Did the cops take your guns or ammo? How can you get your guns back?
If you have been served with a Risk Protection Order and law enforcement is trying to take your firearms and ammunition away you need to call me, Attorney Michael Kelley, right away.
I am a gun owner and a member of the NRA. I will fight for your right to continue to own and possess your firearms and ammunition. Do not simply surrender and let them take your guns away. Even though this law only became effective in March of 2018, I have been involved in defending several Risk Protection Order cases. I have been a criminal defense attorney for over twenty (20) years and have much experience fighting against law enforcement.
The new law, Florida Statute 790.401, also known as the “red flag law”, establishes the procedures a Court and law enforcement must follow to create a Risk Protection Order. F.S. 790.401(7)(a) even allows a Court to order your guns and ammunition be seized before you get to object to a Judge. This is known as a Temporary Ex Parte Risk Protection Order. Yes, the police can come to your house and seize your guns and ammunition without any prior notice to you. The police can come any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. Law enforcement in Brevard County has been very aggressive in seeking Risk Protection Orders.
If the police serve you with a Risk Protection Order do not talk to the police without a lawyer. Any statements you make can be used against you in the Risk Protection Order hearing. Also, the statements can be used against you in other criminal or civil proceedings. The police may tell you that “you are not going to be arrested we just want your guns and ammunition” or that, “you are not in any trouble”. The police are allowed to lie to you so they may not be telling you the entire truth. My advice is keep your mouth shut and call a lawyer.
After you are served with a Risk Protection Order you have a right to fight back against the Risk Protection Order at a hearing in front of a Judge. The hearing must be held within fourteen (14) days of the Risk Protection Order being issued. You should have a Brevard County lawyer, who is experienced in handling Rick Protection Order hearings, present to represent you. Law enforcement will have their lawyer present at the hearing.
At the Risk Protection Order hearing the Judge will decide if law enforcement can keep your guns, ammunition and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm that you may have. Law Enforcement will present evidence at the hearing and you have the right to contest that evidence and present your own evidence. At the end of the Risk Protection Order hearing the Judge can grant the Petition for Risk Protection Order or dismiss the Petition.
If the Judge dismisses the Petition law enforcement must return your guns, ammunition, and license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. If the Judge grants the Petition the police will keep your firearms, ammunition, and license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. The Court will also order that you not have in your possession or control, or purchase or receive, a firearm or ammunition. The Court may also order that you submit to a mental health evaluation or a chemical dependency evaluation.
The Court can issue a Risk Protection Order for any period it deems appropriate but not exceeding twelve (12) months. However, the twelve (12) month period can be extended, after a hearing, for additional twelve (12) month periods, over and over, so you may never get your guns back.
Even if you have had a Risk Protection Order entered against you, you can request a hearing to vacate the Risk Protection Order. At this hearing to vacate the Risk Protection Order you would have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that you do not pose a significant danger of causing injury to yourself or others.
If you are dealing with a Risk Protection Order you should call me, Michael Kelley, partner at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley LLC as soon as possible. Because this is a new law not many attorneys have experience in fighting Risk Protection Orders. We do! Call today for a free consultation. Phones are answered 24/7. 321-631-0506 offices in Cocoa and Melbourne.