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Does a Restraining Order Show on a Background Check?

Published: November 20, 2018

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Will a Final Restraining Order Appear on my Criminal Record?

Avoid Restraining Order on my Record NJIf a person is subject to a final restraining order in New Jersey, a common background check will not reveal that he or she was involved in a domestic violence matter. Most common backgrounds reveal a person’s residence history, educational background, military service, credit report, driving record and criminal history. A person’s criminal background will include any arrests, convictions, warrants, and any records showing the individual was incarcerated. Additionally, if a person is a registered sex offender, a typical background check will also uncover the details of their registration requirements.

When can Someone See there is a Restraining Order Against Me?

Generally, when any person performs an ordinary background check, a restraining order will not be included. A restraining order will not appear on a typical background search because a restraining order is a civil violation and not a criminal offense. However, it’s important to recognize that a more thorough search of an individual’s past will uncover a restraining order if one exists. This is possible through the Domestic Violence Central Registry.

The DV registry is a database used to record the information of offenders so law enforcement agencies can facilitate enforcement of restraining orders and protect victims from future acts of abuse. A person is placed on the registry immediately following an adjudication by the Court. Meaning, if a Court finds that a person committed an act of domestic violence and issues a restraining order, that person is required to be fingerprinted and his or her name will be entered into both the National and State domestic violence registry. As such, the person’s name can be searched under both registries to determine whether there is a restraining order issued against them. Therefore, if a person performs more than just a simple background check, that person can discover if an individual is subject to a restraining order.

What if I Want to Own a Gun?

If you wish to purchase a firearm, the firearms’ dealer will be able to search your records to determine if you are disqualified from purchasing or owning a gun. In addition, airport security will be able to view your history and may even temporarily detain a person who is subject to a restraining order.

Does a Violation of a Restraining Order go on my Record?

If a person violates a restraining order, the violation will then become available through a common criminal background check. This is because a violation of a protective order is a criminal offense. As mentioned above, a restraining order is a civil matter and therefore, will not appear on a typical background search. However, if a person violates the restraining order, the individual will be charged with criminal contempt and, depending on the circumstances surrounding the violation, will also be charged with another criminal offense such as harassment, stalking, or assault. Accordingly, there will be a record created regarding the charges being brought, the resolution of the matter, and the imposed sentence. Consequently, a violation will create a number of public records associated with the underlying restraining order that can be easily viewed by a person connecting a background check.

Need to Avoid an FRO in New Jersey

If you or someone you love is facing the possibility of a final restraining order or is being accused of committing an act of domestic violence, the best thing you can do to prevent these detrimental effects is to avoid an FRO being issued in the first place. The experienced attorneys at our firm are here to help. For more information and a free case evaluation, please contact us at 908-336-5008 for assistance.

Filed under: Restraining Order Case Issues

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With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Middletown, and New Brunswick, our lawyers can represent you anywhere in New Jersey and are available immediately to assist you at (908)-336-5008

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for a free initial consultation Contact the Tormey Law Firm

Travis J. Tormey is a distinguished member of the legal community and a respected legal resource on domestic violence. He has been featured in a variety of prominent publications and media outlets, including CBS radio, Aol News, the Asbury Park Press,, and the Daily Record. Mr. Tormey has also been recognized as one of the the top criminal attorneys under 40 years of age by the National Trial Lawyers Association and the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Whether representing victims or the wrongly accused, Travis remains passionately committed to protecting the rights of the innocent.

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The Tormey Law Firm LLC handles restraining order cases in Bergen County (Hackensack), Morris County (Morristown), Passaic County (Paterson), Union County (Elizabeth), Hudson County (Jersey City), Middlesex County (New Brunswick), Somerset County (Somerville), Sussex County (Newton), Essex County (Newark), Hunterdon County (Flemington), Mercer County (Trenton), Monmouth County (Freehold), Warren County (Belvidere), Ocean County (Toms River), Burlington County (Mount Holly), and throughout NJ.

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