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Contempt Charge

Restraining Order Violation Attorney in Toms River New Jersey

A defendant is barred from texting, calling or making any other contact with a domestic violence plaintiff once a restraining order is put into place.  An individual is immediately arrested if there is probable cause to believe that they violated the no contact or other provisions of a temporary restraining order or permanent restraining order. Incarceration is mandatory for a second or subsequent restraining order violation (i.e. conviction for contempt).

The risks are clearly extremely high when someone is the subject of a restraining order. An accomplished criminal lawyer can prove to be an invaluable asset in averting the pitfalls of a contempt offense. Here at Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall we can offer representation from an eight member team of defense attorneys that have over 100 years of experience defending restraining order violations arising in Toms River, Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Manchester, Brick Township and towns in Ocean County. Call our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500 to speak to an attorney immediately without obligation. The following are some frequently asked questions of individuals charge with a restraining order violation.

What Penalties & Collateral Consequences Are Triggered If I Am Convicted of Criminal Contempt?

A criminal complaint for contempt is governed by N.J.S. 2C:29-9. Failure to comply with the conditions of a restraining order is a fourth degree crime, a felony, under this law. The penalties if you are convicted of fourth degree contempt  include a fine of up to $7,500 and as much as eighteen (18) months in jail. A jail term must be imposed by the court if you have previously been convicted of contempt (i.e. violating a restraining order). In other words, a jail term is mandatory for a second or subsequent conviction for contempt involving failure to comply with a restraining order.

How Does The Prosecutor Prove a Charge For Contempt?

To be found guilty of contempt, New Jersey Law requires proof, beyond reasonable doubt, that you purposely or knowingly violated the terms of a restraining order. Accordingly, if were unaware of the existence of a temporary restraining order or a final restraining order and engaged in banned communications with the plaintiff, you cannot be convicted of contempt. You should also know that not all communications constitute a violation. For example, courts in NJ have held that questions when picking up/dropping off children like “when do I have the children next” or “I am going to pick up the lawn mower”, are de minimus and do not constitute actionable contempt.

Can I Be Convicted for Violating a Restraining Order If It Is Dropped After the Contempt Was Committed?

Yes. As long as there was a restraining order in effect at the time of the violation, the prosecutor may proceed with the contempt charge. The issue under the law is not whether the victim followed through with the relief but rather defendant’s conduct while the restraining order was in effect.

Toms River NJ Criminal Contempt Defense Attorneys

All cases involving allegations that someone violated a restraining order are heard at the Ocean County Superior Court. This is the court that possesses jurisdiction to decide a fourth degree crime such as violating a restraining order under 2C:29-9. This is the place where your offense will be heard and decide whether the related incident occurred in Jackson, Berkeley, Lacey, Ocean Township or Eagleswood.

The attorneys in our firm have been successfully representing individuals accused of violating restraining orders in Toms River for decades and our staff even includes a former prosecutor in the county. If you would like to speak to a lawyer about the facts surrounding your arrest, contact us at (732) 286-6500. The initial consultation with one of our lawyers is free of charge so do not hesitate in reaching out to us for guidance.

What Clients Say About Our Ocean County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Exemplary attorneys. I hired them for a DUI and an expungement. I was happy with the results for both cases. Special thank you to Samera for always answering all of my calls and questions JC
I'm 45 years old and this was my first time ever getting in trouble with the law. I was in need of a lawyer and after careful research, I called John F. Marshall Attorneys and was introduced to Abe Basch. Abe was professional, supportive and very thorough. I had three charges against me, one civil and two criminal. I was so scared and expressed that to Abe. The first day I had to go to court, I was an absolute nervous wreck but Abe prepped me and kept my anxiety levels down by going over the process of the courts thoroughly with me. He fought to get my charges dismissed and won all three cases (two court appearances). Abe is positive, confident and he ensured I felt the same way. I'd like to say thank you to Abe for working so diligently on my cases to get them dismissed. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest! I highly recommend Abe for any charges you may be faced with. Rose C.
I was out of state on a family emergency and I had to retain council asap as a boy friend was sitting in county jail with the new no bail point system and Mr marshal and staff made me feel Soo much better knowing that my detained loved one was in such great hands! He spoke to me as I was outta state kept in touch allowed me to work out payment due to the situation and just all out the difference in my bfs voice alone with all the medical problems and such he was going threw sounded better than he had since the first day he was there and was Soo happy that Mr marshal went that day retained to see him in the jail and have him ready for court which wasn't supposed to be till Friday but again Mr marshall and team got it so we can get him now on wendsday and all I have to say is if your looking for a real down to earth lawyer that will work with you and help in anyway possible and I can't for get the team at the office TONI and everyone else thank you again I'd give 100 stars if I could! Nicole J.
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