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Weapons Offenses

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Weapons Offenses Lawyer Trenton, NJ

Hard-Hitting Criminal Defense Attorney Represents Clients Charged with Weapons Offenses in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County, and Monmouth County, NJ

New Jersey has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, making every weapons offense a serious crime—even if the “weapon” in question is actually an imitation weapon, such as an air gun or a paintball gun. Certain weapons offenses in New Jersey can carry particularly harsh penalties under the New Jersey Graves Act, found in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c). The Graves Act imposes a three-year period of parole ineligibility, meaning that conviction for a weapons offense can result in at least three years of prison time even for a first offender. The potential severity of the punishment for a weapons offense in NJ means that you need to retain the best possible Trenton weapons offenses attorney to advocate on your behalf.

I take weapons offense charges extremely seriously in every case, and I zealously advocate to protect my clients’ rights. My experience working as a legal intern with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has provided insight into how the prosecution thinks in these cases, and I use that experience to help my clients obtain favorable outcomes when at all possible. I fight to obtain reduced charges or dismissals in weapons offense cases throughout New Jersey, including in Hamilton, West Windsor, East Windsor, Robbinsville, Lawrence, Trenton, Princeton, South Brunswick, and North Brunswick, NJ.

Broad Range of Weapons Offense Crimes in Trenton, New Jersey

Some weapons offenses involve additional crimes that are made more serious because a weapon was involved, while other weapons offenses are based solely on possession of the weapon itself. For instance, under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, a person is guilty of the possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose if he or she knowingly possesses a weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful use. This basically means that an individual can be found guilty of a weapons offense if he or she possesses anything that can be characterized as a weapon and the circumstances indicate potential for harm to a person or damage to property, regardless of whether any actual harm or damage occurred.

In other cases, a weapons offense can arise because the individual has no legal right to possess the weapon, whether because:

  • The individual has simply failed to obtain the required firearms permits that would make possession of the weapon legal.
  • The weapon itself cannot be lawfully possessed even with a permit.
  • That individual has previously been convicted of a crime that makes it illegal to possess weapons in general. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7, individuals who have been convicted of a felony can be convicted of a second degree crime for subsequently possessing a firearm.

The most common weapons offense charges in New Jersey include:

  • Unlawful possession of a weapon
  • Illegal possession of a handgun
  • Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose
  • Certain persons offenses
  • Imitation firearms offenses
  • Graves Act offenses
  • Illegal sale of a weapon
  • Illegal transport of a weapon
  • Possession of a weapon on school grounds
  • Unlawful disposition of a firearm
  • Unlawful possession of a gun in a motor vehicle

Potential Penalties for Weapons Offenses in New Jersey

The applicable penalties for a weapons offense in New Jersey can vary, based on a number of factors, including the nature and severity of any additional crimes, the type of weapon involved, and the accused individual’s prior criminal history. For example:

  • If the weapons offense was committed in conjunction with another violent crime, the convicted individual will probably be required to serve his or her minimum sentence without the possibility of parole.
  • Possession of a stun gun is a fourth degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a second degree crime punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison.
  • Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose is punishable by a minimum of five (5) years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren Scardella Fights to Have Weapons Offense Charges Dismissed in Ewing, New Jersey

An individual can be convicted of a weapons offense in New Jersey even if the conduct would have been legal in a neighboring state, as long as the weapon was discovered while the individual was in New Jersey. The close proximity of certain parts of New Jersey to its neighboring states makes this an issue that frequently arises. For example, a license to carry a concealed weapon in Pennsylvania is not valid in New Jersey and can lead to serious criminal weapons charges in NJ.

I will thoroughly investigate the alleged events and facts of your gun crime case to craft a strong and tactical defense focused on identifying reasonable doubt and potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. While I am an aggressive and battle-tested criminal defense attorney, I also pride myself in treating my clients with the compassion and respect that they deserve while facing the stress of potential criminal conviction.

Book an Appointment to Discuss Your Criminal Weapons Charges with Robbinsville Gun Crime Attorney Lauren Scardella

If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a weapons offense, do not delay in obtaining expert legal advice. The penalties for New Jersey weapons offenses are much too severe to go it alone, and a criminal defense attorney can provide guidance and support every step of the way. Contact my Hamilton office at 609-587-1144 to schedule a free initial consultation today, or fill out this online form. The office is conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Weapons Offenses in NJ

What is considered a “weapon” in New Jersey?

New Jersey law defines “weapon” very broadly, and law enforcement officials will look to the totality of the circumstances in determining whether an item can be characterized as a weapon. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 provides a non-exhaustive list of weapons: gravity knives, switchblades, daggers, dirks, stilettos, billies, blackjacks, bludgeons, brass knuckles, sandclubs, slingshots, cesti or leather bands studded with metal fillings, razor blades imbedded in wood, stun guns, and any component that can be assembled into a weapon. This list is in addition to the more obvious firearm weapons and can even include baseball bats if the circumstances show that the bat was intended to be used as a weapon.

Aren’t there circumstances where I can carry a gun legally in New Jersey?

Yes, although the law is very strict and, in many cases, much stricter than in other states. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6 allows individuals to possess certain weapons in their home or place of business, or in the trunk of the individual’s car if the weapon is not loaded. However, these exemptions do not apply to individuals accused of possessing a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

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