Domestic Violence Weapons Seizure & Forfeiture

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If your firearms, firearms purchaser identification card (FPIC), or any other weapons were seized because of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and the State of New Jersey is filing forfeiture actions to keep them, you need a New Jersey criminal defense attorney who has extensive skill and experience successfully handling weapons forfeiture actions in the State of New Jersey.

Vando Cardoso, Esq. was a New Jersey weapons forfeiture prosecutor for the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office (BCPO). He was responsible for all New Jersey firearms forfeiture actions filed by the BCPO on behalf of the State of New Jersey. He successfully filed, litigated, and won countless domestic violence weapons seizure actions in Superior Court. His extensive skill, experience, and unique insight into how the State of New Jersey handles these matters helps his clients establish the most effective strategies in domestic violence and weapons forfeiture proceedings.

With an office conveniently located in North Arlington, our firm regularly appears in courts across New Jersey for our clients. If you find yourself in a position where the State of New Jersey is trying to take away your weapons, you deserve a highly skilled and experience domestic violence criminal attorney who will aggressively fight for your rights and retrieve what is yours. For more information, CONTACT OUR OFFICE TODAY at (973) 659-4656. Our initial consultation is always free.


Under the New Jersey criminal code, whenever there is an allegation of domestic violence and the police respond, the police must make an arrest if they determine that there is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence occurred.  In addition to an arrest, they must also follow strict guidelines regarding weapons in domestic violence cases.  These guidelines are outlined here. But to briefly sum up these guidelines, police must seize any and all weapons that they believe would pose a risk of serious bodily injury to a victim. If the weapon is in the form of a firearm, they must also seize the firearms purchaser identification card from the accused.  The New Jersey statute subsection that addresses those procedures involving seizure of weapons can be found in N.J.S. 2C:25-21d entitled "Seizure of weapons for safekeeping."

Portrait of beaten young woman with bruise under eye indoors in abandoned building.
A young beautiful african american female and a handsom young white italian male pose showing domestic violence in this dark photo shoot against black


In addition to seizure of weapons during a domestic violence incident, New Jersey law also requires that a person who is subject to a temporary or final restraining order surrender any and all weapons within their possession.  This requirement is outlined under N.J.S. 2C:25-26 and 2C:25-28j of the New Jersey Criminal Code entitled “Seizure of a Weapon Pursuant to Court Order." Again, if the weapon is a firearm, the police must also seize the firearms purchaser identification card. 


Once all firearms, firearms purchaser identification card, and any other weapons are seized pursuant to a domestic violence incident as described above, the police must notify the prosecutor's office.  In some jurisdictions, the local police department retains possession of the weapons. In other jurisdictions, the police department transfers all weapons, firearms, and firearms purchaser identification cards to the local Prosecutor's Office.


After the Prosecutor's Office is notified of the weapon's seizure, they must decide whether they will file for forfeiture or return the weapons, licenses, and permits within 45 days to the owner.  If the Prosecutor's Office elects to file for forfeiture, then the matter is brought before the Superior Court.  At this time, the Court must decide whether to grant or deny the application for forfeiture of the firearms, weapons, and any related permits. If the Court decides to grant the application, then the accused is barred from owning, possessing, or purchasing any firearms within the state of New Jersey. This is an important decision because this effects the individual's exposure to any future criminal liability if they disregard the Court's decision.


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592 Ridge Road, Suite 2, North Arlington,
New Jersey 07031, United States

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