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What type of offense is Domestic Violence in New Jersey? Misdemeanor, felony, firts, second, third degree crime, , etc?

Ridgewood, NJ |

I asked the question since i was found guilty of DV and every time I apply for a job, the question about whether I have ever been convicted of any crime comes up I don't know how to respond to it. Theere was not physical and/or mental harm; emails sent to my ex were used as evidence for the conviction and a $50 fine was imposed, no probation, jail, there is a FRT with provisions to only communicate with my ex via emails and only about the kids. There is no restriction concerning the kids I have regular visitation with them

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Attorney answers 2


New Jersey doesn't have "felonies and misdemeanors", we have "crimes" as opposed to the less serious "disorderly persons offenses" (or even less serious "petty disorderly person offenses.") Only "crimes" are divided into "degrees." 1st or 2nd degree and you'd have been in person, 3d probably not on first offense probably would've been locked yup (3-5 yrs) on subsequent offense, 4th probably not in prison.

That said, you may not have any type of criminal record. If the DV case was her versus you, it's a civil action, not a criminal one. Easy way to tell - get the paperwork; if it says "State of New Jersey vs. [you]" then it's potentially a criminal action. If it doesn't - end of analysis, you can truthfully answer "no" to whether you've been convicted of a crime. Although the DV act is under the 2C (criminal) code, it's civil - the fine, fingerprinting, etc are civil remedies, not criminal. If it is State v. (say, a violation of a DV RO or a criminal charge filed at the same time as the civil action), then it may be criminal or it may be a disorderly person offense. Can't tell based on what you've said.

Also, you can apply to have the civil DV RO dismissed ("final restraining order" doesn't really mean "final"). Generally, you have to wait 18 months since it was entered, and there is a list of factors the court will go through (how serious was the DV, does h/he have reason to be afraid today, did you undergo anger management if ordered to do so, do you two have kids together, etc etc). I've been very successful in getting them dismissed if applying the factors to your facts indicates the restraints are no longer appropriate and the DV order should be dismissed.


I concur with my collegue Mr. Davis. This sounds like a civil resolution, not criminal. Request a copy of the Court's disposition. If it does not contain a reference to a statute, such as 2C:___-__, then it is not criminal in nature.

Even if it does contain a reference to a statute, it may not constitute a crime, as both DP and PDP offenses are not crimes by statutory definition. If you need assistance with figuring this out, get the disposition papers and call my office for a free consultation.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.

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