Sunday, February 24, 2013
Domestic Violence Charges Not A Right To Counsel in NJ
The NJ Appellate Division recently held, in D.N. v. K.M./K.M. v. D.N, that neither plaintiffs nor defendants in a domestic violence matter who cannot afford counsel are entitled to the representation of counsel at the expense of the state. The Appellate Division rendered this ruling even though one significant consequence of domestic violence is the immediate loss of weapons with the potential of permanent loss of weapons and the inability to purchase, possess or carry weapons in the future in the event of a guilty finding. In spite of legislation and a lean toward the removal of guns from the hands of the people, the right to keep and bear arms remains a constitutional right at this time. The Appellate Division offered the reasoning that, unlike other criminal actions, domestic violence is a matter of the victim against the defendant rather than the full force of the state of New Jersey against the defendant. The court further reasoned that domestic violence laws are curative in nature and designed to stop further acts of domestic violence. However, before the court can make a finding of domestic violence, it must find that an offense such as harassment, stalking or assault occurred. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you should consult an experienced criminal law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on assault, harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, child custody, domestic violence, parenting time/visitation, dissolution of a civil union, marriage or domestic partnership, alimony, palimony or other family and criminal law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.