Burlington County Weapons Crime Defense Lawyers
New Jersey has some of the toughest weapon laws in the nation, particularly if the weapon in question is a handgun. Defendants convicted of possessing an unlicensed handgun or any illegal weapon is treated harshly because they are perceived to be a serious threat to public safety. But this approach can lead to unfair outcomes, for example, where a law-abiding trucker or other resident of a state where laws are not as strict is found in possession of a firearm that is not registered in New Jersey.
If you are facing weapon charges in Burlington County, you should consult with a reputable Mount Holly criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction could jeopardize your liberty and cost you tens of thousands of dollars in fines. An attorney experienced with Burlington County courts can help you seek the most favorable resolution of the weapons charges.
If you have been charged with a weapons crime in Burlington County, NJ, and face a Superior Court date in Mount Holly, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can offer an aggressive and strategic criminal defense to help you avoid unwarranted punishment. Our dedicated attorneys respond to calls 24/7. The advantages of being represented by the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall include:
- A legal team with more than 200 years of combined experience defending individuals from weapons and firearms charges in courtrooms across New Jersey
- 10 defense attorneys hand-selected for their legal skills who are dedicated exclusively to representing individuals facing criminal charges, such as weapons charges
- Certification as criminal trial attorneys, which is a recognition of specialized legal knowledge conferred by the Supreme Court of New Jersey that fewer than 2% of New Jersey lawyers can claim
- Experienced attorneys who are former prosecutors and public defenders from across New Jersey whose backgrounds include leadership of a local Guns Task Force, Major Crimes Bureau, Trial Division, Special Operations, and Domestic Violence Unit
- A track record of countless trials ending in charges against our clients being dismissed.
Do not face weapons charges in Burlington County Superior Court on your own. You have a Constitutional right to a robust legal defense. Your choice of a criminal attorney may be one of the most far-reaching decisions that you will ever make.
If you face weapons charges filed in Mount Holly, Evesham, Pemberton, Medford, Delran, Florence or anywhere in Burlington County, contact a Mount Holly weapons attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall as soon as possible. Call us now at (877) 450-8301 for a free initial legal consultation and/or to have you released from custody, or complete our online form.
What is Considered a Weapon in Burlington County, New Jersey?
Weapons charges under New Jersey law are typically based on allegations of unlawful use or possession of a handgun, shotgun, assault rifle, crossbow, knife, razor, or other weapon. New Jersey municipalities, such as Mount Holly Township, usually have local ordinances that make it illegal to discharge a gun or another weapon within Township limits.
Under the right circumstances, law enforcement officials can decide that anything – a bat, bottle, hammer, pipe, tire iron or other object – was a weapon because of how it was allegedly used.
The presence of a gun in the commission of a crime will lead to more serious charges, such as an assault charge being elevated to aggravated assault. Weapons charges are often secondary offenses added to charges such as assault, robbery or other crimes of violence.
In New Jersey, minor legal violations are called “petty disorderly persons offenses” or “disorderly persons offenses” and are heard by municipal court judges. More serious charges are indicatable offenses handled in the local county superior court.
Most weapons charges filed by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office are indictable offenses and will be heard by the New Jersey Superior Court, Burlington County Criminal Division. This courtroom is in the Rancocas Building, 50 Rancocas Road, Mount Holly, NJ.
Federal weapons charges will be heard by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, which has courtrooms in Camden, Trenton and Newark.
A weapons crime defense attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can provide you with a robust legal defense if you face local, state or federal weapons charges filed in Burlington County, New Jersey. Our legal team accepts cases pertaining to the following charges and others:
- Possession of a Firearm for Unlawful Purpose
- Possession of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle
- Possession of a Handgun without a Permit or License
- Possession of a Rifle or Shotgun Without a Permit or License
- Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
- Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Crime
- Possession of a Weapon or Firearm During the Commission of Drug Distribution or Possession With Intent to Distribute Drugs
- Possession of a Weapon or Firearm at an Educational Institution
- Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile
- BB gun, Airsoft Gun or Paintball Gun Offenses
- Possession of a Weapon by a Person Prohibited from Having a Weapon, also known as Certain Persons Not to Possess a Weapon.
- Failure to Surrender a Gun while on Conditional Release or after a Domestic Violence Arrest
- Illegal Weapons
- Imitation Firearm Offenses
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, such as Gun Possession by a Convicted Felon or while on Probation or Parole
- Use of a Gun in a Federal Drug Crime
Potential Penalties for Burlington County, N.J., Weapons Charges
Charges and penalties for basic weapons offenses in New Jersey depend on the weapon and/or how it was allegedly used. Burlington County prosecutors could have filed the charge against you as a:
- Second-degree offense punishable upon conviction by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- Third-degree offense punishable upon conviction by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Fourth-degree offense punishable upon conviction by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, New Jersey has two mandatory sentencing laws that apply to weapons charges.
Under the Graves Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c)), a defendant sentenced to prison for certain weapons charges in Burlington County is not eligible for parole until finishing one third to one half of the full sentence imposed, or 3 years (5 years on a subsequent offense), whichever is greater. For a fourth-degree offense, the defendant must serve the full 18 months.
