Can An Accusation Of Domestic Violence Affect Other Rights

Can an accusation of domestic violence affect other rights?

Two weeks ago, we touched on a prickly subject for most people in New Jersey: domestic violence. Conversations about this subject oftentimes need to walk a fine line between being sensitive to victims and not assuming that all accusations of abuse are true. That’s because, as our Woodland Park readers may have figured out from our April 17th post, even an accusation of domestic violence can seriously impact a person’s rights, including their parental rights.

This week, we’d like to continue the conversation by looking at a question some people in New Jersey may be asking: can an accusation of domestic violence affect other rights? If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you know that the answer is yes. By looking at a recent appeals court case, we can see how.

The case we are referring to is that of a Monmouth County man who recently appealed a Superior Court judge’s decision that denied him the right to buy a handgun. According to the ruling, he was denied the right to purchase a firearm because he had been accused of domestic violence in 1998. Although he was never convicted of the crime, the judge explained that his past history did “indicate a public safety concern.”

Recently, a three-judge panel upheld the Superior Court’s decision, once again denying the man the right to own a firearm. The rationale behind this was the same as it had been previously: the court believed the man had “the potential for violent reaction.”

As you know now from looking at this case, even an allegation of abuse can have the same damaging effect that a conviction can have. Because of New Jersey’s strict gun control laws, a conviction is not necessary in order to deny someone the right to own a gun. This is why facing domestic violence claims are problematic here in our state. Even a false accusation can wreak havoc on a person’s life by denying them certain constitutional rights and requiring extensive help from a lawyer at times.


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