When many people think about domestic violence, they typically think of physical assaults between spouses or family members. While these types of altercations can certainly be grounds for criminal charges, they are not the only acts considered to be domestic violence.
According to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, there are actually 14 different offenses that are considered types of domestic violence. It can be crucial for people across New Jersey to understand what these offenses are in the event that criminal charges related to domestic violence are being pursued.
The PDVA considers the following 14 offenses acts of domestic violence:
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal trespassing
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Terroristic threats
It may be obvious as to why some of these acts are considered domestic violence, like assault or false imprisonment. But many people may be quite surprised to learn that offenses like stalking and burglary could also be considered domestic violence.
However, in order for someone to be protected under the PDVA, these offenses must involve parties with a specific relationship. This could include people who are or have been related, married, cohabitating or romantically involved.
When a person is accused of domestic violence, there will generally be a restraining order requested. People are significantly affected by a restraining order because it can keep them out of their home and away from their children. It can also lead to additional criminal charges in the event that someone violates the protective order.
Situations involving domestic violence allegations should be taken very seriously. They can result in criminal penalties, from fines to lengthy jail times, and a person’s future can be dramatically impacted by a criminal conviction. If you are currently facing accusations stemming from one of the offenses mentioned in this post, you have the right to speak with a criminal defense attorney to protect yourself, your family and your future.