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Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose

NJ Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes

If you have been charged with Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose or Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, then it is extremely important that you hire an attorney. Indeed, a weapon offense like this can ruin an individual's ability to obtain employment and can easily result in jail time. The truth is, however, that there are many defenses to an Unlawful Purpose offense and our lawyers have the know how you require. Perhaps your purpose was totally innocent or maybe the item was not even a weapon. Irrespective of the scenario, you will have over sixty (60) years of experience on your side when you hire the attorneys from our firm. Our defense team includes two former prosecutors and another lawyer with over thirty (30) years in practice. We handle weapons charges throughout New Jersey including Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Union County, Mercer County, Hudson County, Essex County, Burlington County, and Morris County. Feel free to contact our office for a free initial consultation and we hope you find the information that follows of assistance.

New Jersey Law - Weapon Possessed for Unlawful Purpose

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d), "any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, explosive or destructive device, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the third degree." The material elements that must be established by a prosecutor in order to obtain a conviction are: (1) possession of a "weapon"; (2) purpose to use the item against person or property of another; and (3) the intended use is unlawful. 

"Weapon" Requirement

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 sets forth those items which are considered weapons under NJ law. The definition includes not only firearms but any item "capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury". Specific items includes in the statute are knives, metal knuckles, slingshots, razor blades, although virtually any object could constitute a "weapon" if capable of inflicting harm.

What is an Unlawful Purpose under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d)?

An individual's possession of a weapon is with a “purpose to use it unlawfully” where there is a specific intent to use it to commit an illegal act. Accordingly, where someone possesses a "weapon" for honest self-protection, then there is no object to commit an illegal act and, hence, no unlawful purpose. 

Penalties & Punishment for Possessing a Weapon with Unlawful Purpose

A violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d) is a Third Degree Crime. The period of incarceration is up to five (5) years in jail. A maximum fine of $15,000 also applies.

If you were arrested for possessing a weapon for unlawful purposes then you want to be sure you get the strongest defense possible. You need a criminal defense attorney who you can trust with your future and your reputation, an attorney who is experienced and professional, and knows what it takes to fight and beat criminal weapons and firearm charges in New Jersey courts. The defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall know that the system is often not fair and we will fight to make sure that your rights are protected. Our criminal lawyers include former prosecutors who understand that mistakes happen and sometimes all it takes is the right person to listen to your side of things. We will give you a voice in the criminal court system and make sure your rights are protected at every stage. Our attorneys can defend your interests throughout New Jersey and we handle firearm and weapons charges in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Hudson County, Passaic County, Middlesex County, Union County, Essex County, Mercer County, and Somerset County. Don't hesitate to contact us to talk to a senior lawyer from our office who can inform you about your charges at no cost to you.

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The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall represent New Jersey adult and juvenile clients from offices in Shrewsbury, Cranford, Toms River, Jersey City and New Brunswick. We provide prompt and convenient client service to people in such communities as Newark, Plainfield, Freehold, Eatontown, East Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge, Westfield, Clark, Rahway, Piscataway, Sayreville, Elizabeth, Middletown, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Jackson, Lakewood, Point Pleasant, Edison, Old Bridge, Aberdeen, Linden, Belmar, Eatontown, Hazlet, Holmdel, Ocean, Sea Bright, Hoboken, Weehawken, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Tinton Falls, Wall, Brick, Dover, Jackson, and other locations in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Essex County, Hudson County and Morris County.

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