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Representing Victims and Accused in Domestic Violence Matters

Individuals victimized by domestic abuse must contact the police immediately. Under the appropriate circumstances, especially where there are signs of visible injury, the Police have the authority to remove the alleged abuser from the marital residence. At that point the victim has the option of applying to the court for the protection of a Temporary Restraining Order, which is accomplished when the Police put the victim in touch, generally by telephone, with a local magistrate. Once the Temporary Restraining Order is in place, the alleged abuser is barred from the marital residence and a hearing is scheduled for up to ten days following the initial incident. This hearing takes place before a Judge of the Superior Court.

Standard procedures are in place to guarantee the safety of the victim before, during and following the hearing. Victims are isolate in locked rooms to which the alleged abusers do not have access. Sheriffs’ Officers provide vigilant protection of victims and children. Both the accused and the alleged victim present their respective evidence to the Court, after which the Judge determines whether or not an act of domestic violence has taken place. If the Judge so finds, the victim receives the protection of a Final Restraining Order.

There is a great deal at stake for both the victim and the alleged abuser, as once a Final Restraining Order is issued, the alleged abuser will have no further access to his or her home and will be barred from any other locations which the Court designates, such as the victim’s workplace or the homes of relatives, friends or the children’s schools.

What is domestic abuse?

New Jersey statutes define abuse as any one or a combination of the following acts:

  • Assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Sexual assault
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Criminal mischief
  • Burglary
  • Criminal trespass
  • Harassment
  • Stalking

N.J.A.A. 2C: 25-19

Representing people accused of domestic violence

If you have been charged as the alleged abuser and believe you have been falsely accused, Ms. Padovano will provide strong and effective representation in court to insure that your evidence is presented in a manner which is thorough and fair.

The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act has no doubt saved the lives of many potential victims and has put an end to the abusive conduct of many perpetrators of domestic abuse. It cannot be denied that on occasion, ill-motivated individuals bring false complaints or exaggerate the significance of domestic disputes in order to accomplish the removal of an individual whose presence is no longer welcome or desirable. Individuals falsely accused or accused under questionable circumstances, need a strong advocate in the Courtroom no less so than those who have been legitimately victimized by domestic abuse. Ms. Padovano has extensive trial experience in these matters and is also skilled at negotiating alternative resolutions.

Detail oriented advocacy

The hallmark of Ms. Padovano’s practice is thorough attention to detail when drafting documents, assembling evidence or preparing clients for hearings. She works closely with clients to identify realistic litigation goals and arrive at them in as an efficient and cost-effective manner as possible.

Contact the Essex county, New Jersey office of Margaret E. Padovano, Attorney at Law. Learn how her skills and experience can protect and defend you during a domestic violence hearing.