One may rightfully assume that charges for unlawful possession of a weapon, heroin distribution, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, or those for similar offenses, are deemed sufficiently severe by the State, considering the host of devastating penalties that these crimes entail for those convicted. However, with the onslaught of gun legislation passed in New Jersey, lawmakers included yet another offense, which may be issued in addition to the aforementioned charges against those found in possession of a firearm or other weapon during the commission of a narcotics offense. These crimes, commonly referred to as “drugs and guns violations,” can spell catastrophic consequences, including a 5 to 10-year prison term which must be served in addition to any other sentence imposed in connection with drug or weapons charges. This means that, hypothetically, if you are convicted of cocaine distribution, unlawful possession of a weapon, and a drugs and guns violation, you may be required to serve each of these sentences consecutively, completing one term in its entirety before beginning the term associated with another. Due to the complexity and potential for enhanced penalties in cases of this kind, it is crucial to enlist an attorney who can navigate the negotiation process, as well as the trial component of your case, in order to secure the most favorable outcome.
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our attorneys are seasoned negotiators, as well as aggressive trial lawyers, with experience on both sides of the legal aisle. Having served as former county and municipal prosecutors, our team is composed of a group of legal professionals who understand the thought process of the prosecution and the elaborate dance that is often required to serve the best interests of our clients. We conduct an extensive investigation of each client’s case in order to anticipate and effectively address weaknesses and capitalize on strengths in pursuit of a desirable result. With our knowledge and experience on your side, you can rest assured that your interests are thoroughly protected. For a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys, contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall today.
Possession of a Weapon During a Narcotics Offense in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1
Drugs and guns violations are outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which dictates the following:
Any person who has in his possession any firearm while in the course of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit a violation of N.J.S.2C:35-3, N.J.S.2C:35-4, N.J.S.2C:35-5, section 3 or section 5 of P.L.1997, C. 194 (C.2C:35-5.2 or 2C:35-5.3), N.J.S.2C:35-6, section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7), section 1 of P.L.1997, c.327 (C.2C:35-7.1), N.J.S.2C:35-11, or N.J.S.2C:16-1 is guilty of a crime of the second degree.
Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8 or any other provision of law, a conviction arising under this section shall not merge with a conviction for a violation of any of the sections of chapter 35 or chapter 16 referred to in this section nor shall any conviction under those sections merge with a conviction under this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:44-5 or any other provision of law, the sentence imposed upon a violation of this section shall be ordered to be served consecutively to that imposed for any conviction for a violation of any of the sections of chapter 35 or chapter 16 referred to in this section or a conviction for conspiracy or attempt to violate any of those sections.
Contact our Hunterdon County NJ Narcotics and Firearms Defense Lawyers
As mentioned previously, a drugs and guns violation is classified as a second degree felony, punishable by a State Prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years. In addition, a conviction under this section requires the defendant to serve the sentence imposed consecutive to any other sentences associated with other drug or weapons crimes. Considering these mandatory stipulations, guilty verdicts in these cases can quickly turn into decades of imprisonment. To discuss your case with a member of our seasoned defense team and begin constructing your defense, contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at 908-722-1011.