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Motion for Return of Firearm (with sample motion)


Understanding the Motion for Return of Firearm

If a law enforcement officer has seized your firearm, you need to act quickly to ensure its return. Filing a Motion for Return of Firearm is a crucial step. This motion is a formal request to the court to return your firearm, and it must be done within a specific timeframe to avoid the risk of your firearm being destroyed by the agency.

What is a Motion for Return of Firearm? A Motion for Return of Firearm is a legal request filed with the court to reclaim a firearm seized by law enforcement. This motion must be filed promptly to prevent the firearm from being destroyed or permanently held by the agency.

Why File a Motion for Return of Firearm?

Filing this motion is essential to reclaim your property. It demonstrates your legal right to possess the firearm and ensures that the law enforcement agency cannot dispose of it without a court order. This process is especially important if no criminal charges were filed or if the firearm was seized without any breach of the peace. Acting quickly is crucial, as there are specific legal deadlines that must be met to avoid permanent loss of your firearm.

According to Section 933.14(3), Florida Statutes, if a law enforcement agency in Florida seizes a firearm, the owner must file a written claim within 60 days of the seizure. This claim should be made to the agency that has the firearm and should include:

  • Police Report: Attach any police report referencing the seizure.
  • Seizure Details: List the time, date, and location from where the items were seized.
  • Documentation: Include any other document that describes the seizure.

If the firearm was seized in a case where no arrest was made or no case was established in the court system, the owner can seek the return of the firearm by filing a sworn “Petition for Return of the Firearm” with the clerk of court. This is particularly relevant in Hillsborough County, FL, but similar procedures apply across the state.

In situations where the firearm was taken in connection with an injunction for protection from domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or stalking, different procedures apply. Similarly, different steps are needed for transferring firearms to a third party after a risk protection order is filed.

It’s important to note that the law enforcement agency might refuse to release the firearm without a court order. The agency might cite Section 933.14(3), Florida Statutes, which states: “No pistol or firearm taken by any officer with a search warrant or without a search warrant upon a view by the officer of a breach of the peace shall be returned except pursuant to an order of a trial court judge.”

Although a court order should not be necessary when no breach of the peace occurred and the firearm was seized without any legal authority, a court order will expedite the release of the firearm. Therefore, filing a motion for the return of the firearm is considered a claim for the firearm that will prevent it from being destroyed while arrangements are being made for it to be picked up.

Legal documents related to firearm return motion

For more details on firearm-related legal issues, visit our pages on Concealed Carry Laws and Strategic Defense for Weapon-Involved Offenses. If you have questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Orlando Gun Crime Lawyers at Leppard Law for personalized legal advice.

Sample Motion for Return of Firearm as Personal Property Template

At Leppard Law: Criminal Defense Attorneys, we understand the importance of protecting your rights and ensuring the return of your personal property. If law enforcement has seized your firearm during an arrest, and you believe it should be returned to you, our experienced attorneys can help. Below is a sample template for a Motion for Return of Personal Property that can be used in Florida courts.

IN THE CIRCUIT/COUNTY COURT OF THE (INSERT CIRCUIT NUMBER)  CIRCUIT JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR INSERT COUNTY NAME COUNTY, FLORIDA

MOTION FOR RETURN OF PERSONAL PROPERTY (FIREARM)

1.  Defendant {{fullname}} was arrested on DATE OF ARREST in CITY and charged with CHARGES. During the arrest, law enforcement seized a firearm from «salutation» LAST NAME, and they continue to hold it.

2.  A motion for return of personal property is facially sufficient if it:

    a) Specifically describes the property at issue,

    b) States that the property belongs to the person filing the motion,

    c) States that the property was not obtained through criminal activity, and

    d) States that the property is not being held as evidence.

    Burch v. State, 194 So. 3d 1089, 1090 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016). The court cannot deny a facially sufficient motion without holding an evidentiary hearing or attaching portions of the record refuting the motion's allegations. Peterson v. State, 45 Fla. L. Weekly D96b (Fla. 5th DCA Jan. 10, 2020).

3.  The firearm belongs to «salutation» LAST NAME and was not obtained through criminal activity. Furthermore, since «salutation» LAST NAME is only charged with CHARGES, the firearm is not being held as evidence.

