Penalties of Carrying a Firearm Illegally
Although people have a constitutional right to carry firearms, the federal and state governments can and do impose legal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms. If a person fails to follow these restrictions or other legal requirements for purchasing and carrying a firearm, he or she can be arrested for illegal carrying of a firearm. For example, a person can be arrested if he or she fails to properly register his or her firearm after purchasing it. Many times, people fail to follow the requirements for purchasing or carrying a firearm because they are ineligible to possess firearms (for example, they may be a previously-convicted felon or may have been civilly committed for mental health reasons) or because they plan to use their firearm for unlawful reasons.
Being Arrested for Illegal Carrying
Being arrested for illegally possessing a firearm may not seem like a serious crime. However, many states treat the offense as a serious crime. While some jurisdictions classify unlawful possession of a firearm as a misdemeanor, other states list the crime at the felony level. As a result, conviction for illegal firearm possession can result in a sentence that includes months or even years in jail or prison. If a person is charged with other crimes in connection with their possession of a firearm, the sentences for those crimes can be enhanced due to the illegal possession of a firearm.
Other Crimes Associated with Illegal Firearms
As noted above, some people illegally obtain firearms with the intent to use those firearms in the commission of other crimes, such as robbery or assault. Using a firearm in the commission of another crime, particularly a violent crime like robbery or assault, increases the risk that someone may be shot and killed, which can expose the defendant to charges of felony murder.
People may commit other crimes in the process of illegally obtaining firearms. For example, a person may knowingly accept a stolen firearm, opening them up to charges of receipt of stolen property. Or they may use false information in an attempt to obtain firearms through legal channels, which depending on the circumstances can constitute fraud, perjury, or identity theft.
Reselling of Illegal Firearms
Some people engage in the business of illegally acquiring and selling firearms. Oftentimes, people who engage in this activity also sell other illegal goods such as drugs or stolen or counterfeit items. Law enforcement agencies are especially concerned with individuals who engage in the illegal sale of firearms, since these individuals are often the means by which criminals obtain firearms.
Consequences of Conviction
As noted, a conviction for the illegal carrying of a firearm can impose serious consequences. Many states classify unlawful possession of a firearm as a felony, which means that a conviction can result in a years-long prison sentence. When firearms are unlawfully possessed in connection with other crimes, such as unlawfully possessing firearms as a previously-convicted felon or possessing firearms in connection with a drug trafficking or distribution enterprise, a defendant can face significant sentencing enhancements in the event of a conviction.
Contact an Experienced Hamilton Township Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Illegal Carrying of a Firearm Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with illegal carrying of a firearm in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at The Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with illegal carrying of a firearm in East Windsor, West Windsor, Hopewell, Robbinsville, and throughout New Jersey. Call 609-587-9100 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.