What are the penalties for being convicted of a weapons charge?
New Jersey strictly enforces its numerous gun and weapons laws. Conviction for a weapons offense can lead to stiff penalties, including prison time. Gun charges can be secondary crimes that exacerbate the punishment of the main crime, such as possession of a firearm while committing a burglary. A gun offense can also be a standalone crime, in which possessing the illegal weapon is sufficient for indictment. Our New Jersey weapons offenses lawyer at Sitzler & Sitzler discusses gun offense basics in the state below.
Types of Gun Offenses in New Jersey
Most gun offenses are set out in New Jersey Statutes Title 2C, The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, Section §2C:39. The list of weapons charges in New Jersey include:
- Possession of illegal weapons;
- Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon;
- Juvenile possession of a weapon;
- Possession of a handgun without permit to carry;
- Possession of a weapon during commission of a crime;
- Possession of a weapon on school grounds;
- Possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.
These are just some of the many gun and weapons related offenses in the state of New Jersey. Each weapons offense will have different elements that the prosecutor must prove in order to convict you of the crime. Your criminal defense lawyer can better explain your charges to you so that you can develop a strong defense.
Penalties for Gun Offenses in New Jersey
The penalties for a weapons offense range in severity depending on the crime. Some weapons offenses will result in a few months in prison, while others could carry mandatory minimum sentences of ten years in prison. For example, the crime of possession of a firearm without a permit to carry is a second degree crime that could require a minimum of five years in a state prison, without eligibility for parole for three years.
Possible Defenses Against a Gun Charge
Your best defense will depend upon the exact facts surrounding your arrest and alleged illegal conduct. One potential defense involves challenging an illegal search. If the police found the weapon in your car or home and did not have a search warrant, you may have grounds to seek suppression of the illegally seized weapon. Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible if you have been charged with a weapons offense so that you can mount a strong defense.