In New Jersey, a no contact order is an order issued by a judge in a criminal proceeding that prohibits a person from contacting another specific person and is often a condition of bail. A no contact order prohibits a person from being in contact with another person, either verbally or in person. It is different from a restraining order, which is a civil order issued by a judge in Family Court, pursuant to the request of an alleged victim of domestic violence.
Cases in which a judge may include a no contact order as a condition of bail include domestic violence charges, assault charges, sex crimes, harassment charges, and any other case that involves an alleged victim who may be better protected with a no contact order. No contact orders are most commonly applied to domestic violence charges, where there is a personal relationship between two individuals and the logistics of a relationship, such as two parents trying to coordinate their mutual duties in caring for their children, can make a no contact order difficult. However, it is absolutely crucial that you obey a no contact order, as violating it could result in your detention. If an alleged victim requests a no contact order to be dropped, the judge may do so in his or her discretion.
No Contact Order as a Condition of Bail in NJ
Under New Jersey’s bail reform measures, a person cannot be held in detention while they await their trial unless a judge finds that no condition or set of conditions will reasonably assure that the defendant will not fail to appear, threaten public safety, or obstruct justice. The condition of a no contact order aims to ensure the safety of an alleged victim after the release of a defendant pending the resolution of their case. If the court does not believe the defendant will comply with a no contact order, they will probably not release them from detention. If a person is unwilling or unlikely to comply with a no contact order, they are a heightened risk to public safety and, specifically, the alleged victim.
It is crucial to take a no contact order seriously and obey its terms. The consequences for violating a no contact order are significant. If a no contact order is a condition of your bail, violating the order may lead to imprisonment while you wait for your trial. In addition, violating a no contact order and contacting an alleged victim in any way increases the likelihood of further conflict with that individual and the conflict may potentially result in additional charges against you.
If a defendant can prove a material change in circumstances, they may make a motion for the court to review their conditions of pre-trial release. If a judge finds a material change in circumstances, they may order new conditions. However, if the judge is concerned about the safety of the person named in the no contact order, they will probably be unwilling to modify the condition. Even in cases where the defendant is not detained prior to their case being adjudicated, the judge may decide that a no contact order is necessary. For example, if you’re accused of stalking someone, you may be subject to a no contact order pending the outcome of your stalking charges.
The most important thing to remember is that a no contact order MUST be followed unless it is expressly dropped by a judge. Only in court based on a judge’s decision or a motion by the alleged victim can the no contact order be deemed null and void. Otherwise, violating a no contact order is similar to violating a restraining order and could lead to charges for contempt, pretrial detention, or further prosecution.
No Contact Order Lawyers in Camden County, New Jersey
If you are dealing with issues surrounding a no contact order in Camden County, New Jersey, contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm right away. The attorneys at our firm can help you if you are accused of violating a no contact order or if you’re subject to a no contact order and are seeking to modify the terms of your pretrial release. Contact our office today at 609-832-3202 or send us a message for additional information. We provide consultations free of charge and assist clients throughout Southern New Jersey, including in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Twp, Mount Holly, Evesham Township, Woodbury, Mount Laurel, and Voorhees, NJ.