Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Contact Our Jersey City Office Across From The County Courthouse To Speak To A Highly Skilled Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Defense Lawyer

It is no secret that New Jersey has some of the toughest weapons laws in the entire country. There also is no reciprocity or honoring of handgun permits issued in another state thereby making it unlawful to possess most firearms absent a license to carry. These and other factors translate into a high number of individuals arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon in Union City, West New York, Jersey City, Secaucus, Bayonne and other locations in Hudson County. We are well acquainted with this situation as attorneys who make up one of the largest criminal defense teams in NJ. More importantly, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have over 150 years of experience defending unlawful possession of a handgun, shotgun, knife and other illegal weapons. Whether you are an out of state trucker who mistakenly believed it was legal to possess your handgun, someone who had no business possessing a firearm or were someone falling in between, a lawyer at our Jersey City firm has the skill to mount a potent defense to your unlawful possession of a weapon offense at the Hudson County Superior Court.

The Graves Act was adopted in 2008 in an effort to deter illegal possession of firearms. This law imposes a mandatory state prison sentence and periods of parole ineligibility for anyone convicted of unlawful possession of a shotgun, machine gun, rifle and many other firearms. The unlawful possession law also carries significant penalties that apply on top of the Graves Act, even where the weapon is something other than a firearm that is being possessed under circumstances not manifestly appropriate. All of this makes it absolutely imperative for you to retain an experienced Hudson County weapon attorney if you have been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. Attorneys are available around the clock to help potential clients with questions, preparation for initial appearances at Central Judicial Processing, detention hearings and just about anything else. Contact our Jersey City Office at (201) 309-0500 for a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 574 Newark Avenue, Suite 204A, Jersey City, New Jersey, defends clients arrested for  unlawful possession of a handgun, shotgun or other weapon in Hudson County, including Union City, North Bergen, West New York, Jersey City, Bayonne, Hoboken, Weehawken, Kearny, Harrison, Secaucus, Guttenberg and East Newark.

Hudson County Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Charge

The offense of unlawful possession of a weapon is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5. This law is directed at unlawful possession of: (1) machine guns; (2) handguns; (3) rifles and shotguns; and (4) other weapons under circumstances not manifestly appropriate. The headings below discuss each of these categories of unlawful weapon possession.

  • Machine Guns. It is a second degree crime to knowingly possess a machine gun or a device adaptable for use as a machine gun without a valid permit or license.  A conviction for unlawful possession of a machine gun also falls within the Graves Act.
  • Handguns. It is also a second degree crime for someone to knowingly possess a handgun without a permit to carry. If the handgun is in the nature of a BB/pellet handgun propelled by air, spring or elastic, unlawful possession is a third degree crime. Second degree unlawful possession of a handgun falls within the Graves Act.
  • Rifles & Shotguns. It is a third degree crime to possess a rifle or shotgun without a firearms purchaser’s ID card. The Graves Act does not apply to unlawful possession of either a rifle or shotgun.
  • Assault Rifle. It is a second degree crime to knowingly possess an assault rifle. A conviction results in imposition of a mandatory minimum period of imprisonment under the Graves Act.
  • Possession of Weapon Under Circumstances Not Manifestly Appropriate. It is a fourth degree crime to possess a weapon, other than a firearm, under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful use. In order for the possession to not be manifestly appropriate, there must be a clear threat to person or property. More common examples of weapons falling within this category are knifes, bats, razors and other objects that are capable of causing serious injury to another person.

Elements of Proof Under 2C:39-5. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office must prove four material elements, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to convict someone of unlawful possession of a weapon in Jersey City at the Superior Court. First, the object must be a weapon. Second, the item must have been actually or constructively possessed by the accused. Third, the defendant must know that the object is a weapon. Fourth, the accused must have lacked the required license, permit or ID card (or the circumstances was not manifestly appropriate).

Penalties If You Are Convicted Of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Type of WeaponDegree of CrimeFineIncarceration
Machine GunSecond Degree$150,0005-10 Years
HandgunSecond Degree$150,0005-10 Years
BB/Pellet GunThird Degree $15,0000-5 Years
Rifle/ShotgunThird Degree$15,0000-5 Years
Assault RifleThird Degree $15,0000-5 Years
Other WeaponsFourth Degree$10,0000-18 Months

Hudson County NJ Gun Possession Lawyer

As you can tell from above, New Jersey takes a very serious approach when it comes to unlawful possession of a weapon. The Graves Act is triggered in almost all cases filed under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5 and this is a major threat to your liberty. Selecting the most accomplished defense lawyers you can find is therefore extremely important if you want to enjoy every opportunity to avoid imprisonment and other consequences. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has exactly what you need with a staff of former prosecutors and skilled criminal attorneys, including a former director of major crimes and another lawyer who was the director of the guns task force. You can discuss your offense with an attorney in at our Jersey City criminal firm anytime 24/7 by calling (201) 309-0500.