Unfortunately, domestic abuse between partners happens for numerous reasons, from a difference of opinion with child raising to financial or fidelity issues. Arguably, some of the most vulgar situations include ones where nothing happened at all. Many spouses make false domestic abuse claims to get back at their significant other and seek pity from the court when filing for a divorce.
If you’re a victim of these domestic violence allegations, you need dedicated criminal defense lawyers like the ones at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. by your side. With over 60 years of experience fighting inaccurate criminal charges in all of New Jersey, we have the resources and know-how to attempt to clear your sullied name.
What Makes Someone a Victim of Domestic Violence?
The New Jersey statute identifies a victim of domestic violence as a live-in partner, whether by marriage or dating, who has received physical or mental health issues from an individual who currently or used to live on the grounds. The perpetrator should be at least 18 years old or a legally independent emancipated minor who has done any of the following:
- Sexual, physical, or verbal abuse
- Harassment, including threatening remarks or stalking after a relationship’s end
- Stealing from your home, which may comprise taking jewelry, money, and other items alongside kidnapping or petnapping
- The homicide of another in the household
Receiving a Restraining Order Under False Pretenses
If someone makes these claims against you, you may only find out through a temporary restraining order, which outlines the allegations. Once served the TRO papers, you cannot enter the residential establishment or come within a few feet of the plaintiff for the next ten days until the final hearing, according to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.
If the police note bodily injury on the plaintiff before then, they’ll file a criminal complaint and arrest you, the defendant. They’ll also take away your rights to your children, usually only redistributing it if you win the case. The Act also claims you must continue to pay household bills, including rent, mortgage, and utilities, to aid the alleged victim after moving out.
As an innocent defendant, you may appeal the case by bringing in a judge to overlook your hearing. Since domestic violence is tough to prove with a lack of evidence, there’s a good chance of having the judge dissolve the TRO for the false domestic abuse claims.
Defending Yourself in Court
When it comes time for your hearing at one of the family courts in New Jersey, come prepared with evidence. If the plaintiff is lying, they won’t have any substantial evidence, so yours may win you the case. Let text messages, online social media posts, letters, emails, and other written words accompany your side of the story, and include visuals like videos and pictures if possible.
If the judge found it reasonable for you to support the plaintiff in your time away from the residence, bring in copies of your financial records, like pay stubs, utility bills, and other forms that depict how much you make and your cost of living. If the plaintiff lied about domestic abuse to gain more property in a divorce or receive additional funds, they probably also lied about your income for financial support.
While this method reduces how much you pay to support the so-called victim, the best way to rid yourself of it altogether is by proposing civil restraints in place of the restraining order during the legal proceedings. This agreement is popular since the plaintiff doesn’t have to try their case and fear losing, especially in false domestic abuse claims.
Instead, they immediately receive documentation stating the defendant cannot contact them while the defendant no longer has to follow the previous terms. Also, because the terms of the agreement are subject to change by the involved parties, you can modify, amend, or annul it as you both deem fit.
Trust Us for Client Commitment
If you lose your case, you’ll enter a final restraining order and receive placement in the domestic violence registry. Rather than have this affect your divorce, child custody battle, and life, trust us as your domestic violence defense lawyer who can adequately prepare you for legal proceedings.
Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. in New Jersey has been around for over 60 years and has over 250 years of combined experience from 16 seasoned attorneys. When you need a professional, friendly face to aid with false domestic abuse claims, reach out to our team. Our domestic violence lawyers offer a free consultation when you call (908) 561-5577 today!