I Have a Weapons Offense Charge, What Do I Do Now?
Generally speaking, a weapons offense is a violation of the laws that control who can and cannot own and operate deadly weapons. Depending on your situation and whether you have a criminal record or not, it can be a serious charge to have possessed a weapon unlawfully in the State of New Jersey.
The types of a deadly weapons that many people possess unlawfully include:
- Assault firearms
- Specific knives
The laws of the United States restrict the use and possession of deadly weapons in relation to:
- Carrying the weapon
- Use of the weapon
- Sales or trafficking
Prison Sentencing for Weapons Offenses
There can be serious prison sentences associated with a Federal weapons charge for offenders. These sentencing mandates have changed and the Federal sentencing times may have longer sentences, as well as the State sentencing lengths may have increased as well. Also, at the Federal level, it is more common that a person violating a weapon charge also has other pending related charges to deal with as well. These cases are often complex, and there may have been many different laws that were broken, separating out into multiple charges.
New Jersey Unlawful Possession Laws
The New Jersey unlawful possession of weapons statute Unlawful Possession (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5) states that a person who has an assault firearm is guilty of a crime in the second degree if it is unlicensed. Anyone who has a handgun must have a permit to carry it, or is guilty of a crime in the second degree as well. A person who has possession of a rifle or shotgun without permission, is guilty of a crime in the third degree. Your case will be individual to you and your situation, but whenever unlawful possession is an issue, there will be various charges that need to be explained in those cases. But in general, these charges carry prison terms, which will increase in length if the weapon was used in the commission of a crime.
If you are in this position, you will want to talk to an attorney right away. You need to review whether you had the weapon in a case of lawful use or not. Next, you will need to determine what you were doing at the time you were charged with possession of the weapon. If you committed a crime while in unlawful possession of a weapon, the penalties will be felonies. These felony charges may require prison time at 18 months up to 10 years or more depending on the charges.
Prohibited Weapons Under All Circumstances
In New Jersey, there are a class of weapons that are unlawful to possess under all circumstances. These include:
- Sawed-off shotguns
- Filed down weapons
If you have a weapons offense charge, give Sarofiem & Antoun a call at (201) 792–3333. We are here for you to go over your case and discuss your next steps to getting the fairest proceedings that you deserve. In the face of a weapons charge, you do not want to go this alone. You will want to talk to attorneys who know how to navigate the court system and help you to have fair dealings based on your specific situation. Don’t wait, you will want to call us first, we are here to answer any questions that you may have, and trust us, we have heard it all! Call now, we are standing by to take that call. You are not alone, just let us know how we can assist you.