WHEREFORE, «salutation» LAST NAME respectfully moves this Honorable Court to order the law enforcement agency holding the firearm to return it to «salutation» LAST NAME.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that on DATE, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of Court and electronically served a true and correct copy via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal to the Office of the State Attorney and LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.

If you need assistance with filing a Motion for Return of Personal Property or have any other criminal defense needs, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Our skilled attorneys are here to help protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

Steps to File a Motion for Return of Firearm

To successfully file a Motion for Return of Firearm, you need to follow specific steps. These steps include gathering necessary documentation, filing the petition, and attending a court hearing.

What is a Motion for Return of Firearm? A Motion for Return of Firearm is a legal request filed with the court to reclaim a firearm seized by law enforcement. This motion must be filed promptly to prevent the firearm from being destroyed or permanently held by the agency.

Gathering Necessary Documentation

Before filing the motion, collect all relevant documents such as the police report, any court orders, and proof of ownership. These documents will support your claim and provide the court with the information needed to make a decision.

  • Police Report: Attach any police report referencing the seizure.
  • Seizure Details: List the time, date, and location from where the items were seized.
  • Documentation: Include any other document that describes the seizure.

Why is documentation important? Documentation is crucial because it provides evidence of ownership and details about the seizure, helping to support your claim in court.

Filing the Petition

Once you have gathered all necessary documentation, the next step is to file the petition with the court. The Petition for Return of Firearm must include specific details about the firearm and the circumstances of its seizure.

  • Identify the Firearm: Clearly describe the firearm, including make, model, and serial number.
  • Ownership Statement: State that the firearm is your personal property and was not involved in any criminal activity.
  • Legal Compliance: Confirm that you are legally permitted to own a firearm under state and federal laws.
  • Agency Report: Attach a copy of the agency report that describes the seizure event.

To streamline this process, you may want to consult with an Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer who can provide guidance and ensure that your petition is comprehensive and accurate.

Legal documents related to firearm return motion

Attending the Court Hearing

After filing the petition, you will be required to attend a court hearing. This hearing is your opportunity to present your case and request the return of your firearm. Be prepared to provide evidence and answer any questions the judge may have.

  • Present Evidence: Bring all gathered documentation and be ready to present it to the judge.
  • Answer Questions: Be prepared to answer any questions the judge may have about the seizure and your eligibility to possess a firearm.
  • Legal Representation: Consider having an attorney from Leppard Law present to advocate on your behalf.

What to expect at the court hearing? During the hearing, the judge will review your petition and supporting documents, consider the legality of the seizure, and determine if you meet all legal requirements for the firearm’s return.

Additional Considerations

It’s important to note that different procedures may apply depending on the circumstances surrounding the seizure of your firearm. For example, if the firearm was seized in connection with an injunction for protection from domestic violence, different steps may be required. Similarly, if the firearm was taken as part of a risk protection order, you may need to follow additional procedures for transferring the firearm to a third party.

In some cases, the law enforcement agency might refuse to release the firearm without a court order, citing Section 933.14(3), Florida Statutes. This statute states: “No pistol or firearm taken by any officer with a search warrant or without a search warrant upon a view by the officer of a breach of the peace shall be returned except pursuant to an order of a trial court judge.”

If you find yourself in this situation, filing a motion for the return of the firearm can expedite the release process. This motion serves as a formal claim for the firearm, preventing it from being destroyed while arrangements are made for its return.

Contact Leppard Law for Assistance

Filing a Motion for Return of Firearm can be a complex process, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. The experienced attorneys at Leppard Law are here to help. We understand the intricacies of firearm laws and can provide the legal support you need to reclaim your property. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

For more information on firearm-related legal issues, visit our pages on Improper Exhibition of a Firearm and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. If you have any questions or need personalized legal advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of dedicated professionals at Leppard Law.

Filing the Petition for Return of Firearm

Once you have gathered all necessary documentation, the next step is to file the petition with the court. The Petition for Return of Firearm must include specific details about the firearm and the circumstances of its seizure. This petition is your formal request to the court, and it must be thorough and precise to ensure a successful outcome.

Details to Include in the Petition

Your petition should clearly identify the firearm, state that it is your personal property, and confirm that it was not involved in any criminal activity. Additionally, you must assert that you are legally permitted to own a firearm under state and federal laws. Attach a copy of the agency report that describes the seizure event to strengthen your petition.

