If you’re facing or contemplating a Domestic Violence Complaint in New Jersey, you may be underestimating the profound impact of a Final Restraining Order (FRO) on your life. Many times, neither the victim nor the defendant understands the full impact of the FRO. Contrary to common belief, simply staying away from the alleged victim is not the only implication. Final Restraining Orders can have extensive and often unexpected consequences.

1. FROs are Permanent: Unlike in some states, Final Restraining Orders in New Jersey are permanent. They don’t expire unless the protected party voluntarily requests the restraints be vacated or the Defendant formally applies in Family Court, often leading to a hearing for a final determination.

2. May Lose Your Custody Rights: When children are involved, the Court may order a risk assessment on the Defendant before determining parenting time appropriateness. Both the Defendant and the victim undergo interviews, shaping the court’s decision on custody arrangements.

3. Your Name in the Domestic Violence Registry: All Defendants with a Final Restraining Order are listed in a Domestic Violence Registry accessible to law enforcement and court personnel. This listing may impact travel plans, causing delays and questioning at airports.

4. Impact on Where You Can Live: Even if the Defendant is on the property deed, sharing a residence may mean being permanently barred from returning home. While limited access may be granted for a brief period to gather belongings, returning to one’s own home may become an impossibility.

5. Must Surrender Firearms: Defendants are mandated to surrender their Firearms Identification Card and forfeit the right to possess any firearms. This not only terminates hobbies like hunting and target shooting but may also require letting go of inherited weapons with sentimental value.

6. Mandatory Counseling: Defendants may be compelled to attend various types of counseling, including domestic violence, anger management, and drug and alcohol evaluations. These sessions, lasting weeks or months, can significantly disrupt daily life.

7. A violation of the FRO could result in criminal charges. The consequences of violating the FRO are often more significant than the FRO itself. Criminal charges can be filed.

These significant implications underscore the gravity of Final Restraining Orders. Such matters should not be taken lightly. Trust our experienced team to fight for your rights with robust expertise. Schedule a free case evaluation today.