Morristown NJ Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Defense Lawyer

Illegal Gun Possession Attorneys in Morris County, NJ

Morristown NJ Unlawful Possession of a Weapon LawyersRecently, the NJ Attorney General implemented a new program called  the Targeted Anti-Gun (“TAG”) Initiative. This program puts into effect a zero-tolerance policy for persons convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon in New Jersey. The initiative targets repeat offenders and imposes mandatory imprisonment for at least three-and-a-half (3 ½) years to ten years without the possibility of parole. Clearly, the penalties for a weapons offense in NJ are extremely serious. Additionally, being charged with a weapons offense can create a host of collateral consequences, including permanent revocation of the right to purchase firearms in NJ. Having a skilled and experienced defense attorney fighting on your behalf can mean all the difference in keeping you out of prison.

The Tormey Law Firm represents clients throughout New Jersey that have been charged with criminal offenses ranging from unlawful possession of a weapon to burglary. One of the firm’s partners, Alissa D. Hascup, is a former Assistant County Prosecutor and Special Deputy Attorney General who handled thousands of cases during the course of her distinguished career, including a number of matters involving weapons. She has experience with weapons offenses such as homicide, robbery, possession of handguns, and certain persons offenses. At the Tormey Law Firm, our defense lawyers understand the importance of acting quickly and effectively to ensure the best result possible. Contact our offices anytime at (908) 336-5008 for a no-cost consultation about your weapons case.

Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in New Jersey N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5

Unlawful Possession of a Weapon is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, which provides:

a. Machine guns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession a machine gun or any instrument or device adaptable for use as a machine gun, without being licensed to do so is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

b. Handguns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person. Otherwise it is a crime of the second degree.

c. Rifles and shotguns.

1. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a firearms purchaser identification card is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

2. Unless otherwise permitted by law, any person who knowingly has in his possession any loaded rifle or shotgun is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

d. Other weapons. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any other weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

f. Assault firearms. Any person who knowingly has in his possession an assault firearm is guilty of a crime of the second degree except if the assault firearm is licensed, registered or rendered inoperable.

h. A person who is convicted of a crime under subsection a., b. or f. of this section shall be ineligible for participation in any program of intensive supervision; provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to a crime under subsection b. involving only a handgun which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.

i. A person convicted of violating subsection a., b. or f. of this section shall be sentenced by the court to a term of imprisonment, which shall include the imposition of a minimum term during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole, if the court finds that the aggravating circumstance set forth in paragraph (5) of subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1 (“Organized Criminal Activity”) applies.

Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds in New Jersey

The unlawful possession of a weapon statute also addresses the possession of firearms and other weapons at educational institutions in New Jersey, providing the following:

1. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution, without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution, is guilty of a crime of the third degree, irrespective of whether he possesses a valid permit to carry the firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identification card.

2. Any person who knowingly possesses any weapon enumerated in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection r. of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 or any components which can readily be assembled into a firearm or other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 or any other weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful use as it may have, while in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

3. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any imitation firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution, without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution, or while on any school bus is a disorderly person, irrespective of whether he possesses a valid permit to carry a firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identification card.

Penalties for NJ Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Charges

Unlawful possession of a weapon is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5 and is an indictable offense in the state of New Jersey. The elements of the crime require an individual to knowingly be in the possession a handgun or other weapon without having obtained a permit or license to lawfully carry the weapon. Depending on the type of weapon, the offense can be classified as either a second degree or third degree felony. In either case, the penalties are severe. A conviction for second degree unlawful possession of a weapon is punishable by a term of imprisonment of between five and 10 years in NJ State Prison. A conviction for third degree unlawful possession of a weapon carries a potential prison term of three-to-five years in state prison.

Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Is a Graves Act Offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c)

Subsections (a), (b), and (c) of the statute are subject to sentencing under the Graves Act, meaning that an individual convicted of such an offense must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. These mandatory guidelines are harsh because they limit prosecutorial discretion and require a “Graves Act waiver” to be signed by the presiding superior court judge before a plea agreement may be accepted by the State. The unforgiving nature of these guidelines means that you need an experienced attorney who can navigate your case through the complicated legal system in NJ and help you avoid prison time.

Speak with a Boonton NJ Unlawful Weapons Possession Lawyer Free of Charge

The consequences of a conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon in New Jersey are severe. The assistance of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can be crucial in avoiding prison time. The criminal defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have successfully handled thousands of cases in New Jersey courtrooms. We are familiar with the inner workings of courtrooms in Morris County NJ, including those in Dover, Denville, and Roxbury, as well as Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, where our offices are conveniently located. If find yourself in a situation where you or a loved one has been charged with a weapons offense as a result of a domestic violence or another incident, contact the Tormey Law Firm today at (908) 336-5008 for a free consultation.

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With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

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Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue, Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

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Areas we serve

All of Morris County including Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mont Arlington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, and Wharton.

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