Weapons charges are a serious matter, especially in the state of New Jersey. Strict laws make certain guns and weapons illegal and even more so for those who have been convicted of a crime before.A New Jersey man recently faced weapons charges after police accused him of tossing a small revolver inside the vestibule hall space of a building on December 21 of 2015. They claimed they saw the man push open the front door of the apartment building and throw the gun inside.One officer then arrested the man while the other recovered the weapon from inside the vestibule.The man was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm — just one of a handful of ways someone in New Jersey could be convicted of a weapons offense. Those ways are outlined below:
- It is illegal to possess specific weapons that are considered dangerous— weapons that are considered dangerous are known as prohibited weapons and devices. Permits are not issued for these types of weapons, which are divided into groups based on how dangerous the weapon is. For example, it is a fourth-degree crime to knowingly possess a stun gun, ballistic knife, defaced firearm, among many other weapons. However, it would be a third-degree crime to knowingly possess a sawed-off shotgun or destructive device. A fourth-degree crime carries a sentence of up to 18 months while a third-degree crime is punishable by up to five years in jail.
- It is illegal to possess a weapon for an illegal purpose — This means it is unlawful to possess a weapon to commit a crime. A second-degree charge would be for possessing destructive devices, firearms, or explosives with the intention to use them illegally against a person or their property. This can carry a sentence between five to 10 years in jail.
- It is illegal to possess certain weapons without a license or permit — There are weapons permitted under New Jersey law but it is illegal to possess those without a license or permit. The degree of the crime depends on the weapon without a permit. Fourth-degree crimes carry a charge of up to 18 months in prison while a third-degree crime is punishable by more than three years and up to five years in prison. It is important to note that even if you have a permit there are certain places people are not allowed to have weapons.
- It is illegal for certain people to possess any weapon based on their criminal record regardless of circumstance — Any individual who has ever been convicted of a crime or has been committed to a mental hospital is not allowed to possess a weapon. Doing so is a fourth-degree crime. The degree of the crime can vary based on the type of crime previously convicted of.
Fortunately for the man mentioned earlier, he was able to beat those weapons charges with a strong defense in court and a knowledgeable lawyer. He will still need plenty of legal counsel because he is also facing child endangerment charges in an unrelated incident.Like this man, if you or a loved are facing weapons or other criminal charges of any kind, then your first step should be to seek out an experienced attorney. In New Jersey, the criminal defense lawyers at Davis Law Firm, LLC in Trenton have the in-depth knowledge and skill to handle your case. Call 609-587-9100 or fill out our online contact form to begin discussing your legal options today.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.