  • Identify the Firearm: Include make, model, and serial number.
  • Ownership Statement: Assert that the firearm is your personal property.
  • No Criminal Activity: Confirm the firearm was not involved in any criminal activity.
  • Legal Compliance: State that you are legally allowed to own a firearm.
  • Attach Documentation: Include the police report and any other relevant documents.

In Hillsborough County, for instance, if the firearm was seized without an arrest or court case, you can seek its return under Section 933.14(3), Florida Statutes. This statute requires you to file a sworn petition with the clerk of court.

What is a Petition for Return of Firearm? A Petition for Return of Firearm is a formal request filed with the court to reclaim a firearm seized by law enforcement. The petition must include specific details about the firearm and the circumstances of its seizure.

If your firearm was taken in connection with a protection injunction (e.g., domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or stalking), different procedures apply. These special circumstances require additional steps to ensure compliance with the law.

Special Circumstances

If your firearm was seized due to a risk protection order or an injunction for protection from various forms of violence, you need to follow different procedures. The motion should be filed with the court that heard the original motion or is assigned for modifications of the order of protection. This ensures that the court handling your case is fully aware of the circumstances and can make an informed decision.

For example, if the firearm was seized because of a risk protection order or an injunction for protection from domestic violence, then the motion should be filed with the court that heard the motion or is assigned for modifications of the order of protection. You can find more about the specific procedures for these cases on our strategic defense for weapon-involved offenses page.

It’s also worth noting that if there is no related court case or assigned judge, the clerk’s office will assign petitions for the return of a firearm to the appropriate division, such as the First Appearance or Emergency Criminal Division. This ensures that the petition is handled efficiently and by the correct judicial authority.

Filing the Petition

When filing your petition, make sure it is detailed and includes all necessary information. The petition should specify whether the firearm was seized by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Tampa Police Department, the Florida Highway Patrol, or another agency. This information is critical as it helps the court understand the context of the seizure and who currently holds the firearm.

What happens if the firearm is not picked up? If you do not file a written claim for the firearm within 60 days of the seizure, the firearm may be destroyed by the agency. Therefore, it’s crucial to act quickly and ensure the claim is made in writing.

Ensure that your petition also addresses any potential issues that might arise if you are on probation. Some law enforcement agencies may refuse to release a firearm to a person on probation, even if it’s for a misdemeanor that is not related to domestic violence. In such cases, you need to make a written claim for the firearm, specifying that another person should be allowed to pick it up.

If you are unsure about any part of the process or need assistance, consider consulting with an Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer. The experienced attorneys at Leppard Law are well-versed in firearm laws and can provide the legal support you need to reclaim your property.

Consult with an Attorney

Filing a Petition for Return of Firearm can be complex, especially if there are special circumstances or if you are on probation. Consulting with an attorney can help you navigate this process smoothly. The attorneys at Leppard Law have extensive experience in handling firearm-related cases and can guide you through each step, ensuring that your petition is comprehensive and accurate.

If you need assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111. Our team is here to help you reclaim your firearm and protect your rights.

 

Attending the Court Hearing

After filing the petition for the return of your firearm, the next crucial step is attending the court hearing. This hearing is your opportunity to present your case and provide evidence supporting your claim. It’s essential to be well-prepared, as this will significantly impact the judge’s decision regarding the return of your firearm.

What to Expect at the Hearing

During the court hearing, the judge will review your petition and the accompanying documents. They will assess whether the firearm was lawfully seized and if you meet all legal requirements for its return. Here’s what typically happens during the hearing:

  • Presentation of Evidence: You will need to present all relevant documentation, including the police report, proof of ownership, and any other supporting documents.
  • Questioning: The judge may ask questions about the circumstances surrounding the seizure of your firearm. Be prepared to answer questions clearly and concisely.
  • Legal Arguments: Your attorney will make legal arguments to support your petition, emphasizing your legal right to reclaim your firearm.
  • Judge’s Decision: If the judge is satisfied with your evidence and arguments, they will issue an order for the return of your firearm.

It’s important to note that the judge’s decision will be based on the information presented during the hearing. Therefore, thorough preparation and effective presentation are key to a successful outcome.

What is a Court Hearing for Return of Firearm? A court hearing for the return of a firearm is a legal proceeding where a judge reviews a petition and supporting evidence to determine if a seized firearm should be returned to its owner.

