Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Defense in New Jersey
The Attorney General of New Jersey recently implemented the Targeted Anti-Gun Initiative, or TAG, a new program that makes effective a policy of zero-tolerance for individuals convicted of unlawful weapon possession in NJ. Repeat offenders are the target of this initiative, which imposes mandatory imprisonment for 3 ½ to 10 years without possibility of parole. Undergoing conviction on weapons offenses trigger a string of collateral consequences, among which is having your right to firearms purchase within NJ permanently revoked.
Hiring Graves Act Lawyers in NJ can make the difference between being acquitted from charges or commitment to prison. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5 codifies Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. In general, anyone who knowingly holds in possession a handgun or similar instrument adaptable for use as a weapon without having requisite licensing is guilty of committing a crime. Depending upon the type of weapon involved, the offense can either be classified as second or third degree felony. The penalties for either scenario are however quite severe. Conviction for unlawful weapon possession in the second degree gets punished by an imprisonment term of between five and ten years within the NJ State Prison System. A third-degree unlawful weapon possession charge carries a potential three to five-year term in state prison.
N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c) effectively renders Unlawful Possession of a Weapon a Graves Act offense. It implies that any person convicted of this offense has to receive sentencing to a prescribed imprisonment term. Under the statute, Subsections (a), (b) and (c) provide harsh mandatory guidelines which limit prosecutorial discretion. In fact, the superior court judge presiding must sign a “Graves Act waiver” before a plea agreement is accepted by the State. These guidelines are unforgiving, implying you require an experienced attorney to help in navigating your case through the complexities of the NJ legal system to avoid time in prison. The repercussions which follow a conviction for unlawful weapon possession can be quite severe. This makes it imperative to consult with a well-informed defense attorney. Our Graves Act Lawyers in NJ have handled numerous related cases in the court rooms of New Jersey, in all counties including Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, Ocean, Essex, Union, Hudson, Hunterdon, and Atlantic Counties to name a few.
The majority of guns are found when the police search a house, car or personal belongings. What matters during such incidences is whether a police officer had the legal right of searching your property. In general, the law states that police require having probable cause and a warrant before searching your property. However, certain exceptions apply to this warrant requirement. If police for instance conducted a warrantless search, their search can be rendered illegal since they might have violated your constitutional rights. The presiding judge could then dismiss the case while suppressing the weapon.
Another incidence in which Graves Act Lawyers in NJ can offer strategic help is where you are eligible for the first offender program of New Jersey, known as Pre-Trial intervention (PTI). You can avoid having a criminal record through this program. Pre-Trial intervention provides a diversionary first-time offenders’ program in New Jersey. The offender remains under court supervision for a short time-period and abides by the law. Charges thereafter get dismissed once this supervision period elapses.
The lawyers at Schneider Freiberger, P.C. have been defending gun charges in Monmouth County and all over the State of New Jersey for more than 40 years. Dean I. Schneider, Esquire has more than a decade of experience as a prosecutor, so he understands both sides when it comes to defending against Weapon and Gun Charges in New Jersey.
The initial consultation is always free. Call our office today at 732-747-0100 to see how we can help you. You can also contact us by email.