Jersey City Restraining Order Lawyer in NJ
Handling Domestic Violence Trials in Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City restraining orders happen on a regular basis, as do arrests and charges for domestic violence. When you are subject to a temporary restraining order based on allegations of domestic violence, you will soon have a hearing in Hudson County Family Court, where a judge must decide whether to issue a permanent restraining order against you or to dismiss the TRO. Often, people head to court by themselves or fail to appear at all, and a final restraining order is handed down by the judge. Unbeknownst to the average person, restraining orders in Jersey City and throughout New Jersey can lead to long-term issues with many aspects of your life. Although a restraining order is a civil matter in NJ, it is still a serious issue. If a final restraining order is granted, it is permanent in NJ and never expires. The defendant will be fingerprinted, placed in a statewide database for domestic violence offenders, and is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. This permanent restraining order could effect any professional licenses the defendant has, could impact their ability to travel in and out of the US, and will create immigration issues if the defendant is not a United States citizen.
Have you been served with a temporary restraining order in Hudson County and you need a lawyer? Call us now at (908)-336-5008 for immediate assistance. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.
Can I Avoid a Final Restraining Order in Hudson County?
Absolutely. In order to obtain a final restraining order in New Jersey, a plaintiff (victim) must show that a predicate act of domestic violence occurred, that there is a prior history of domestic violence between the parties, and that a reasonable person in their position would be in fear for their safety. All of these elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. If the alleged victim cannot meet this burden of proof, then the temporary restraining order will be dismissed.
Here is an example of a domestic violence case that we recently resolved in favor of our client. Our restraining order defense lawyers just represented a client in the Hudson County Superior Court in Jersey City, NJ who was facing a final restraining order (FRO). In this case, the plaintiff and defendant dated for a short period (a year or so). They do have a child together. It appears that there were some disagreements about the child which caused the plaintiff to file a temporary restraining order (TRO). She alleged harassment and assault as the predicate acts of domestic violence. However, she also alleged no prior history of domestic violence and did not appear to be in fear for her safety. As a result, the Judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence for the plaintiff to obtain a final restraining order in New Jersey. The case is dismissed and there is nothing to expunge from the defendant’s record. This was a great result for our client and the Tormey Law Firm LLC.
If a Restraining Order is Granted in my Case in Jersey City, What Happens to my Weapons?
Pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, law enforcement officers, when responding to a claim of domestic violence, have the authority to arrest the suspect if the responding officers find probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred. In addition, law enforcement officials also have the authority to seize any weapons, firearms, ammunition, and any firearm purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun. Moreover, if the police are not contacted and thus, do not initially visit the defendant’s home, a court can issue a search warrant. To do that, the Judge must find there is: (1) probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed, (2) probable cause to believe that a seizure of firearms, ammunition, and permits is necessary to protect the life, health or well-being of the victim, and (3) probable cause to believe that the weapons are located in the place to be searched. This authority is granted under the Act in order “to assure victims of domestic violence the maximum protection from abuse the law can provide.” State v. Reyes, 172 N.J. 154 169, (2002).
Accused of Domestic Violence in Hudson County, Can I Get my Firearms and Permits Back?
A person can reclaim their firearms and permits by demonstrating to the court that he or she is fit to possess a weapon. Upon seizing any property, a law enforcement official shall deliver all firearms, ammunition, and permits to the county prosecutor. From there, the prosecutor shall either return the property or petition the court within 45 days of the seizure to object to its return. If the prosecutor decides against returning the weapons, the State must file a motion with the court and submit a copy of the motion upon the owner.
Next, a hearing shall be held and a record made thereof within 45 days of the motion filed by the prosecutor to keep the seized items. At the hearing, the prosecutor will call witnesses and admit exhibits to demonstrate to the court that the owner is no longer fit to possess a weapon. Conversely, the gun owner should do the opposite and seek to call witnesses, experts, and submit any relevant material that shows the court that he or she is perfectly safe to own a firearm. Following the hearing, the court shall order the return of the firearms, ammunition, and any authorization papers to the owner if the judge determines the following:
- the restraining order was dismissed,
- there is insufficient proof to show that a crime was committed,
- there is no longer a domestic violence situation, and
- the owner is not subject to any disqualifications listed in the Firearms Licensing Statute, which is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c.
The Firearms Licensing Statute provides that no handgun purchaser permit or firearms purchaser identification card shall be issued to any person who:
- has been convicted of any crime, or a disorderly persons offense involving an act of domestic violence,
- has a drug dependency problem or is considered a habitual drunkard,
- has been confined to a hospital, mental institution or sanitarium for a mental disorder,
- who suffers from a physical defect or disease which would make it unsafe for him or her to handle a firearms,
- who is the subject of a restraining order, has been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent and the offense involved the unlawful use or possession of a weapon or involved a serious offense such as homicide, rape, kidnapping, robbery, or burglary, or poses a safety risk to the health, safety or well-being of the public.
False Restraining Order Dismissed in Jersey City – No Proof
If you or a loved one needs assistance with a restraining order or representation to obtain your firearms and permits in Jersey City, please contact the Tormey Law Firm for help. Our attorneys are available immediately to assist you at (908) 336-5008, and the initial consultation is always provided free of charge.