New Jersey Possession of a Weapon During Commission of a CDS Offense

Our Accomplished Weapons Lawyers Include A Former Gun Task Force Director That Has Successfully Defended Many N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1 Charges

New Jersey has continually amended its laws to tighten the penalties for possession of firearms or other weapons while committing a criminal offense. This is precisely what lawmakers did when they enacted N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1 to establish a separate charge for those who possess a handgun, rifle, shotgun or other weapon while in the course of committing, attempting or conspiring to commit a crime relating to distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA or other former of controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”). These charges are very serious and expose those accused to years of imprisonment. The good news is that our criminal attorneys have achieved countless stories of success defending clients arrested or indicted for gun violations such as possession of a firearm while distributing drugs. Our team has qualifications to achieve a similar outcome for you, including:

  • Over 200 years of combined experience representing those charged with distribution of cds/drugs while in possession of a firearm
  • Ten (10) lawyers who specialize exclusively in defending those accused of violating the law
  • Former county prosecutors that have served as Director of Major Crimes, the Gun Task Force, Juvenile Division and even an entire Trial Bureau
  • Certified criminal trial attorneys
  • A long history of dismissals and other favorable outcomes in handgun and other weapon cases

When you hire our defense firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall, you not only get the benefit of our extensive experience but also the skill of lawyers who are former prosecutors dedicated to ensuring that you get the best defense possible. Call us at 877-450-8301 for a free consultation with an attorney at our firm.

Weapon Possessed While Distributing Drugs

An individual commits a violation of subsection (a) of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1 if they are in possession of a firearm while committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit any of the following drug offenses:

  • Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network – N.J.S.2C:35-3
  • Maintaining a CDS Production Facility – N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-4
  • Manufacturing, Selling or Distributing CDS – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
  • Distribution of GHB – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.2
  • Distribution of Synthetic Cannabinoids – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.3
  • Employing a Juvenile in the Distribution of CDS – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-6
  • Distribution of CDS in a School Zone – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7
  • Distributing CDS in a Public Park or Housing Project – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1
  • Distribution of Imitation Firearms – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-11

Elements of this Offense. There are three (3) elements that must be established, beyond reasonable doubt, to prove a violation of 2C:39-4.1a: (1) the incident involved a firearm; (2) the firearm was possessed by the accused; and (3) at the time of the indictment, the accused was in the course of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit one of the drug/CDS offenses set forth under 2C:39-4.1(a).

Related Charges. Subsection (b) of 2C:39-4.1 applies to possession of weapons, other than firearms, possessed while engaging in CDS activities for the purpose of using it unlawfully against a person or property (i.e. possession of weapon for unlawful purpose). Subsection (c) of 2C:39-4.1 is directed at unlawful possession of a weapon while committing a CDS offense.

Penalties for Possessing a Weapon or Firearm During Drug Crime

It is a Second Degree Crime where a firearm is the weapon involved in an alleged violation under this law. A Third Degree offense applies to weapons other than a firearm except where the non-firearm is being used for an unlawful purpose, in which case the charge escalates to a Second Degree as well. A second degree crime carries a presumption of incarceration and a prison sentence of 5 – 10 years. A third degree conviction triggers jail of up to 5 years. Any prison sentence imposed under 2C:39-4.1 must be served consecutively to any imposed for the underlying drug offense such as conspiracy to distribute CDS.

Possession of a Firearm During a CDS Offense in New Jersey

Protect your rights by speaking to one of our lawyers immediately. If you or someone you love is in trouble for possessing a gun or weapon while allegedly committing one of the above crimes, it is certainly in your best interests to consult a skilled attorney as soon as possible so that you defense is not prejudiced. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are well equipped to help you in this respect and are available to defend charges under 2C:39-4.1 anywhere in New Jersey. Call us at 877-450-8301 for a free consultation with a lawyer on our staff.