Charged With Possessing an Illegal Weapon, an Unlicensed Handgun, Being a Certain Person or Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose? Our Flemington Defense Firm Includes a Former Director of the Guns Task Force & Other Highly Accomplished Former Prosecutors To Help You.
There are essentially five (5) core weapon offenses that an individual can face in Hunterdon County. Almost none of these charges fall within the jurisdiction of a local municipal court and must be heard at the Hunterdon County Superior Court in Flemington since they are indictable in nature (i.e. felony criminal offenses). If you were arrested in Clinton Township, Raritan Township, Readington, Lebanon, Tewksbury or another local municipality for possession of an illegal weapon, you definitely need to select the best attorney to handle your criminal charge. It very well may mean the difference between years of incarceration and freedom.
We genuinely believe that the attorneys at our Flemington New Jersey firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, represent an exceptional option for representation of you or your loved one. Our criminal defense team is not only one of the largest in New Jersey but is also comprised of accomplished lawyers that have served at county prosecutor’s offices in roles like Director of Major Crimes, the Gun Task Force and even the entire Trial Division. An attorney who has tried numerous handgun and other weapons cases is ready to fight so that you secure the most favorable resolution of your case.
Contact our Flemington Office today at (908) 824-0855 if you have been charged with a weapon crime. The topics below provide a more detailed discussion of weapon charges that you may be facing. A lawyer who is near you is ready to provide a thorough consultation so that you may discuss your particular weapon offense in more detail.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall defends clients charged with weapon offenses at the county courthouse in Flemington as well as elsewhere in Hunterdon County, including Lambertville, Readington, Union Township, East Amwell, Raritan Township, Clinton Township, Lebanon, Bethlehem, Delaware Township, Kingwood, West Amwell, Holland and Alexandria.
Possession of a Prohibited Weapon or Device Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3
A common question for individuals facing a weapon offense is what weapons are illegal in New Jersey? The law set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3 provides the starting point for the answer since it sets forth a long list of items that are considered illegal weapons in the state, including:
- Destructive Devices. These are essentially explosive-type objects or instruments such as bombs, rockets, grenades, projectiles greater than 60 caliber, Molotov cocktails and other items capable of combustion. Possession of a destructive device is a third-degree crime.
- Sawed-Off Shotguns. A shot gun is “sawed off” when its barrel measures less than 18 inches. A rifle is sawed off and also illegal if it is less than 16 inches. Either weapon is also considered sawed off and results in a third-degree crime if it measures less than 26 inches in overall length.
- Silencer. It is a fourth-degree crime to possess a silencer in Hunterdon County or elsewhere in NJ.
- Defaced Firearm. It is a common practice for individuals to deface a firearm so that the serial number is illegible and the weapon cannot be tracked. It is a fourth-degree crime to be in possession of a firearm that is defaced.
- Dum-dum or body armor penetrating bullets. It is illegal to possess bullets or ammunition that is hollow tipped, teflon coated or otherwise designed to pierce bullet proof vests or body armor. It is a fourth-degree crime to possess ammunition of this nature.
- Large Capacity Magazine. Possession of a high capacity magazine for storing bullets or other ammunition is also illegal and exposes the possessor to a fourth-degree crime.
- Stun Guns. It is illegal in the State of New Jersey to possess a stun gun. It is also a fourth-degree crime.
- Other Devices That Are Illegal. There is a list of other items that are illegal under 2C:39-3 such as switchblades, brass knuckles and billy clubs. An individual faces a fourth-degree crime for possessing one of these prohibited items.
- Handcuffs. The only misdemeanor criminal offense under this law is a disorderly persons offense for possession of handcuffs under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful use.
Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4
The offense of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose is divided into five categories under 2C:39-4, namely, possession of a firearm, explosive, destructive device, imitation firearm or other weapon. Possession of a firearm for the purpose of using it against another person or their property is a second-degree crime. It is also a second-degree crime to possess explosives or a destructive device for an unlawful purpose. When the weapon possessed for an unlawful purpose is a knife, bat or other weapon, a violation of this law results in a third-degree crime. Possession of an imitation firearm to threaten or use it against another person or property is a fourth-degree crime.
Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of CDS Activities Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1
Possession of any form of weapon while distributing CDS, maintaining a CDS production facility or while engaged in other drug activities beyond personal possession results in a second-degree crime in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1. It is significant to keep in mind that this weapon charge cannot merge with another one at the time of sentencing by a judge in Flemington. The prison term for violating this statute must be run consecutive to any other weapon charge.
Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5
Treatment for unlawful possession of a weapon is different under this law depending on whether the offense involves a handgun, long gun (i.e. shotgun or rifle), machine gun or another type of weapon.
Possession of a handgun without a carry permit is a second-degree crime. This means that you face 5-10 years in prison if you have an illegal handgun in your possession. You should also know that there is a mandatory minimum term that must be imposed at the time of sentencing. This is also referred to as a period of parole ineligibility. Possession of a handgun is reduced to a third-degree crime if the weapon is in the nature of a BB, airsoft or pellet gun propelled by air or a spring.
It is a third-degree crime to possess a shotgun or rifle without a firearms purchaser ID card.
Possession of any other form of “weapon” under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses results in a fourth-degree crime. The term weapon is defined as anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury.
Certain Persons Not To Possess a Weapon Under 2C:39-7
A criminal conviction for certain offenses renders an individual ineligible to ever own or possess a weapon in Hunterdon County and the rest of NJ. An individual falls under this bar and is considered a certain persons not permitted to possess a weapon if he/she has a prior conviction for:
- aggravated assault
- aggravated sexual assault
- sexual assault
- bias intimidation
- endangering the welfare of a child
- or a crime involving domestic violence
Possession of a firearm by someone who is a “certain person” is a second-degree crime. It is a fourth-degree crime for such a person to possess any other “weapon.” An individual who has a prior conviction for a disorderly persons offense for domestic violence (i.e. not a crime involving domestic violence but a misdemeanor conviction) is exposed to a third-degree crime if they own or possess a firearm.
Application of the Graves Act To Your Hunterdon County Weapons Charge
New Jersey has strict laws that apply when firearms are used in the commission of a crime. One of the most potent of these statutes is referred to as the Graves Act. This law imposes mandatory periods of parole ineligibility whenever someone is convicted of a criminal offense involving illegal possession or use of a handgun or other firearm. Please note that this law now allows Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office to relax the mandatory prison sentence under the Graves Act where the accused is a law abiding out-of-state gun owner who erroneously brings his weapon into the state. A highly skilled handgun offense defense lawyer is definitely a necessity for someone looking to take advantage of this exception/waiver.
Expect A Motion For Pretrial Detention If Your Case Involves Unlawful Possession of a Handgun
The Attorney General of the State of New Jersey has issued a directive that prosecutors file a motion for pretrial detention in every illegal handgun case. What this means is that you or your loved one should expect an effort by the state to detain the accused without bail until his/her trial. Representation by an attorney who is well-versed in defending detention motions can prove invaluable in securing release.
Flemington NJ Handgun Possession Defense Lawyers
Flemington is definitely the hotbed for handgun and other weapon offenses in the area since these types of cases fall within the jurisdiction of the Hunterdon County Superior Court. If you were were charged with any weapon crime in the region, our attorneys are well-suited to defend your case. For a consultation with one of the lawyers on our team anytime 24/7, call (908) 824-0855. An attorney is ready to go over the specifics of your offense and to design a comprehensive plan to ensure you have every chance of averting a conviction.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall defends weapon charges throughout Hunterdon County including in Flemington, Lebanon, Raritan Township, East Amwell, Readington, Clinton Township, Lambertville, Union Township, Bethlehem, Tewksbury, Holland, High Bridge, Hampton and Frenchtown.