Contact Our Jersey City Criminal Defense Firm Across From The Hudson County Superior Court To Speak To One Of Our Former Prosecutors & Highly Accomplished Lawyers About Your Certain Person Not To Possess A Weapon Charge
New Jersey law strictly prohibits individuals from possessing a handgun or other weapon once they are convicted of certain criminal offenses. There are severe penalties for those who disregard this bar by being in possession of a weapon despite being a “certain person”. If you find yourself in this position because you have been charged with violating N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 (“Certain persons not to have weapons”), you must find the very best criminal defense lawyer you can identify to defend you at the Hudson County Superior Court in Jersey City. You should strongly consider contacting the team of accomplished Jersey City weapon offense lawyers at our firm, which is directly across from the courthouse, as our qualifications are truly unique.
The term “weapon” not only includes a handgun, shotgun, rifle or other firearm, but also anything object readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury. A certain person cannot possess such an item without being exposed to a second, third or fourth degree crime, all of which carry the potential for a stiff prison sentence. You will have to do everything in your power to avoid a conviction if you want to avoid incarceration. Our criminal firm is one of the largest in the state with 10 defense attorneys, includes former prosecutors who have served as directors of major crimes and the guns task force, and possesses over 150 years of combined experience defending clients arrested for possession of an illegal handgun and other weapon offenses in Jersey City and elsewhere in Hudson County.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 574 Newark Avenue, Suite 204A, Jersey City, New Jersey, defends clients like you who have been charged with being a certain persons not to possess a weapon in Hudson County, including in Jersey City, North Bergen, Bayonne, West New York, Union City, Hoboken, Harrison, Kearny, Secaucus, Guttenberg, Weehawken and East Newark. If you are facing a certain person charge in Jersey City, call 201-309-0500 for a free consultation with an attorney.
Who is Included Under the Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons Offense?
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7, it is illegal for a person convicted of specified criminal offenses to knowingly purchase, own, possess or control a weapon. This is commonly referred to as a certain person offense. A prior criminal conviction for any of the following charges renders an individual a certain person:
- Aggravated Assault
- Domestic Violence
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Bias Intimidation
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Possession of a Prohibited Weapon or Device
- Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose or the Offense of Manufacture, Transport Disposition and Defacement of Weapons
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
- Possession of a Firearm Without a Permit
- Unlawful Use, Possession, or Sale of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (excluding a disorderly or petty disorderly offense)
- Crime Involving Domestic Violence
- A temporary or final restraining order
It is important to keep in mind that a qualifying conviction need not occur in New Jersey — a plea or finding of guilt in any state to one of these charges results in someone being a certain person.
Mental & Psychiatric Disorders Under 2C:39-7. When the reason someone is a certain person is a disorderly persons offense involving Domestic Violence or a restraining order, a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 is a third degree crime. When the predicate offense is any other crime previously set forth, including burglary, drug distribution or aggravated assault, this violation is a second degree crime. If the conviction causing the defendant to be a certain person is a disorderly persons offense for use or possession of CDS, a certain persons offense is a fourth degree crime.
How Does The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Convict Someone On A Certain Person Charge?
There are four basic elements to every certain person offense that must be established by the prosecutor in order to secure a conviction. First, the prosecutor must establish that the defendant was convicted of an offense set forth in 2C:39-7. Second, the item must be a weapon (e.g. knife, gun, bat, etc.). Third, the item was purchased, owned, possessed or controlled by the accused. Fourth, the conduct must have been knowing. The Jersey City Certain Person Defense Lawyers at our firm are adept in presenting a potent attack to these elements so that an acquittal or downgrade can be secured. This is especially important since most certain person charges (i.e. those involving a handgun/firearm) carry mandatory prison terms.
What are the Penalties for a “Certain Persons Not To Have Weapons” Offense in Hudson County, NJ?
- If convicted of a Second Degree crime, an indictable offense, the defendant may face up to ten (10) years in jail and a fine up to $150,000.00. There is mandatory minimum incarceration period of five (5) years for a conviction of a Second Degree crime under this statute.
- If convicted of a Third Degree crime, the defendant may face up to five (5) years in jail and a fine up to $15,000.00. As a Third Degree crime, it is an indictable offense that carries a presumption of non-custodial sentence. However, this presumption may be overcome by the State.
- If convicted of a Fourth Degree crime, the defendant may face up to eighteen (18) months in jail and a fine up to $10,000.00. As a Fourth Degree crime, it is an indictable offense that carries a presumption of non-custodial sentence. However, this presumption may be overcome by the State.
Can I Be Prosecuted For Being A Certain Person In Possession Of A Weapon Even Though I Have No Criminal Record?
Yes. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 also applies to individuals who have been committed to a hospital or psychiatric facility as the result of a mental disorder. An individual is considered a certain person unless he/she possesses satisfactory proof from a physician that he/she no longer suffers from the mental disorder. A certain persons offense resulting from a psychiatric issue translates in a fourth degree crime. The penalties include up to 18 months in prison and a fine that can reach $10,000. If you or a loved one is someone charged under 2C:39-7 because of a mental/psychiatric issue, a Hudson County certain person attorney in our office is well equipped to help.
Is Drug Court Or Pretrial Intervention An Option For Someone Charged With Violating 2C:39-7?
Typically, neither of these diversion programs are an option. Individuals who have prior or pending firearm offenses are ineligible for Drug Court. In addition, any case where there is a mandatory period of parole ineligibility is disqualified from Pretrial Intervention. Most certain person charges fall under the Graves Act where such a provision applies.
Hudson County Certain Person Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have a team of dedicated Hudson County criminal defense attorneys. With over 150 years of cumulative legal experience, including decades spent as county prosecutors, the lawyers at our firm have the resources necessary to successfully handle your weapons or handgun charges. To speak to a Jersey City certain persons lawyer in a free consultation, call 201-309-0500. An attorney is available 24/7 to speak to you by contacting our Jersey City Office.