Forfeiture of Weapons in Restraining Order Cases New Jersey
Restraining Order Lawyers with offices in Newark, NJ
When a temporary restraining order (TRO) is filed in NJ, the police will seize any and all weapons that the defendant has in their possession and their home. If a final restraining order (FRO) is ultimately issued, then the defendant will be prohibited from possessing those weapons permanently. And, even if the TRO is dropped or dismissed by the Judge, the defendant does not automatically get his or her weapons back. That is up to the County prosecutor’s office in the county in which the restraining order was filed.
If you or a loved one is a facing a permanent restraining order in NJ, the Tormey Law Firm can help. Our experienced restraining order defense lawyers have literally handled hundreds of restraining order cases in almost every county in the State of NJ with great results including in Clifton, Wayne, Passaic City, and Little Falls. It is imperative that you protect your rights and avoid this black mark on your permanent record.
In fact, one of the attorneys at the firm, John Graves, used to work for the firearms forfeiture unit in the Morris County Prosecutor’s office. Now, he represents our clients who are fighting a weapons forfeiture proceeding in New Jersey.
Here is a review from one of our many satisfied domestic violence, restraining order clients:
“Breath of fresh air”
Posted by anonymous
“Chris was respectful, courteous, well spoken and very professional. He slowly explained the entire process, prepped me patiently before the court hearing and it looked like he genuinely cared about his work. Afterwards he stuck around to answer any questions I may have. I highly recommend Chris if you want a lawyer you feel like you can trust and not just take your money. He made the experience very personable and even gave me his direct cell phone. If I ever need another lawyer in NJ I will call Chris for sure!”
Contact our offices anytime for immediate assistance at (908)-336-5008. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.
Mandatory Weapons Forfeiture in NJ Restraining Order Cases
If a temporary restraining order (TRO) has been filed against you, you are not allowed to own or possess firearms according to NJ law. As a result, you must turn over all firearms to law enforcement once you have been served with the restraining order. Typically, when the police come to your residence to serve the restraining order and have you sign for it, they will also seize any weapons you have in the home. We have even had cases where our clients are charged criminally with possession of illegal ammunition (more than 10 rounds in ammunition) and possession of illegal assault weapons for items they have in their home that are illegal under New Jersey gun laws.
Now, if the temporary restraining order (TRO) becomes a permanent or final restraining order (FRO), then you are prohibited from possessing firearms permanently (or until the FRO is vacated or dismissed in the future). Any weapons that were seized with be forfeited unless you can secure a legal transfer and sale with the County prosecutor’s office. Essentially, a weapons surrender provision is included in a temporary or final restraining order. The defendant must surrender any firearms or other weapons he or she possesses under such a provision. With this type of mechanism, the state works to ensure that the defendant is less likely to harm others.
The Restraining Order was Dismissed, do I get my guns back?
One question that a lot of people accused of domestic violence in New Jersey eventually ask is: Is it possible for me to get my guns back? If the temporary restraining order (TRO) is dismissed (either voluntarily or after a trial in court), it does not mean that you automatically get your firearms returned to you. The County prosecutor’s office may still attempt to have your firearms forfeited. As a result, it is imperative that you contact an experienced restraining order lawyer not only to make sure the TRO is dismissed but also to fight for your rights to possess firearms and deal with the State of NJ on that issue. What happens in these scenarios usually depends on whether you have a skilled restraining order attorney on your side, fighting for your rights, and helping you to get your weapons returned.
If you were arrested on a domestic violence charge or if you had a restraining order filed against you on the basis of a domestic violence allegation, and the state confiscated your firearms and other weapons, this seizure may be temporary or permanent. You should be aware that the state may, at a later date, file a forfeiture action in order to permanently deprive you of your weapons. In fact, the county prosecutor’s office must file a weapons forfeiture action within 45 days of the initial seizure or return the weapons to you. If the prosecutor’s office refuses to return your weapons to you, there will be a firearms forfeiture hearing at the Superior Court in the County in which your restraining order was issued. You can represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you. The State will try to convince the Judge that you are a danger and are not an appropriate candidate to own or possess weapons. Alternatively, you or your attorney will try and convince the Judge that you are a suitable candidate to have your weapons returned to you. The plaintiff in your restraining order matter can testify and offer their input as to any allegations of domestic violence that were made. Then, the Judge will make a ruling and decide if your permits and weapons are forfeited or they should be returned to you.
If the judge ultimately decides that the weapons seized by law enforcement should be permanently handed over to the state, it won’t just affect your right to own these particular weapons. In fact, you will be prohibited from purchasing, owning, or possessing any type of firearm in New Jersey going forward. This is why having an experienced weapons forfeiture lawyer is so important if you find yourself in this predicament.
They took my guns – New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorneys
For additional information, contact our restraining order lawyers for a free initial consultation at (908)-336-5008.