If the firearm was seized in connection with a risk protection order or an injunction for protection from domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or stalking, the process might be more complex. In these cases, the court will take additional factors into account to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Preparing for the Hearing

Preparation is key to a successful court hearing. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you are fully prepared:

  • Review Your Petition: Make sure your petition is complete and includes all necessary details about the firearm and the circumstances of its seizure.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant documents, such as the police report, proof of ownership, and any other supporting evidence.
  • Practice Your Testimony: Be prepared to clearly and concisely explain the circumstances of the seizure and why you are entitled to the return of your firearm.
  • Consult with Your Attorney: Work closely with your attorney to develop a strong legal argument and prepare for any questions the judge may ask.

In some cases, the law enforcement agency may refuse to release the firearm without a court order, even if no breach of the peace occurred. In such instances, having a court order can expedite the release process.

What happens if the firearm is not picked up? If you do not file a written claim for the firearm within 60 days of the seizure, the firearm may be destroyed by the agency. Therefore, it’s crucial to act quickly and ensure the claim is made in writing.

If you are on probation, you may face additional challenges in reclaiming your firearm. Some law enforcement agencies may refuse to release a firearm to a person on probation, even if it’s for a misdemeanor that is not related to domestic violence. In such cases, you need to make a written claim for the firearm, specifying that another person should be allowed to pick it up.

Court Hearing for Return of Firearm

It’s also important to follow the specific procedures required if your firearm was seized in connection with an injunction for protection from domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or stalking. These procedures are designed to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and protect the rights of all parties involved.

Consulting with an Attorney

Attending a court hearing for the return of your firearm can be a complex and challenging process. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you navigate this process smoothly and increase your chances of a successful outcome. The attorneys at Leppard Law have extensive experience in handling firearm-related cases and can provide the legal support you need.

Our team of dedicated attorneys will work closely with you to develop a strong legal argument, gather all necessary evidence, and prepare you for the court hearing. We understand the importance of reclaiming your property and will fight vigorously to protect your rights.

If you need assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111. Our team is here to help you reclaim your firearm and protect your rights.

Conclusion

Attending a court hearing for the return of your firearm is a critical step in reclaiming your property. By being well-prepared and presenting a strong case, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome. If you need legal assistance, the experienced attorneys at Leppard Law are here to help. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 to schedule a consultation and get the legal support you need.

Infographic depicting the words Motion for Return of Firearm (with sample motion)

 


How do I file a Motion for Return of Firearm?

To file a Motion for Return of Firearm, you need to gather necessary documentation such as the police report, proof of ownership, and any court orders. Then, you must file the petition with the court, including specific details about the firearm and the circumstances of its seizure. Finally, attend the court hearing to present your case and request the return of your firearm.

What documents are needed to support a Motion for Return of Firearm?

To support a Motion for Return of Firearm, you need to provide the following documents:

  • A police report or any other document describing the seizure
  • Proof of ownership of the firearm
  • Any relevant court orders

These documents will help substantiate your claim and assist the court in making a decision.

What happens if I don’t file a Motion for Return of Firearm within 60 days?

If you do not file a Motion for Return of Firearm within 60 days of the seizure, the law enforcement agency may destroy the firearm. It is crucial to act quickly and ensure that your claim is made in writing to prevent the destruction of your property.

Can I get my firearm back if I am on probation?

If you are on probation, reclaiming your firearm can be challenging. Some law enforcement agencies may refuse to release a firearm to a person on probation. In such cases, you need to make a written claim for the firearm and specify that another person should be allowed to pick it up. This written claim will prevent the firearm from being destroyed while arrangements are made for its pickup.


Explore additional areas we serve to understand how we can assist you with various legal needs:

Improper Exhibition of a Firearm Concealed Carry Laws
Strategic Defense for Weapon Offenses Defense Against Weapon Display Allegations
Discharge of Firearm in Public Furnishing Weapons to Minors
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Altering a Firearm’s Serial Number
Using a Firearm While Under the Influence Discharging Any Destructive Device
Possession of Short-Barreled Rifle Making a Fake Bomb Threat
Threat to Discharge Destructive Device Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
Possession of Firearm in Violation of Injunction Manufacture or Possession of Hoax Bomb

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