are protected under a restraining order, understanding its terms and knowing your available legal options will help you protect yourself against your abuser.