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Domestic Violence Unit
: The Domestic Violence Unit is responsible for the prosecution of domestic violence cases in criminal court and violations of restraining orders, also called contempts, in family court. The Unit also handles all weapons seized pursuant to domestic violence.

Police officers are required by law to seize any weapons located on the premises when they respond to a domestic violence call. When weapons are seized, the office files a forfeiture action which is heard in family court. The weapons can either be forfeited to the state, sold to a third party, or returned to the owners if the judge finds that the domestic violence situation no longer exists.

The unit also handles domestic aggravated assault cases in criminal court. The cases are screened for special handling and are presented to the Grand Jury and handled throughout the plea-bargaining process, trial, and sentencing. Cases are prosecuted even if the victim is reluctant to testify against the abuser. Since its inception in 2003, this “evidence based prosecution” protocol has proven to be very successful in stopping the cycle of domestic violence that is prevalent in domestic violence relationships.

A significant portion of this Unit’s energy and time is spent on dealing with concerns and questions of the victims. These questions about their cases can range from the very general to the very specific.

The Unit also works closely with many police departments and is available to advise and assist in all matters involving domestic violence, and conducts extensive training sessions for police officers

The victim-witness counselor in the unit contacts every victim on every case to advise the victim as to the status of the case, and to seek the input of the victim regarding the possible sentence, and assists the victim in obtaining restitution or referrals for housing assistance, social services, or support groups for the victim or children of the victim. The victim-witness counselor also accompanies the victims in criminal court if the victim desires to be present at each court proceeding.

If a situation meets the criteria of a domestic violence situation, law enforcement officers are required to follow certain procedures, and victims may obtain a domestic violence restraining order against the abuser. Interviewing the victim is critical to the prosecution of the case.

A victim seeking a restraining order may go to the Middlesex County Family Courthouse located at 120 New Street in New Brunswick, N.J. during business hours. After hours, on weekends, and holidays, a victim may seek a temporary restraining in the case of an emergency at the local police department.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders To obtain a domestic violence restraining order the plaintiff and defendant must have a relationship. They must be married, be living or have lived together or be dating or have dated. It also includes persons who have a child in common, or persons who anticipate having a child in common, one of whom is pregnant. The defendant must have committed an offense against the plaintiff.
These offenses include
Homicide Assault Terroristic threats
Kidnapping Criminal restraint False imprisonment
Sexual assault Criminal sexual contact Lewdness
Criminal mischief Criminal trespass Burglary
Harassment Stalking

One of these offenses must be committed, but not necessarily criminally charged. The offense can be criminally charged or not criminally charged, it makes no difference. Domestic violence restraining orders can be obtained on weekdays during business hours at the Middlesex County Family Court, 120 New St, New Brunswick, N.J. After business hours and on weekends and holidays restraining orders can be obtained from the municipal police and municipal courts. The initial restraining order, a temporary restraining order is obtained ex parte, that is by one party. About one week later, after the defendant is served, a hearing with both parties present is held. Attorneys may be present. If the plaintiff is successful at the hearing a final restraining order is issued.