The old section 4.6.2 from the Attorney General Criminal Justice Reform Directive was replaced with the following section, consistent with the Attorney General’s new emphasis on detaining all alleged “domestic violence” offenders pretrial:
4.6.2 Critical Definitions for the ODARA.
For the purpose of scoring the ODARA, the following definitions shall apply:
Assault: the most recent incident in which the person being assessed assaulted his/her current or former Partner. Assault is any act of violence that involved physical contact with the Victim or a credible threat of death made with a weapon displayed in the presence of the Victim.
— Defendant: the person being assessed.
— Victim: the person upon whom the Assault was committed.
— Partner: a person who currently is, or previously was, involved with the Defendant in an intimate relationship. This includes current or former spouses, current or former intimate cohabitants, co-parents, and those currently or formerly in a dating relationship.
These definitions are superfluous. Assault is already defined by our criminal code and the relevant section of the criminal code will be referenced in the initial charging document. The definitions for “Defendant”, “Victim”, and “Partner” are self-explanatory. The more accurate term at this early stage is “alleged victim”, since the defendant is presumed innocent unless they are convicted of the assault at issue.
The following section was then removed from the Attorney General’s Guidelines:
4.6.3 Situations Where Law Enforcement Must Apply for a Complaint-Warrant and Seek Special Conditions to Protect Domestic Violence Victims. In any case involving domestic violence where the police officer or assistant prosecutor or deputy attorney general consulted in accordance with Section 3.2 or supervisory officer designated pursuant to subsection 3.3.2 has reason to believe, considering the totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to the special factors listed in paragraphs 1 through 4 of subsection 4.6.2, that issuance of a no-contact condition or other restraint, a requirement to surrender weapons, or any other special condition of pretrial release expressly authorized by N.J.S.A. 2C:25-26(a) is necessary to reasonably assure the immediate safety of the victim, the officer or prosecutor shall, notwithstanding any other provision of this Directive other than subsection 4.6.1, apply for a complaint warrant and seek imposition of the conditions) needed to reasonably assure the immediate safety of the victim. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preempt or in any way alter the authority of the agency or the victim to apply for a temporary or final restraining order, and the special conditions of pretrial release in the criminal prosecution sought pursuant to this subsection shall be in addition to, not in lieu of, any such civil temporary or final restraining order.