Haddonfield Attorney for Defense Against Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Orders

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    The State of New Jersey has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. This allows the courts to take action against licensed gun-owning individuals even before they cause harm to themselves or others, merely on suspicion that they might in the near future. The way that this occurs is through a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order (TERPO).

    If a family member, household member, or law enforcement official petitions the court for a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order, the court may give the government the right to seize the respondent’s firearms pending a hearing. You may not be able to prevent against this initial action against you, but you will have your day in court to defend against these temporary measures becoming permanent.

    When that day comes, you will want seasoned, dedicated legal help on your side. The Haddonfield attorneys for defense against a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order at Lombardo Law Group, LLC have the experience and resources to help you get justice. To get a free case assessment, call our offices at (609) 445-4300 today.

    Effects of a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order in Haddonfield

    The Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order comes from a package of legislation passed by the State of New Jersey in 2018. The goal of these measures was to implement so-called “red-flag” provisions that would allow individuals to take action to prevent foreseeable harm involving firearms.

    A TERPO is a court order that allows the government to seize firearms from the possession of individuals that the court believes may cause imminent harm to themselves or their loved ones, either intentionally or accidentally. TERPOs are temporary measures that only have effect until a court hearing on more permanent measures is held. Therefore, while the person named in the TERPO (the “respondent”) may have the ability to defend themselves in the subsequent hearing, they will likely not be able to argue their own side of the case until after the TERPO is already in effect. Once you get that chance, you can benefit from the help of one of our Haddonfield attorneys for defense against Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

    Who Can File a TERPO Against You in Haddonfield, NJ?

    To determine whether to order a TERPO, a New Jersey magistrate judge must evaluate the official petition that calls for it. A TERPO petition may be filed directly by only two categories of parties: a respondent’s family or household member or a member of law enforcement. While a Haddonfield attorney for filing a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order may assist, they may not be the party that actually does the filing of the TERPO.

    However, other parties may request that law enforcement file a petition even if they are not family or household members. Common parties that may request that a police officer file a TERPO petition include mental health care professionals, social workers, employers, neighbors, and friends. If the TERPO is filed by a member of law enforcement, you may not be able to ascertain who requested the petition until your later court date.

    Criteria Required to Enforce a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order in Haddonfield

    If a person petitions for a TERPO, they must provide their reasoning for their petition as well as submit to an interview where they will be asked about certain determining criteria. The court will use the information from the petition and the interview to render their final decision about whether the order should be granted.

    The following list includes the critical areas that New Jersey courts look at when considering a TERPO petition.

    • Respondent’s history with TERPOs and their level of compliance
    • Respondent’s history with permanent protective orders (ERPOs) and their level of compliance
    • Any current or past restraining orders against the respondent and their level of compliance
    • Respondent’s criminal history, with specific focus on domestic violence, firearms violations, and stalking
    • Respondent’s history of making threats of violence or use of force against others
    • Respondent’s history of making threats of self-harm
    • Respondent’s history of animal cruelty
    • Any prior reckless conduct involving firearms or recent purchase of a firearm
    • Mental health disorder diagnosis
    • Current mental health treatment status
    • Respondent’s history of involuntary commitment to a psychiatric treatment facility
    • Failure to comply with advised mental health treatment
    • Respondent’s history of substance abuse issues

    Effects of a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order

    If a court grants the TERPO petition against you, they will order that you surrender your firearms, ammunition, and firearms license. To enforce this order, the court may issue a search warrant against you so that law enforcement can look for undisclosed firearms that would violate the TERPO.

    As implied by the name, however, the TERPO is not permanent. All TERPOs must be followed by a subsequent hearing to determine whether a final Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) should be ordered. This is where you will have the chance to plead your case. You are not required to be at the ERPO hearing, and you may choose to have your Haddonfield attorney for defense against Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Orders represent you in your absence.

    If the court in your ERPO hearing decides against you, you have the option to appeal the decision to the Superior Court of New Jersey. If your appeal fails, you can file another appeal to the Appellate Court. You can also petition the court to vacate an older ERPO against you if the circumstances that led to the original order have changed and your possession of firearms no longer presents a significant danger. You have options for protecting your rights and getting fair treatment in the New Jersey judicial system, and our Haddonfield TERPO defense lawyers want to help you achieve those goals.

    Penalties for Violating a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order

    If a respondent violates a TERPO or ERPO in New Jersey, they may face charges of criminal contempt, similar to those for violating a restraining order. This fourth-degree crime carries potential a potential sentence of up to 18 months jail time and a fine of up to $10,000. Each violation is its own offense, meaning that if you improperly possess two firearms while you are the subject of an Extreme Risk Protection Order, you may be guilty of two separate charges of criminal contempt, potentially doubling the penalties available.

    Talk to Our Haddonfield Attorneys About Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order Defense Today

    TERPOs and ERPOs are serious. You deserve serious legal help to match. To hear about the services that Lombardo Law Group, LLC can provide, call our Haddonfield attorneys for defense against Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Orders today at (609) 445-4300.

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