Consequences of a Restraining Order

Defendants in cases of Domestic Violence (hearings on a request for a Final Restraining Order) sometimes have the mistaken belief that the consequences of a Final Restraining Order are not “that serious”.  Some people think its means nothing more than they can’t go near the other party, or that it’s more of a cautionary Order than a mandatory Order.  These misguided assumptions can lead someone down a very treacherous path since violating a Final Restraining Order often has criminal implications, can adversely impact employment, and parent and custody consequences. 

  1. First it is important to know that Final Restraining Orders entered in New Jersey are just that- final.  They are permanent and they do not expire nor does a victim have to have them renewed such as a they often do in other States.  Absent the Defendant filing an appropriate application to have an Final Restraining Order removed, a Final Restraining Order will be in effect for the rest of your life.  The consequences of violating same, such as a phone call to the victim, even harmless, could result in criminal charges being filed against you.  
  • A Defendant charged with an act of Domestic Violence will be required to turn over any Firearms they have and any Firearms Identification Cards.  In the event that a Final Restraining Order is entered, the Defendant would be precluded from owning any firearms in the future, would be prohibited from hunting or target shooting, and get rid of any weapons even if these are collectors items or inherited.
  • Your custody rights and parenting time may be impacted.  The Court has the authority to suspend your parenting time, reduce your parenting time, or in other ways modify your custody and/or parenting time with your children in connection with a domestic violence proceeding.  The entry of a Final Restraining Order can also impact your ability to attend school events, children’s medical appointments, parent/teacher conferences, anywhere that your children are wherein the victim would be present.
  • All Defendants who have a Final Restraining Order against them must be included in a Domestic Violence Registry, which is available to all law enforcement and court personnel.  

            While these are just a few of the far reaching and serious consequences of a final Restraining Order, there are many more consequences which are fact specific, sometimes employment and/or professionally related, and which require the guidance and assistance of an attorney with expertise in the area of Restraining Orders.  If you are subject to a Final Restraining Order, contact the experienced lawyers at the Martone Law Group, LLC at 856-617-6700 to schedule your consultation today.