Weapons possession charges are some of the most serious you can face in New Jersey. They often result in incarceration, and higher level offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences that require the judge to send you to prison for years. The stakes are very high if you’re charged with unlawful weapons possession, so make sure you find an experienced attorney to represent you.
What is unlawful weapons possession?
New Jersey law has two categories of unlawful weapons possession. First, there’s possession of a weapon “under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful use.” That is, the weapon itself isn’t illegal, but there’s some evidence the purpose wasn’t lawful. For example, bringing a gun to the airport.
Second, there’s possession of an unlawful weapon. Some weapons are always illegal no matter the circumstances, like explosives, sawed-off shotguns, certain types of knives, and brass knuckles.
What are the penalties for unlawful weapons possession?
The exact penalties vary based on the charge and the weapon. If you’re charged with possessing a weapon under unlawful circumstances, you face up to 18 months in prison. If the weapon was a gun, it’s 3 to 5 years in prison. If there’s some evidence you intended to commit a crime with the weapon, you could face additional charges that also carry prison sentences.
If you’re charged with possessing an unlawful weapon, you face up to 18 months in prison, or 3 to 5 years if the weapon was an explosive or a sawed-off shotgun. And, like any other conviction, you’ll have a permanent criminal record that will make your life harder in many ways.
Some of the higher-level offenses have mandatory minimum sentences, meaning that the judge has to sentence you to prison time if you’re convicted. As you can see, the stakes of any weapons charge are extremely high.
How do I beat a weapons charge?
The best defense strategy varies based on the circumstances of the case. Sometimes, the search that uncovered the weapon violated the Fourth Amendment, and we can get the evidence thrown out that way. Other times, it’s possible to prove someone else possessed the weapon. These are complicated arguments to make, and it’s best to have an experienced attorney to make them for you. It’s also possible to negotiate the charge down or enroll you in a diversionary program to avoid a conviction.
What should I do if I’m charged with weapons possession?
As you can see, weapons charges are extremely serious, and you’ll need a good lawyer to represent you. Contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation. Our contact information is on the screen and further down the page.