Controversial Proposal Could Create Comprehensive List of New Jersey Domestic Violence Offenders
There’s already a Megan’s Law registry for New Jersey sex offenders but there may be one soon for domestic violence offenders, too.
New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora of Mercer County plans to introduce a bill creating it.
“It’s pretty dangerous to date a repeat offender and often times the person isn’t aware of the history,” Gusciora said in an interview with NJ.com. “You have instances where the person is very nice, and they’re dating, and when they’re living together that’s when the violence would happen. At least this would give some kind of warning if the person has a history of violence.”
Such a proposal is bound to be controversial for several reasons and stir a lively debate between victims’ advocates and penal reformers. For example, unlike sex-related crimes which qualify a citizen for placement on the sex offender registry that require a a showing of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” by the prosecution, the burden of proof for the entry of a final restraining order in New Jersey is merely “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Only violations of restraining orders are purely “criminal.”
We’ll continue to track this legislation and keep you informed as to its progress in Trenton. Obviously, if this proposal eventually becomes law, then a final restraining order in New Jersey will thereafter carry even heavier consequences for convicted defendants. The already-existing potential impact on one’s employment, income, child custody and social standing (to name only a few areas) is substantial.
We’re here to help. If you are a New Jersey victim of domestic violence and need help in the court room, or if you have been accused of committing an act or acts of domestic violence, then please contact the domestic violence attorneys at DeMichele & DeMichele online today or call (856) 546-1350 to speak with a lawyer at our firm. We will set up a confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.