The Former County Prosecutors & Experienced Unlawful Purpose Defense Lawyers At Our Firm Defend N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4 Charges in Bayonne, Jersey City, Kearny, Hoboken, Secaucus & The Rest Of Hudson County
The criminal offense of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose can arise in a wide range of circumstances in Hudson County or anywhere else in New Jersey. Whether the weapon is a handgun, knife or an object that has many non injurious uses, an unlawful purpose charge can result in years in prison. This is why it is important to hire a savvy attorney if you were arrested for possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose in West New York, Bayonne, North Bergen, Secaucus, Jersey City or another local municipality. The team of attorneys at our Jersey City criminal defense firm have what you need with over 150 years of cumulative experience, several former county prosecutors, including a director of major crimes and the guns task force, and countless success stories representing clients charged with unlawful purpose offenses. We are prepared to put these resources into action and aggressively fight to protect your freedom.
The negative consequences of a conviction for possessing a firearm or other weapon for an unlawful purpose are significant. There is a lengthy state prison sentence, thousands of dollars in fines, criminal record and loss of the ability to lawfully possess a weapon in the future. It is imperative that you retain an accomplished criminal defense lawyer given these life altering ramifications. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our lawyers will work diligently utilizing their decades of experience handling weapon cases to secure the very best outcome. To discuss your charge with a Jersey City unlawful purpose defense attorney anytime 24/7, call 201-309-0500. Initial consultations are free so do not hesitate to contact us.
Hudson County NJ Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Charge
The New Jersey law which establishes the offense of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose is N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4. Violation of this statute can result in a crime of the second degree, third degree or fourth degree depending on the type of weapon involved.
What Are The Required Elements Of Proof? In order for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office to secure a conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4, it must prove four key elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The state must prove that: (1) the “weapon” in question was either a firearm, explosive, destructive device or weapon; (2) the defendant possessed the weapon; (3) it was defendant’s desire to use the weapon against the victim or their property; and (4) the “use” in question was for an unlawful purpose.
How Is Weapon Defined Under 2C:39-4? The term weapon is defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 and means any item that is capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury. Some of the weapons listed in the statute are a knife, razor blade, foldable baton and brass knuckles. It is important to keep in mind that the definition of weapon is broad and encompasses just about any object that can be used to inflict harm to person or property.
When Does Someone Possess An Unlawful Purpose? An individual possesses an item for an unlawful purpose if they have it for the actual purpose of using it against another person in a criminal manner. The key ingredient required is a criminal purpose or intent rather than lawful use.
Penalties That Apply If You Are Convicted Of Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose At The Hudson County Courthouse in Jersey City
The penalties that may be imposed at the time of sentencing on an unlawful purpose charge hinges on the type of weapon involved.
- It is a second degree crime if the weapon is a handgun, rifle, shotgun, firearm, explosive or destructive device. There is a prison term of 5-10 years and a fine of up to $150,000 for second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. In addition, the offense falls within the Graves Act if the weapon is a firearm and this law requires that the court impose a period of parole ineligibility equal to 1/2 of the term imposed or 3 years, whichever is greater.
- If the weapon in question is not a firearm, destructive device or explosive, then a 2C:39-4 violation is a third degree crime. A third degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes offense is punishable by up to five years in a New Jersey State Prison and fined up to $15,000.
- It is a fourth degree crime where the weapon is an imitation firearm. then the defendant would be facing a fourth degree felony. A fourth degree felony is punishable by up to eighteen months in a New Jersey State Prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Depending on the weapon in question and the defendant’s prior criminal record, they may be eligible for one of New Jersey diversionary programs, known as Pre Trial Intervention. If defense counsel is able convince the Judge and Prosecutor that the defendant would be a good candidate for the PTI program, then the defendant will be afforded the opportunity to walk away from otherwise life changing consequences, without a criminal record and without serving a day behind bars. Please note that PTI is unavailable where the Graves Act applies.
Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Defense Attorneys in Jersey City New Jersey
Every weapon case involving an unlawful purpose charge filed in Hudson County is directed to the county court in Jersey City. This is the only place where all felony indictable criminal offenses like those under 2C:39-4 can be heard. Whether seizure of a weapon was the result of a drug related arrest in Bayonne, a shooting in Harrison, a domestic violence call in Kearny or a routine motor vehicle stop in North Bergen, you will be appearing at the courthouse on Newark Avenue to answer the unlawful possession charge. This court is located directly across from our office so it naturally follows that our defense attorneys have significant familiarity with the venue. A lawyer who knows what it takes to secure an acquittal and/or non-custodial sentence is available at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall to discuss your handgun or other weapon offense. To speak to one of our lawyers immediately, call 201-309-0500.