Free Initial Consultation · 24 / 7

Recent News

Elizabeth, NJ Bar Owner Arrested for Alleged Domestic Violence

Published: March 25, 2018

Client Reviews

  • Upon reading the success in the reviews of Travis' law firm, I decided to give him a call. That call would be the best, life changing call I ever made. full review

  • After receiving a Restraining Order by an ex girlfriend accusing me of harassment which was false, I contacted the law firm. Chris helped to get the case dismissed as quickly as possible ... full review

  • He assured me that he would aggressively try to get this unsubstantiated TRO dismissed as well as the harassment charge. Sure enough he did just that and on such short notice that it left... full review

    a client

Domestic Violence Lawyer Elizabeth NJThe man who owns Nugent’s Tavern, a historical bar in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was arrested after law enforcement responded to a call about possible domestic violence. Additionally, police reportedly seized dozens of guns, including an assault weapon that has been banned in NJ. According to officials, the owner of the bar, Mr. Santos, got into a verbal altercation with a woman. The two argued because the woman had a broken foot and asked Santos to drive her to the hospital. When Santos reportedly refused, the verbal altercation escalated and got physical. The woman allegedly threw glasses at Santos; he reportedly responded by grabbing the woman and then biting her on the neck. A neighbor heard the commotion tried to enter the residence to intervene. Santos allegedly cocked a firearm and threatened to shoot the neighbor. The neighbor dialed 911 to alert the Elizabeth Police Department, which dispatched cops to the scene. Santos was subsequently arrested and charged with multiple crimes: simple assault, terroristic threats, resisting arrest, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Elizabeth police also seized numerous firearms, which is common when NJ police respond to a complaint about domestic violence. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act calls for responding officers to arrest an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence so long as there is probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred. The police will typically examine the alleged victim for signs of injury, find out whether a warrant exists, determined whether the victim has a restraining order against the suspect, and look for weapons at the site of the alleged domestic violence incident.

Police can also seize guns and other weapons from the domestic violence suspect. If weapons are seized, they will have to be returned to the suspect – unless the prosecutor’s office files a motion with the Family Court. Permanent seizure of the firearms, as well as gun permits and licenses, will require the prosecutor’s office to demonstrate that the owner is unfit to legally possess a weapon.

The Family Court will ultimately return seized weapons if the owner is not disqualified from legally owning a weapon. The Family Judge will consider several factors:

  • Whether the owner has a criminal record.
  • The owner’s mental and physical health.
  • Whether the suspect is a habitual drinker or suffers from substance abuse issues.
  • Whether the suspect is the subject of a restraining order.
  • Whether the suspect presents a risk to the public.

Union County Aggravated Assault Charges

If the Court rules against the domestic violence suspect, the firearms will not be returned. Instead, they can be sold or potentially transferred from the suspect to someone who is permitted to own the weapons.

Filed under: Case Study, Weapons Offenses

Visit Our Offices

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

Hackensack / Bergen County

254 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

  • 201-556-1570
  • 201-556-1572
Hackensack Office

Morristown / Morris County

60 Washington St Suite 200A,
Morristown, NJ 07960

  • 908-336-5008
  • 201-556-1572
Morristown Office

Newark / Essex County

1 Gateway Center Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

  • 201-654-3464
  • 201-556-1572
Newark Office

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.

Areas we serve

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.

Tell us how we can help

Contacting our office does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not share any confidential information until such a relationship has been established.