Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose

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Monmouth County NJ Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Defense Attorneys

New Jersey legislators have enacted some of the most hard-hitting weapons laws in the nation, particularly when it comes to firearms. However, the laws against weapons in this state are purposefully expansive, applying to weapons ranging from handguns and assault rifles to brass knuckles and BB guns. When charged with a weapons offense, the specific allegation becomes critical to understanding the potential repercussions of a conviction. For instance, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose can mean 18 months in prison or up to a decade for a person found guilty, with a great deal of variation in between.

So, what are the legal ramifications for a defendant charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose? The short answer: it depends on the weapon. When the offense involves a firearm, you are not only charged with a second degree crime that may result in a prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years, but you are also subject to the stringent sentencing guidelines of New Jersey’s “Graves Act.” The Graves Act requires a mandatory period of parole ineligibility fixed at or between one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, or 3 years, whichever is greater. In these cases, the discretion of the prosecutor and presiding judge are limited, leaving little room for negotiation if a guilty verdict is reached.

Our criminal defense team at Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington has successfully defended countless clients against serious weapons charges in Monmouth County. With a rich tradition in the community, our firm opened its door over 5 decades ago and has since assisted thousands of Monmouth County residents accused of crimes. Although the potential for an indictment and a prison sentence loom large, the earth-shattering implications can be avoided with an aggressive defense. With the help of our talented legal team, led by former Monmouth County Prosecutor and Certified Criminal Trial Attorney Charles J. Uliano, you can ensure that your interests are thoroughly protected. For additional information as to how we can assist you in moving forward, contact our West Long Branch offices at 732-440-3950 or call toll free at 888-328-9131.

Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4

Criminal charges for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4 of New Jersey’s Criminal Code. This statute details the specific weapons that fall within its purview, as well as the implications in terms of grading and the potential consequences for those convicted. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4 delineates these offenses along the following guidelines:

a. Firearms.

(1) Any person who has in his possession any firearm with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

(2) Any person who possesses, receives or transfers a community gun is guilty of a crime of the second degree and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or three years, whichever is greater and during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. As used in this paragraph, “community gun” means a firearm that is transferred among, between or within any association of two or more persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another.

b. Explosives. Any person who has in his possession or carries any explosive substance with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

c. Destructive devices. Any person who has in his possession any destructive device with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

d. Other weapons. Any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

e. Imitation firearms. Any person who has in his possession an imitation firearm under circumstances that would lead an observer to reasonably believe that it is possessed for an unlawful purpose is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Penalties for Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in New Jersey

Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose as a Second Degree Crime: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison

Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose as a Third Degree Crime: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison 

Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose as a Fourth Degree Crime: punishable by a maximum term of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.

Contact our Eatontown NJ Weapons Charges Lawyers Today

With a unique and diversified perspective gained through years of practice and exposure to both sides of the justice system, our criminal defense lawyers will investigate your case from every angle in order to build a solid defense. To discuss your circumstances and find out more about the legal avenues that may be available to you, contact our Monmouth County offices at 732-440-3950 or toll free at 888-328-9131.

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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