Newton NJ Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Defense Lawyer
Gun and Weapons Charges Attorneys in Sussex and Warren County, New Jersey
Weapons offenses in New Jersey are taken extremely seriously by the criminal justice system and the penalties are severe. The New Jersey Criminal Code sets for the parameters of the unlawful possession of a weapon in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5. Generally, the law prohibits the possession of machine guns, handguns, rifles, shotguns, BB guns, knives and any other weapons, unless in compliance with applicable gun laws or in circumstances manifestly appropriate for possessing the weapon. For example, the provisions regarding the unlawful possession of a firearm do not apply to a person who is in his or her own home. But, if a person is walking down a city street while wielding a large hunting knife, the circumstances are not manifestly appropriate and although hunting knives are generally legal, that person may be charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon.
The bottom line is that, as with all criminal charges, a charge for the unlawful possession of a weapon can drastically impact your life and ability to obtain employment or rent a place to live. If you are charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon in Newton, Sparta, Phillipsburg, Hackettstown, or elsewhere in Sussex or Warren County, you have a lot to lose. The weapons defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have handled numerous weapons cases and they’re ready to put their skills to work for you. Contact us today at 973-755-1695 to speak with one of our highly experienced attorneys and receive a cost-free consultation.
Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Lawyer in Phillipsburg NJ
Unlawful Possession of Guns
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a) and (b), any person who knowingly has in his possession a machine gun or any instrument or device adaptable for use as a machine gun, without being licensed to do so is guilty of a crime of the second degree and any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person. Otherwise it is a crime of the second degree. Under the New Jersey sentencing guidelines, a second degree crime imposes up to a $150,000 fine and five to ten years in prison.
Additionally, according to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(c)(1) and (2), any person who knowingly has in his possession any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a firearms purchaser identification card is guilty of a crime of the third degree and unless otherwise permitted by law, any person who knowingly has in his possession any loaded rifle or shotgun is guilty of a crime of the third degree. In New Jersey, a third degree crime is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and three to five years in prison.
All three of the above offenses, the unlawful possession of a machine gun, the unlawful possession of a handgun, and the unlawful possession of a rifle or shotgun are considered offenses under the Graves Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c), which requires that anyone convicted of such offenses must be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment and three years of parole ineligibility even if the person has no criminal record. Thus, the prison sentences set forth in the sentencing guidelines for second and third degree crimes become very real consequences for anyone convicted of the unlawful possession of a firearm in New Jersey.
Unlawful Possession of Other Weapons
Other than guns, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d), Any person who knowingly has in his possession any other weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. This is provision applies to other weapons defined in the New Jersey Criminal Code such as knives, slingshots, and stun guns. A fourth degree crime under this provision does not impose the mandatory sentencing required by the Graves Act, but as with all fourth degree crimes, the penalties include up to a $10,000 fine and eighteen months behind bars.
Criminal charges for the unlawful possession of a weapon in Sussex or Warren County will be heard at the New Jersey State Superior Court, Criminal Division and the county prosecutor will take charge of the case against you. Because of the severe penalties related to weapons offenses, it is important to have an experienced weapons defense attorney handle your case to ensure that every detail is carefully analyzed and assessed in order to develop the strongest possible defense strategy.
Contact North Warren NJ Gun Possession Lawyers Today
The firearms defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm are well-versed in weapons cases and if you have been charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon in Sussex or Warren County, you should contact our defense team today. Simply call 973-755-1695.