Weapons offenses in New Jersey carry serious penalties upon conviction. If you have been charged with a weapons crime in New Jersey, contact a skilled Camden County criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Gosse. Our firm is dedicated to implementing the appropriate defense strategy and helping you obtain the best outcome in your case. Some common New Jersey weapons offenses that our experienced legal team have defended against are:
- Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes: Individuals may be charged with possession of weapons for unlawful purposes such as using a gun in the course of a robbery. Weapons include firearms, knives, slingshots, nunchucks, a baseball bat or any other instrument that can be used to inflict bodily harm or cause the death of another.
- Possession of imitation firearms for an unlawful purpose also falls under this category even if the imitation firearm is not capable of shooting someone. Depending on the type of weapon possessed, the defendant may be charged with a crime of the second, third or fourth degree.
- Possession of Prohibited Weapons and Devices: Defendants may be charged with possession of illegal weapons including destructive devices, sawed-off shotguns, silencers or defaced firearms. These offenses are typically classified as third or fourth-degree offenses.
- Unlawful Possession of Weapons: Possessing a firearm without a permit to carry is one of the most common weapons offenses in New Jersey and constitutes a second-degree crime. Generally, anyone carrying a handgun outside their home is subject to being charged with this offense. This offense ranges from a third to a fourth-degree crime depending on the type of weapon possessed.
- Possession of a Weapon by a Felon: This constitutes a fourth-degree felony crime. Those who are not permitted to be in possession of weapons, such as convicted felons or those on probation or parole, may face weapons charges.
- Possession of Weapons in Educational Institutions: In New Jersey, it is illegal to possess a firearm in any school, college, university or other educational institution. Even if one possesses a valid permit to carry the firearm or other weapon, they must obtain consent in the form of written authorization from the governing officer of the institution. Conviction for this offense will constitute a crime of the fourth degree.
The Graves Act
It is imperative to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney if you are facing weapons charges in New Jersey. Certain weapons offenses will require the imposition of mandatory prison time, in accordance with the New Jersey Graves Act. An experienced Camden County criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Gosse will possess extensive knowledge regarding this strict, complex statute and will fight tirelessly for your rights.
The Graves Act states that certain firearm-related offenses will trigger the imposition of a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and parole ineligibility. Offenses subject to the Graves Act include:
- Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun, Handgun, Rifle or Shotgun
- Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun
- Possession of a Defaced Firearm
- Possession of a Firearm While Distributing Drugs
- Possession of a Firearm with the Intent to Distribute
- Possession of Certain Weapons by Persons Previously Convicted of Specified Offenses
- Manufacture, Transport or Disposition of a Machine Gun, Sawed-Off Shotgun or Assault Firearm
- Defacement of a Firearm
A person convicted of any of these offenses must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment (in accordance with the term applicable to the particular offense) and a term of parole ineligibility which must be between one-third to one-half of the imposed sentence or three years, whichever is greater. The penalties increase if the convicted person was previously convicted of certain firearms offenses or if certain aggravating factors were present.
Contact a Camden County Criminal Lawyer at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Gosse for Experienced Representation for Those Accused of Weapons Offenses
If you are facing a weapons charge in New Jersey, it is in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced Camden County criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Gosse. We understand the nuances of New Jersey gun law and will work to help you avoid jail time and get your charges reduced whenever possible. Our office is located in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and we represent those charged with weapons offenses throughout South Jersey. Contact us online or call us at 856-546-6600 or toll-free at 800-989-1575 to schedule a free consultation.