New Jersey’s Graves Act mandatory sentencing applies to:
- Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes
- Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun
- Possession of a Defaced Firearm
- Defacement of a Firearm
- Possession of a Firearm While in the Course of Committing a Drug Distribution or Possession With Intent to Distribute Drugs
- Possession of Certain Weapons by Persons Previously Convicted of Specified Offenses
- Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun, Handgun, Rifle or Shotgun
- Manufacture, Transport, or Disposition of a Machine Gun, Sawed-Off Shotgun, or Assault Firearm.
A defendant remains ineligible for parole for 5 years if he or she is convicted of unlawful possession of a machine gun, handgun or assault rifle and the sentencing court finds that the individual or the crime was connected to organized crime.
Additionally, conviction on a Graves Act offense after a prior conviction for certain firearms offenses requires a mandatory extended term of imprisonment set by statute. While serving the extra time, the defendant is ineligible for parole for one third to one half of the extended sentence or for 5 years, whichever is greater.
New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2) requires that, when sentenced to prison for certain violent crimes, a defendant must serve 85% of the term before being eligible for parole. After release from prison, the individual must remain on supervised parole for 5 years if convicted of a first-degree crime and 3 years for a second-degree crime.
The NERA applies to several first- and second-degree crimes of violence, such as murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, carjacking among others. Our attorneys can defend you against violent crime charges in Burlington County.
If you or a loved one is being held on weapons charges in Mount Holly, N.J., contact our offices ASAP at (877) 450-8301 or online. If necessary, an attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall in Burlington County can secure your release for the lowest bail available, and in some cases, on the defendant’s own recognizance. We can begin to develop a case against the weapons charges you face.
How Our Burlington County Weapons Crime Lawyers Can Help You
An arrest or indictment on weapons charges is the beginning of a long process. It does not have to end in a guilty verdict if you have a qualified Mount Holly defense attorney fighting for your rights. The court must presume you are innocent unless a prosecutor can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
As your defense attorneys, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will develop a defense for you that raises doubt about the prosecution’s case. Our investigation will include obtaining statements from you and any other witnesses and analyzing police reports and other evidence connected to the case.
We will argue that questionable evidence should be excluded from further proceedings. When possible, we will seek to have charges dropped, reduced or deferred so that you may avoid prison and expensive criminal penalties.
There are multiple opportunities potentially for challenging the weapons charges filed against you. Circumstances surrounding such cases are often complex. It is not unusual that police proceeded without the full facts when they made an arrest or sought an indictment. Police and prosecutors may make mistakes after an arrest that can be fatal to a criminal case.
Charges against you may be dismissed based upon:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Illegal arrest
- Failure to warn of Miranda rights
- Improper suspect lineup / mistaken identity
- Inability to prove your possession or control of the weapon allegedly seized upon your arrest
- Problems with chain of custody of weapons presented as evidence
- False or impeachable evidence
- Unavailable witnesses
- False or impeachable witness testimony
- Other prosecutorial and/or police misconduct.
Our objective is to conclude your case as quickly as possible in a manner that is most favorable to you, preferably without a trial. When possible, we work to negotiate a deal with prosecutors to drop charges, allow you to plead to reduced charges, or allow you to enter a diversionary probation program.
A first-time offender who has no violence associated with his or her case may be able to enter a diversion program offered by the State of New Jersey. These are programs that require complying with strict conditions handed down by the presiding judge. The successful completion of program results in charges being dropped, but failure may mean imposition of the full sentence. There are two programs available to weapons charges defendants:
- Pretrial Intervention (PTI) is 1 to 3 years of court-supervised probation, on average. The judge may require psychological and/or drug and alcohol evaluations, counseling, completion of a rehabilitation program, and random urine tests.
- Veterans’ Diversion is available to active and retired service members who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or whom police, family members, or friends say exhibited mental illness symptoms. The program provides behavioral health and addiction counseling.
Our attorneys are reputable and respected in Burlington County courts. They are often able to negotiate outcomes that benefit our clients because of the professional relationships they have established over the decades with Burlington County prosecutors. Every criminal case stands on its own set of facts. But our professional relationships ensure that prosecutors will give fair consideration when we propose alternative theories of the case and/or reasons to reduce or defer charges in favor of probationary programs.
If your case must go to trial, our legal team will use its extensive litigation experience to challenge and mitigate the impact of any testimony or evidence the prosecution presents. We prepare each case we take as if it will go to a jury trial, and our firm has earned its long track record of not guilty verdicts and dismissal of charges.
Contact Us About Burlington County Weapons Charges
The attorneys of the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have more than 200 years of combined experience defending individuals charged with weapons offenses and other criminal charges in Burlington County and across New Jersey. We have the knowledge, experience, and dedication necessary to provide aggressive and effective defenses against even the most damaging criminal cases.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will protect your rights and your freedom. Contact us as soon as you are able about weapons charges originating in Evesham, Pemberton, Medford, Delran, Florence, and elsewhere in Burlington County. To speak to a weapons charges defense attorney on our team immediately, call our Mount Holly Office at 609-491-2110. Lawyers are available 24/7 to help you, and initial consultations are always free.