Annandale, NJ asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for New Jersey

Q: If I'm the plaintiff in a Domestic Violence case (simple assault charges,) should I get a lawyer to represent me?

My husband and I have cross-TROs against each other for an incident that occurred on Feb. 17. We now have cross-simple assault charges as well. I have a lawyer for the TRO and simple assault charge where I'm the defendant. Should I secure counsel for the simple assault case where I am the plaintiff?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Michael Andrew Conte
Michael Andrew Conte
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: On the simple assault case that is a criminal matter against your husband, you are not the plaintiff. Criminal matters are between the State and defendants, so the matter should be entitled: The State of New Jersey v. Your Husband. Those matters are prosecuted by state prosecutors. You will be a witness, but not a litigant in that matter.

The case in which you are the named plaintiff is the civil/family court matter for the restraining order. It sounds like you have already retained an attorney relative to that matter. It also sounds like you have a criminal defense attorney for the simple assault charge against you. Therefore, it seems like you are covered, although you should ask the attorneys that you retained any other legal questions that you have.

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Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Since you are not the defendant in the simple assualt case, you do not need counsel. But in the TRO, you need to make certain that your attorney is a matrimonial matter with extensive domestic violence trial experience. Otherwise, it is not in your best interest. Good luck.

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