Question about the "central registry" of domestic violence offenders. I have had a restraining order for over 10 years and the defendant violated and was convicted several times in the early 90's.
However in the mid 1990's we had an incident in another county and even though I held the restraining order, the incident happened in my home, I received criminal charges and was threatened with heavy jail time for the offense, even though it was self defense.
During the pre trial "plea bargaining", I was repeatedly told there was no "history" of restraining order violation convictions, just arrests that were all dismissed, therefore making my claim of self defense weak.
In reality there were, but I didn't know how to go about getting them or proving it. After two years of negoiation when I refused to plead guilty until I was offered no jail time, I found the transcripts of the prior cnvictions.
Now this year, my abuser has again violated the restraining order, i filed contempt charges and when the arraignment hearing date, the prosecutor told me he would be offering the defendent 1 year's probation because "he had no prior record" of domestic violence convictions in the "central registry".
Until I produced a copy of the transcropt of the sentencing hearing myself, the prosecutor refused to believe there was a history in my case and ask for the mandatory 30 days in jail for a second offense.
My question is this. What is a central registry of domestic violence offenders? Why are some convictions missing from it? (they claimed it went all the way back to 1989 AND IF THE REGISTRY IS INCORRECT AND I WAS PROSECUTED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT I HAD NOT BEEN A VICTIM OF THE DEFENDENT, CAN I SUE?
If I had not been determined to not plead guilty to something I didn't do, I could have been doing 20 years right now!!! How can the state of NJ get away with this?