New Jersey attorney

Leon Matchin– Domestic Violence Defenses & How a Lawyer Can Help

All domestic violence victims are given the right to a temporary restraining order to protect them until the case goes to court. This means if you are charged with domestic violence, the court will order you to stay away from the victim, any children involved, and the home until the case goes to trial. It’s critical that you contact a New Jersey attorney who is experienced with defending domestic violence defendants. An attorney like Leon Matchin can lead you through the entire process. The goal is always to have the domestic charges against you dropped or at least downgraded to a charge with lesser consequences.

What is Considered Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is when an act of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse is committed against someone you have or had a relationship with. These relationships include married couples, separated or divorced couples, people who live together or previously lived together, couples who dated in the past or who are dating now, or couples who have a child together or who are expecting a child. A physical act of violence includes things like hitting, threatening to use a weapon to cause injury, or actually using a weapon to cause injury. Emotional abuse includes acts like insults or constant criticism. Usually, emotional abuse alone isn’t enough to get a domestic violence charge, unless it’s extreme. Finally, sexual abuse includes situations like sexual assault or rape. 
With any one of the above acts of violence, a victim can file a domestic violence report with the police. The court will issue a temporary restraining order. Once a judge hears the case, they may issue a final restraining order. 

What Your Lawyer Will Tell You

There’s a lot to understand when it comes to domestic violence cases. As the defendant, you want to be as informed as possible so that you can successfully work with your attorney for your trial. First, understand the charge you are facing: simple assault vs. aggravated assault. Simple assault is the lesser of the two charges and can lead to jail time of up to six months and fines of up to $1,000. Aggravated assault is a criminal charge, and the penalty depends on the act of violence or if it’s a subsequent act. Penalties range from 18 months to 20 years of jail time. Once you know the charge you are facing, it’s time to understand how the evidence in these types of cases works. With domestic violence cases, they need civil standard evidence proof of preponderance. This means the plaintiff must bear the burden of proof and present evidence that is more credible than the defendant’s evidence. This is very different from the criminal standard of evidence of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, where the plaintiff must prove the defendant is guilty to a level beyond reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard of proof in our justice system. In addition, to get the final restraining order, the plaintiff must prove there is a real need or concern on their part. Once you know all this information, it’s time for your attorney to get working on your case.

How a New Jersey Attorney Can Help

New Jersey attorney Leon Matchin has years of experience in helping those accused of domestic violence to defend themselves in court. The goal of a domestic violence trial is to have charges dropped or at least downgraded and to avoid a final restraining order. An attorney will always try to question the evidence of the plaintiff. For example, if all they have is a few text messages and emails with no medical records, the defendant’s attorney will attempt to prove that this evidence doesn’t qualify as proof of preponderance. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry – leave the legal jargon and defense creation up to your attorney. Your job as a defendant is to be honest and transparent when communicating the facts of the situation to your lawyer. In addition, learn from your attorney how you should act in court in order to come across as professionally as possible.  If you have recently been charged with domestic violence, you are probably feeling quite overwhelmed and unsure what to do. You most likely have a temporary restraining order placed on you and are worried the court will give a final restraining order. The best course of action is to hire an experienced attorney you can trust to defend you in court. Leon Matchin, a New Jersey attorney, has years of experience working with defendants who have been accused of domestic violence. He can create a successful defense that will potentially have your charges dropped or downgraded. The other goal with domestic violence cases is to avoid a final restraining order. 

Domestic violence extends past intimate relationships. Children and other household members can be victims of domestic violence as well. Unfortunately, domestic abuse is more prevalent than we would like to think. Because it happens behind closed doors, it often goes unnoticed and remains a family secret. It takes a lot of courage for a domestic violence victim to speak out and ask for help, as they often are afraid of the consequences should their abuser find out. If you or a loved one is in a domestic abuse situation, get help today from the police and a New Jersey attorney

Domestic Violence Prevalence 

Domestic violence happens all around us but often goes unseen. Unbeknownst to you, there may be people in your life such as friends, coworkers, or neighbors who are experiencing domestic abuse. Here are some stats shared by the organization. Check out their website for even more stats and details:  

  • “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”
  • “1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”
  • “On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.”
  • “19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.”

When you see the numbers, it’s staggering how many people have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic violence. 

What to Do if You Experience Domestic Violence

It can be very difficult and scary for domestic violence victims to come forward to get help. Often there is an extreme level of fear in turning in their abuser, as they worry about the consequences that might ensue. Contacting the police is the best first step in a domestic violence situation. Secondly, contact a New Jersey attorney. Your attorney can help represent you if you end up having to go to court. 

Restraining Order

According to the New Jersey State Police, all domestic violence victims have the right to obtain a temporary restraining order. The restraining order helps keep the abuser away from the victim. It protects the victim by keeping the abuser away and granting the victim rights like full child custody and full solo use of the residence. To get a temporary restraining order on weekdays, contact the Family Part of the Superior Court. If it’s a weekend or holiday, contact the police department. Within ten days of receiving the temporary restraining order, the victim and abuser will go to trial to testify. This trial is why it is essential to hire an experienced attorney you can trust. Your attorney’s goal will be to grant an extended restraining order or to bring about charges of assault for the abuser. 

Simple Assault Charges

There are two types of assault that come into play with domestic violence. The first is simple assault. Simple assault occurs when someone tries to purposely injure another or when their negligence leads to injury of another with a deadly weapon. In addition, causing someone fear of serious injury is also considered simple assault. Simple assault is a misdemeanor. Penalties include up to six months of jail time and fines up to $1,000. 

Aggravated Assault Charges 

An aggravated assault charge is the second type of assault seen in domestic violence cases. Aggravated assault includes someone attempting to cause injury or recklessly causing injury with a deadly weapon. It can also include pointing a firearm at the victim. For domestic violence to be considered aggravated assault, the victim must have been seriously injured, or a deadly weapon had to knowingly or recklessly be used. The consequences for aggravated assault depend on the degree of the crime and vary from case to case. 

Help from a New Jersey Attorney 

Going to trial and facing your abuser can be terrifying. Finding an attorney to stand by your side and defend you is crucial. Your attorney will walk you through the courtroom strategy and help bring evidence to light so that your abuser can be charged and your temporary restraining order can be extended. Leon Matchin, a New Jersey attorney, has years of experience working on assault cases and restraining order cases. Leon knows how scary these types of trials can be, and he is here to walk you through it step by step. 

Unfortunately, domestic abuse is a lot more common than we’d like to think. Domestic violence puts victims in dangerous situations that can lead to injury or even death. Coming forward as a victim can be scary and takes a lot of courage. If you are involved in a domestic abuse situation, contact a local or national domestic abuse hotline, call the police, and reach out to an attorney for support in court. Know someone else caught up in a cycle of domestic abuse? Encourage them to do the same. In New Jersey, all domestic violence victims can receive a temporary restraining order and will go to court within ten days of receiving the order. By working with an attorney, the goal is to extend the restraining order or press charges so that the abuser can be charged with simple or aggravated assault. 

For more information about domestic violence, reach out to Leon Matchin. Contact Leon by phone at (833) 732-7320, or email him at [email protected]. He will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case and go over your options.