The Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order in New Jersey

The Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order in New Jersey

When someone enters a Temporary Restraining Order against you, the consequences are swift and certain. Even if you feel the TRO is unjust and unnecessary, the legal ramifications of violating the restraining order can have an enduring impact on your life. As such, understanding the legal framework surrounding restraining orders in New Jersey is important. Not only do you need to understand what they mean and how they limit your actions but also the consequences for violating such an order.

Key Takeaways

  • New Jersey issues temporary restraining orders (TROs) for immediate protection and final restraining orders (FROs) following a hearing.
  • Violations may result in fines up to $10,000, 18-month prison sentences, and felony convictions with mandatory minimums.
  • Violating a restraining order may also tarnish one's record, impacting job prospects, housing, and immigration status.

What are the Two Kinds of Retraining Orders in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, there are two primary types of restraining orders: temporary restraining orders (TROs) and final restraining orders (FROs). Here is what you need to know about each:

Temporary Restraining Orders

TROs are interim measures issued by a court to protect individuals from immediate harm or threats of harm. They are typically granted in cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, or other criminal actions against an individual. TROs go into effect immediately upon issuance and last until the final restraining order (FRO) hearing, which is usually scheduled within ten days.

Permanent Restraining Orders

FROs, on the other hand, are permanent injunctions issued by a judge following a hearing. You will not find yourself entered into an FRO without a court hearing. They replace TROs if the court finds sufficient evidence to justify their issuance. Once entered, FROs have long-term implications, including restrictions on contact, firearm possession, and potential impacts on child custody and support arrangements.

The New Jersey Violation of a Restraining Order Law

New Jersey has several laws pertaining to the formation and violation of restraining orders. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:25-30, when an individual violates the restraining order entered against them, they will be considered in contempt of the court, making them liable for a contempt charge.

Furthermore, law enforcement has the right to arrest individuals who they believe to have violated their restraining order. This means that even being seen by the person who entered the TRO or FRO against you could count as a violation. Texting, commenting on a picture, or attempting to contact children may also be considered a violation. You may also receive a Disorderly Persons charge.

N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9 outlines what happens should an FRO be violated. According to NJ law, violating an FRO is considered a fourth-degree felony. While this is the lowest felony, it is an indictable offense.

What are the Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order in New Jersey?

Now that you are more familiar with Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders, as well as the violation laws, let’s discuss the various consequences that may be incurred with a violation. Generally, violating a restraining order will lead to both legal and personal consequences, including what is listed below:

Arrest and Criminal Charges

Violating a restraining order in New Jersey is considered contempt of court, which can result in immediate arrest by law enforcement officers. Individuals may face criminal charges, with the severity depending on the circumstances of the violation. Additional charges may also be mounted, including those related to stalking and aggravated assault.

Severe Financial Penalties

Penalties for violating a restraining order can be severe, particularly for repeat offenses. In New Jersey, subsequent violations may result in felony charges, fines of up to $10,000, and prison sentences of up to 18 months. Mandatory minimum sentences, such as 30 days in jail for a second offense, may also apply.

Criminal Record

Violating a restraining order can have lasting consequences on one's criminal record. A conviction for contempt of court or violating a restraining order may appear on background checks, affecting employment opportunities, housing prospects, and immigration status. As stated previously, even minor infractions, such as sending a text message or being in proximity to the plaintiff, can result in significant legal and personal repercussions.

Strained Relationships

Violating a restraining order can strain relationships with the plaintiff and others involved in the case. It may exacerbate existing conflicts and make it difficult to rebuild trust and communication.

Damage to Reputation

A conviction for violating a restraining order can damage one's reputation in the community and among peers. It may lead to social stigma and judgment from others, impacting personal and professional relationships. This may also decrease your prospects of new employment, apartment rentals, and immigration status.


Facing allegations of violating a restraining order can cause significant stress, anxiety, and fear of further legal action. Individuals may experience emotional turmoil and uncertainty about the future, affecting their overall well-being.

Contact a New Jersey Attorney Today for a Restraining Order Consultation

Violating a restraining order in New Jersey is not to be taken lightly. It can result in immediate arrest, criminal charges, and long-term legal and personal consequences. Understanding the types of restraining orders and the potential repercussions of violating them is essential for individuals subject to such orders. If you or someone you know is facing allegations of violating a restraining order, don't hesitate to seek legal assistance from knowledgeable and dedicated professionals. Contact Ziegler Law Group, LLC, today at 973-533-1100 or by filling out the online form for a consultation to discuss your rights and options.

Related Posts
  • How Can I Fight a Restraining Order in New Jersey? Read More
  • What to do if a Restraining Order is Entered Against You in New Jersey Read More
  • Permanent vs. Temporary Restraining Order in New Jersey Read More