Final Restraining Orders Hearings are no joke. In fact, they are really intense. Whether you choose our firm to represent you or not, it’s in your best interest to get a lawyer for your hearing.
final restraining orders never expire in new jersey
Final Restraining Order hearings must be taken seriously.
Don’t make the mistake of “just showing up” and being unprepared.
Unfortunately, too many clients try to retain us when it is too late.
All too often when a person gets a Temporary Restraining Order, they go to court alone for their Final Restraining Order hearing.
Sadly, when they learn that they cannot see their children, they call us.
By then, the only choice they have is to appeal their case.
Appeals are very expensive and very difficult to win.
The best way to increase your chance of winning your Final Restraining Order hearing is by hiring a lawyer beforehand.
What are the consequences of a final restraining order in NJ?
Not sure where they get it, but clients get bad information.
Temporary & Final Restraining Orders can seriously complicate family relationships.
Not being able to own a gun is the least of your worries.
Some of the consequences of a Final Restraining Order include:
- You will be assessed a fine between $50.00 – $500.00.
- Your Fingerprints and photo will be taken.
- Your name will be entered into the Domestic Violence Central Registry
But why is there a restraining order against me?
In New Jersey, Temporary Restraining Orders and Final Restraining Orders exist to protect real victims of Domestic Violence in New Jersey. The NJ State Police has a lot of information for domestic violence victims.
Do People Abuse The System? Of course, it happens, but Domestic Violence is a very serious problem.
Problems often arise when you announce an intention to break up or to get divorced.
The soon-to-be ex-partner or ex-spouse usually get very upset.
Ending a relationship is very painful for both sides. We’ve all been there…
People become bitter and let their anger make choices for them.
Couples that shared a happy life are now enemies.
The person that you once trusted with your innermost secrets has betrayed you.
Breaking up is the only option.
After you break up or initiate divorce proceedings, the unexpected occurs.
Instead of starting a new life, you’re facing assault & harassment charges.
what happens if you lose at your final restraining order hearing?
As we explained before, if you lose at your final hearing, the consequences are much worse than people expect.
Clients may not care about lawfully possessing a firearm BUT they must know that their name enters a Domestic Violence Central Registry.
Don’t let this happen to you. It’s an ugly and terrible experience.
Our firm represented a client who went to her hearing all alone.
No surprise, she lost, and had a FRO entered against her.
Years passed and during one Holiday season, she decided to send her ex-husband a Christmas greeting.
Within 20 minutes she was in handcuffs & sitting in a police car.
Turns out she never learned that FROs never expire in New Jersey.
6 years after the FRO was entered against her, she was now facing contempt charges.
Contempt charges carry heavy penalties including incarceration.
Moral of the story?
You must do everything in your power to fight the FRO at the hearing.
How To remove a Final Restraining Order in NJ
If you have a Final Restraining Order (FRO) issued against you, it will never expire unless:
- The person whom once feared you (Domestic Violence victim) changes his/her mind and asks the court to remove or lift the Final Restraining Order; or
- You appeal the decision of the court that issued the FRO and win; or
- After plenty of time has passed, you file a motion asking the court to “vacate” or “undo” the original order.
vacating a final restraining order
In order to vacate the FRO, we need to persuade the court that “Good Cause” exists to “undo” the FRO.
In order to establish that “Good Cause” exists.
Every Superior Court in New Jersey uses the factors from this case to determine if “Good Cause” exists:
Factors the Court Considers in removing a Final Restraining Order
In Carfagno, the court used the following factors to decide whether or not to vacate the defendant’s FRO.
Factors related to Victim
- Whether the victim consented to dismiss the restraining order;
- If the victim fears the defendant;
- The nature of the relationship between the parties today;
Factors related to Defendant
- The number of times that the defendant has been convicted of contempt for violating the order;
- Whether the defendant has a continuing involvement with drug or alcohol abuse;
- If the defendant has been involved in other violent acts with other persons;
- Whether the defendant has engaged in counseling;
- The age and health of the defendant;
The Totality of Circumstances Factors
- Whether the victim is acting in good faith when opposing the defendant’s request;
- If another jurisdiction has entered a restraining order protecting the victim from the defendant; and,
- Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
Once you have an FRO entered against you, it is super difficult to vacate.
If you are scheduled for a Final Restraining Order hearing, call us now so we can properly prepare.
The prevention is always better than the cure.
We have extensive experience representing and defending clients accused of Domestic Violence in New Jersey.
A properly prepared defense is the best defense against a Final Restraining Order.
We’re here to help you. Call us for a free consultation.
Please visit the Areas We Serve & Practice Areas pages for more information.