Hackensack Domestic Violence Lawyers
Prosecuting Domestic Violence Claims
The devastating truth is that many divorce and separation scenarios carry an accompanying incident of domestic violence. Spousal abuse can take many forms, and it most certainly need not be physical abuse. Domestic violence can take the shape of harassment, stalking, or assault.
At Laterra & Hodge, our Hackensack domestic violence attorneys recognize the cycle of violence that unfortunately grips so many victims of spousal abuse, and causes them great hesitation to remove themselves from their situations. The threat of future violence, coupled with the promise of reformed behavior, further often coupled with isolation from friends and a cutoff of access to funds can have a chilling effect on the prospecting of seeking protection.
We are here to help. If you experience domestic abuse, we should be on your speed dial, and your second call (after the police). We will not let you go through this ordeal alone. Call us at (201) 580-2240.
When Can I Get a Restraining Order?
Know that you can always secure a restraining order in your town, or at the county courthouse, depending upon when the act of domestic violence occurs. Once a restraining order is entered, the perpetrator will be removed from your house and provided with an order that makes very clear that he or she is to have no contact with you or anyone else you deem necessary and appropriate.
Within ten days of entry of a temporary restraining order, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be converted to a final restraining order. At this hearing you will be called upon to tell your story, and provide any evidence that you have.
This evidence can take the form of:
- Photographs of injuries
- Medical reports
- Phone records and emails evidencing harassment or threats
- Any other form that has probative value
During your testimony, the court will look for a history of domestic violence, a predicate (or immediate) act of domestic violence, and evidence of fear of the defendant.
Once you have testified, the defendant will have the opportunity to testify and tell his or her side of the story. This will be followed by cross-examination. At Laterra & Hodge, LLC, our Hackensack domestic violence attorneys have extensive experience in the art of cross-examination, and know how to take control of the temp and direction of the defendant’s testimony so that it supports your claim.
Defending Against False Allegations
A most unfortunate truth is that while the prevention against domestic violence act provides a most essential service, it can and often is abused. It is no secret that New Jersey’s domestic violence laws can be manipulated by a party seeking to gain leverage in an accompanying divorce proceeding. The advantage, and therefore the motive, is clear. If one party has a domestic violence final restraining order against him or her, that fact can and will be relied upon by the court as a relevant factor in a custody dispute. Moreover, the entry of a temporary restraining order will result in the removal of the defendant from the marital residence.
If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, let the Hackensack lawyers at Laterra & Hodge, LLC come to your defense. We offer free consultations to clients throughout Bergen County.