Selected State Statutes: New Jersey

Statutes: New Jersey

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2C:25-26. Release from custody before trial; restraining orders; confidentiality of victim's location; bail

a. When a defendant charged with a crime or offense involving domestic violence is released from custody before trial on bail or personal recognizance, the court authorizing the release may as a condition of release issue an order prohibiting the defendant from having any contact with the victim including, but not limited to, restraining the defendant from entering the victim's residence, place of employment or business, or school, and from harassing or stalking the victim or the victim's friends, co-workers, or relatives in any way. The court may also enter an order prohibiting the defendant from having any contact with any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household. In addition, the court may enter an order directing the possession of the animal and providing that the animal shall not be disposed of prior to the disposition of the crime or offense. The court may enter an order prohibiting the defendant from possessing any firearm or other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1 and ordering the search for and seizure of any such weapon at any location where the judge has reasonable cause to believe the weapon is located. The judge shall state with specificity the reasons for and scope of the search and seizure authorized by the order.

b. The written court order releasing the defendant shall contain the court's directives specifically restricting the defendant's ability to have contact with the victim , the victim's friends, co-workers, or relatives, or any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household. The clerk of the court or other person designated by the court shall provide a copy of this order to the victim forthwith.

c. The victim's location shall remain confidential and shall not appear on any documents or records to which the defendant has access.

d. Before bail is set, the defendant's prior record shall be considered by the court. The court shall also conduct a search of the domestic violence central registry. Bail shall be set as soon as is feasible, but in all cases within 24 hours of arrest.

e. Once bail is set it shall not be reduced without prior notice to the county prosecutor and the victim. Bail shall not be reduced by a judge other than the judge who originally ordered bail, unless the reasons for the amount of the original bail are available to the judge who reduces the bail and are set forth in the record.

f. A victim shall not be prohibited from applying for, and a court shall not be prohibited from issuing, temporary restraints pursuant to this act because the victim has charged any person with commission of a criminal act.