Our Former County Prosecutors & Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys Have The Experience Needed To Successfully Defend Your Unlawful Person Offense
If you were charged with possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes or possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, then it is essential that you hire an attorney. Indeed, a weapon offense like this can ruin an individual’s ability to obtain employment and can easily result in jail time. The truth is, however, that there are many defenses to an unlawful purpose offense, and our lawyers have the know-how you require. Perhaps your purpose was totally innocent or maybe the item was not even a weapon. Irrespective of the scenario, we have the qualifications to defend you, including:
- Over 200 years of collective experience defending individuals charged with possession of a handgun, rifle, shotgun or other weapons for an unlawful purpose
- Ten (10) lawyers whose practice is limited exclusively to the defense of criminal and other charges
- Former county prosecutors from around the state that have served in top positions like Director of Major Crimes, the Guns Task Force, Juvenile Division, Special Operations and even an entire Trial Bureau
- Members who have earned the distinction from the NJ Supreme Court of being Criminal Trial Attorneys (less than 2% in practice have this credential)
- A long list of clients who have earned dismissals and other favorable outcomes in unlawful purposes cases
We handle weapon charges throughout New Jersey, and initial consultation with an attorney at the firm is free. Call us at 877-450-8301 to discuss the facts of your case, get the answers you needed, and explore what we can do to help you move on with your life with a minimum if any, damage.
New Jersey Law – Weapon Possessed for Unlawful Purpose
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d), “any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, explosive or destructive device, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the third degree.” The material elements that must be established by a prosecutor to obtain a conviction are: (1) possession of a “weapon;” (2) purpose to use the item against person or property of another; and (3) the intended use is unlawful.
N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 sets forth those items which are considered weapons under NJ law. The definition includes not only firearms but any item “capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury.” Specific items in the statute include knives, metal knuckles, slingshots, and razor blades—although virtually any object could constitute a “weapon” if capable of inflicting harm.
What is an Unlawful Purpose under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d)?
An individual’s possession of a weapon is with a “purpose to use it unlawfully,” where there is a specific intent to use it to commit an illegal act. Accordingly, where someone possesses a “weapon” for realistic self-protection, there is no object to commit an unlawful act and, hence, no unlawful purpose.
Penalties & Punishment for Possessing a Weapon with Unlawful Purpose
An unlawful purpose offense results in a second-degree crime where the weapon is a firearm, explosive, or destructive device. Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose is a third-degree crime where something other than a firearm is the instrumentality. It is a fourth-degree crime to possess an imitation firearm for the purpose to use it unlawfully against another person or property.
Second-degree possession of a handgun/rifle/shotgun for an unlawful purpose results in 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose carries up to 5 years in prison and exposes the accused to a fine that can reach $15,000. A fourth-degree crime for possession of an imitation firearm with an unlawful purpose can land someone in prison for up to 18 months and result in their being fined up to $10,000.
It is imperative to keep in mind that an unlawful purpose offense is an entirely separate crime from unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of an illegal weapon or any other violation arising out of an event such as a robbery or aggravated assault.
Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Defense Attorneys in New Jersey
If you were arrested for possessing a weapon for unlawful purposes, then you want to be sure you get the most robust defense possible. You need a criminal defense attorney who you can trust with your future and your reputation, an attorney who is experienced and professional, and knows what it takes to fight and beat illegal weapons and firearm charges in New Jersey courts. The defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall understand that the system is often not fair, and we will fight to make sure that your rights are protected. Our criminal lawyers include former prosecutors who understand that mistakes happen, and sometimes all it takes is the right person to listen to your side of things. We will give you a voice in the criminal court system and make sure your rights are protected at every stage. Our attorneys can defend your interests throughout New Jersey and we handle firearm and weapons charges throughout New Jersey. Don’t hesitate to contact us to talk to a senior lawyer from our office who can inform you about your charges at no cost to you.
Additional Unlawful Purpose Legal Resources To Help You