New Jersey Extreme Risk Protective Order Lawyer
Highly Experienced Firearms Attorney Helps Clients Who Have Been Served with an Extreme Risk Protective Order in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Throughout New Jersey
An Extreme Risk Protective Order is commonly referred to as New Jersey’s “Red Flag “ law. It is an attempt by the New Jersey legislature to take your firearms and your right to bear arms based upon unsupported hearsay statements of individuals regardless of whether any unlawful act was committed. If you have had an Extreme Risk Protective Order placed upon you, you should challenge it as there are wide-ranging consequences that come with the imposition of this order upon you.
New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the entire country. In addition, New Jersey treats domestic violence with the utmost seriousness. This combination of policies has led the state of New Jersey to pass the Extreme Risk Protective Order Act in 2018. The ERPO Act provides a person a process for applying for an Extreme Risk Protective Order (“ERPO”) against a person who poses a danger of inflicting bodily injury to themselves or others by possessing or purchasing a firearm. An ERPO prohibits the subject of the order from possessing or purchasing a firearm or ammunition, or from holding a firearms purchaser card, handgun purchaser’s permit, or permit to carry a handgun.
Had An Extreme Risk Protective Order Placed Upon You And Have Questions? I Can Help, Tell Me What Happened.
If you’ve had someone take out an ERPO against you, your rights can be seriously limited. You need an experienced defense attorney like myself, Attorney John B. Brennan, to help defend your rights. I have over 30 years of experience in New Jersey’s legal system, many of which were spent serving as a prosecutor where I specialized in firearms cases. As a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, I have the background and skill to advocate for your interests when you are facing the possibility of having an ERPO issued against you.
If you’ve been notified that a petition has been filed against you, you have very limited time to act. Contact my office today for a consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about how I may be able to help.
The Process of Issuing an Extreme Risk Protective Order
The ERPO Act establishes a process for the issuance of an ERPO modeled on the process of issuing a domestic violence restraining order in New Jersey. A complaint for an ERPO may be filed by a family member or household member of the person whom the order is being taken out against, or by a law enforcement officer or prosecutor. The process of issuing an ERPO begins with filing a petition with the court where the person subject to the order resides. The petition must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit setting forth facts that establish the extreme risk posed by the person’s continued access to firearms. The petition must also provide the type and location of any weapons owned or possessed by the individual.
A court will review the petition, and if the judge finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that an order is necessary for protection, the court will issue a Temporary Extreme Risk Protective Order. The court must consider factors such as:
- Whether there is a history of threats or acts of violence towards self or others
- Whether a temporary or final restraining order has previously been issued against the person
- The individual’s arrest record
- Whether there is a history of alcohol/drug abuse and recovery from such abuse
- How recently any firearms or ammunition were acquired
- Whether the individual recklessly used, displayed, or brandished a firearm
- Whether the individual has previously been subject to an ERPO or has previously violated an ERPO
- Whether the individual has a history of involuntary commitment or treatment for a psychiatric disability, or has received or currently receives mental health treatment (or has failed to comply with mental health treatment), or has received a diagnosis of a mental health disorder
Once a TERPO issues, the court will order you to surrender your firearms, ammunition, and firearms licenses; law enforcement may apply for a search warrant to seize your property, if necessary. The court will schedule, within 10 days, a hearing to decide whether to issue a Final Extreme Risk Protective Order. You have the right to be present at the hearing and present a defense, but if the court again finds that you pose a significant danger of bodily injury to yourself or to others, the court will issue a FERPO.
The Law Office of John B. Brennan Will Fight to Protect Your Rights When You Are Facing an Extreme Risk Protective Order
You may be served notice of an ERPO seemingly out of the blue, with law enforcement showing up at your door to seize your firearms and licenses. Fortunately, you have rights and the opportunity to defend your ability to own and possess firearms. When you choose me to help you with your ERPO case, you can trust that I will do what it takes to help you secure a favorable outcome at your ERPO hearing, including challenging the evidence against and proving that you do not pose a risk to yourself or to others. If you’ve already had a final ERPO issued against you, I can also help you work to have the order vacated by the court so that you get your property and your rights back.
Contact The Law Office of John B. Brennan to Schedule a Free Consultation to Go Over Your Legal Rights and Options
If you have been served with an Extreme Risk Protective Order in New Jersey, you need experienced, aggressive legal representation to help protect your rights and interests. Schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of John B. Brennan to discuss how I may be able to help you resolve your situation when you’ve been subject to an ERPO.
Frequently Asked Questions about Extreme Risk Protective Orders in New Jersey
The process of issuing an ERPO begins with the court issuing a Temporary Extreme Risk Protective Order upon the filing of a petition whose allegations set forth a reasonable basis for the court to find that a temporary order is necessary for your or the public’s protection. This order is issued in your absence. The Court will then notify you of the issuance of the temporary order and is required to schedule a hearing within 10 days to determine whether it should issue a final, permanent order. This is the hearing that you need to appear at to challenge the issuance of the final order.
Yes. The court can decide to vacate an ERPO at the request of the individual that petitioned for the order after finding, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the individual subject to the order no longer poses a significant risk of bodily injury to themselves or others by having ownership, custody, or control of firearms. This is a difficult scenario as once it is put on you the court is going to be reluctant to remove it. The best course is to challenge the imposition of the order at the outset.