What is Domestic Violence?
A criminal offense involving violence or the threat of violence by an adult against a family or household member, a former or present dating partner or co-parent of the offenders child.
A domestic violence offender must be arrested by police when:
- The victim has visible injury.
- A restraining order was violated.
- A weapon was used in the crime.
- Any other arrest warrant is outstanding.
The police may arrest an offender when there is probable cause that any other act of domestic violence occurred and the victim continues to be in danger.
Can a victim drop charges?
Charges cannot and will not be dropped simply because the victim makes this request. This is true whether the defendant and the victim have resumed their relationship or remain separated. You can honestly tell the defendant that the decision is out of your hands.
There are often bail conditions for a civil restraining order in effect which prohibits the defendant from having contact with you or possessing firearms. If the defendant is violating these court orders, please call the police immediately.
Domestic violence charges may not be heard in municipal court for a month or longer. When domestic violence charges will be resolved through a jury trial, the case may not be completed for many months. During that time victims of domestic violence are placed under great pressure to "drop" the charges. The offender's family may pressure you to drop charges or try to make you feel guilty about the charges.
If you are being harassed or threatened if the charges are not dropped, let the police know right away. Please contact the Prosecutor's Office the next business day and let the Domestic Violence prosecutor or Victim/Witness staff know as well.
Where will charges be heard?
- CRIMES: Indictable offenses with weapons and aggravated assault. These charges are heard in the New Jersey Superior Court, Criminal Division in Woodbury, New Jersey.
- DISORDERLY PERSONS: These charges are heard in municipal court, usually in the municipality where the offense occurred. Examples of disorderly person's charges are Simple Assault and Harassment. An indictable charge may also be reduced, when legally appropriate, by the Prosecutor to a disorderly offense called an Administrative Remand.
- VIOLATION OF RESTRAINING ORDERS: These offenses are heard in the Family Court in Woodbury.
Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office
- Domestic Violence Unit
- Victim/witness Advocate
- Family Court
- DV/Safe Gloucester County
- Statewide Hotline
- New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women