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The short answer is yes.In New Jersey there are 14 different crimes that can result in domestic violence.  They run the gamut from assault, harassment, terroristic threats, trespass, to murder.  In the criminal contex, your abuser is charged with a crime.  It is the State of New Jersey who brings the case against your abuser and the prosecutor is the attorney who takes the abuser to court, typically not the victim. In some circumstances, the prosecutor can choose to proceed with the case against your abuser even if you don’t want to “press charges.”  That is more often the case, when the officer has witnesses some of the abuse first hand.  For example, if your boyfriend was hitting you even after the police appeared at the scene.  The prosecutor will not need your assistance since the officer can testify as to what he or she saw. The prosecutor can also subpoena you and attempt to force you testify at trial.  If you choose not to testify, you can be found in contempt of court.  It is truly the exception when the prosecutor will subpoena the victim who doesn’t want to testify against the abuser.  

Unlike a civil case like a restraining order, if convicted the abuser faces jail and fines.

Keep in mind that if the abuser is a close family relative and you are an immigrant you may qualify for a green card under the Violence Against Women’s Act.  Otherwise, you may qualify for legal status under the U-Visa.

If you face an Domestic Violence issue we have some valuable resources for you:

  1. Do You Qualify for Legal Status?  If you aren’t legal in the U.S. you owe it to yourself to find out if you can get legal status.  Select the link, answer the questions, and find out for FREE.
  2. Do You Need an Immigration Attorney? You Might Not – I will explain when you need an immigration attorney.  Not every needs one.  I will also explain the benefits of hiring one in any immigration challenge.
  3. 7 Critical Questions to ask Before Hiring an Immigration Attorney – If you have decided that you need an immigration attorney, how do you make sure you hire a good one?  I explain to you the questions you need to ask before you hire your immigration attorney.
  4. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court – Here I discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings.  I also explain the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being placed into removal proceedings.

If you have questions, we have answers.

You can:

  1. Call our knowledgeable staff at 888-695-6169;
  2. Fill out our contact us form on this page; or
  3. Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help victims of domestic violence, one trial at a time.