Camden NJ Weapon Possession Defense Lawyer
Depending on the intentions of the person caught illegally in possession of a firearm or other weapon, it is possible that prosecutors could also bring charges for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Under NJ law, specifically criminal statute 2C:39-4, it is illegal for anyone to possess a weapon with the intent to use it in a criminal act or in a manner that violates the laws of this state. For example, if police find you carrying a handgun and you were on your way to an ex’s house to use the weapon after sending a series of threatening texts, you could face multiple weapons offense charges. Weapons charges in New Jersey are numerous and wide-ranging in their application. Among these is possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, which can be a second degree, third degree, or fourth degree crime depending on the specific weapon associated with the alleged offense. For instance, possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose is a second degree crime, which exposes the defendant to a prison term of up to 10 years. In addition, these offenses are subject to the stringent sentencing guidelines of New Jersey’s Graves Act, which requires a mandatory period during which the person in ineligible for parole. Often, people are charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in conjunction with another offense, such as robbery, aggravated assault, or an act of domestic violence. Further, if the person was not legally permitted to possess the weapon, he or she can also be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, which may result in additional penalties upon conviction.
If you have been charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in Camden County or South Jersey, the time to begin building your best defense is now. William Fay is a seasoned criminal defense attorney with years’ experience fighting for clients who face weapons charges in Southern New Jersey. His stellar reputation and superior defense skills have earned his clients countless positive outcomes in municipal and superior courts throughout the area. When Mr. Fay takes your case, you have a zealous defender who will work tirelessly to protect your innocence. Contact his offices for immediate assistance at 609-832-3202. Consultations are always provided free of charge.
Camden County Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Charges
Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose is a criminal offense outline in section N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. As is evidenced below, the degree of these charges is determined by the specific weapon involved in the alleged crime. With respect to a variety of weapons, the statute mandates the following:
Firearms: Possession any firearm, with the purpose to use it unlawfully against another person or property, is a second degree crime. Penalties include a New Jersey State Prison sentence ranging from 5 to 10 years. This offense is also governed by New Jersey’s Graves Act, which requires the imposition of a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of a sentence imposed, or 3 years, whichever is greater.
- Community Guns: Notably, there is a distinction made regarding community guns, which are firearms that are transferred among two or more people who engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against another person or property. According to this law, possessing, receiving, or transferring a community gun is a second degree crime, with a maximum prison term of 10 years. This offense is also subject to the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines of the Graves Act.
Explosives: Possessing or carrying an explosive substance with the purpose to use it unlawfully against another person or property is a second degree crime, punishable by an NJ State Prison term of 5 to 10 years.
Destructive devices: Possession of a destructive device with the purpose to use it unlawfully against another person or property is a second degree crime, which may result in a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 10 years.
Other weapons: Possession of any weapon, other than those which are expressly discussed in this section, with the purpose to use it unlawfully against another person or property is a third degree crime. Penalties include a New Jersey State Prison sentence ranging from 3 to 5 years.
Imitation firearms: Possession of an imitation firearm, under circumstances that would lead an observer to reasonably believe that it is possessed for an unlawful purpose, is a fourth degree crime. Fourth degree crimes are punishable by a maximum NJ State Prison sentence of 18 months.
Prison Time & Penalties for Possessing a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes 2C:39-4
Here is the basic breakdown of possible prison sentences for possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, based on the type of weapon specific to the case:
- Firearm: 5-10 years in prison
- Explosives: 5-10 years in prison
- Destructive Device: 5-10 years in prison
- Other Weapons: 3-5 years in prison
- Imitation Firearm: up to 18 months in prison
It should also be noted that a second degree charge for a weapons offense comes with a presumption of incarceration. This means that if you are convicted of possessing a firearm, an explosive substance, or a destructive device for an unlawful purpose, you will almost certainly face prison time, as well as parole ineligibility. By contrast, for other types of weapons, the charges are typically classified as a third degree indictable offense or a fourth degree indictable offense, and both of those have a presumption of non-incarceration.
In addition to the possible prison sentence that could be imposed in your possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose case, you will also be subject to a heavy fine if you are convicted or plead guilty. For example, a conviction on second degree charges for possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose may also result in a fine of $150,000.
Contact Gloucester Twp NJ Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose Attorney
Whether you are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, explosive, destructive device, or another weapon for an unlawful purpose, the consequences of a conviction can be devastating. And you could face additional criminal charges when you are accused of possessing a firearm without a valid license or carry permit. Although some charges for possessing weapons for unlawful purposes involve the use of a legally owned handgun or other firearm, it is possible for a person to be charged with both possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon – especially when the defendant is found to be illegally possessing a handgun. Additionally, while the charges will likely be prosecuted together in the same case, any sentences imposed after a conviction or guilty plea are likely to run consecutively, not concurrently. This means that you could be sentenced to years in prison for the unlawful possession of a weapon charge, and then up to 10 more years in prison for the possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose charge.
Whatever the case may be, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable weapons defense attorney who can exploit the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and position you for the best possible result. To discuss your current situation and find the answers you need, contact our Camden County defense firm at 609-832-3202 for a free consultation.