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New Jersey Criminal Lawyer for Top Legal Defense: Weapons Offenses

New Jersey Firearms Lawyer for Defending Against Weapons Charges

In New Jersey, weapons offenses carry severe penalties. In order to defend yourself effectively, you need an experienced New Jersey firearms lawyer on your side. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., we have three lawyers who are Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as criminal trial attorneys, and collectively our attorneys have centuries of combined experience representing clients in New Jersey’s courts. If you have been charged with a weapons offense, we can defend you, but it is important that you contact us right away.

Our New Jersey firearms lawyers represent individuals charged with all types of weapons offenses. We have 15 office locations throughout the state, and our lawyers regularly appear on behalf of clients in New Jersey’s criminal courts. If you have been charged with a crime involving any of the following, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation about your defense:

  • Unlawful weapon possession
  • Use or possession of a weapon during a robbery or burglary
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Murder or manslaughter
  • Carjacking involving a weapon
  • Theft of a firearm or other weapon
  • Possession of a stolen, unnumbered or unlicensed firearm
  • Any other weapon-related crime under New Jersey law

Our Attorneys Represent Individuals Charged with Weapons Offenses in All New Jersey Criminal Courts

Several provisions of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice outline weapons-related offenses. In general terms, New Jersey law defines weapons offenses as follows:

  • Having a weapon of any kind without a lawful purpose;
  • Having firearms or guns without proper permits for possession and/or for carrying them; and/or
  • Using or threatening to use any weapon against another person or thing.

Some examples of specific weapons offenses in New Jersey include:

  • N.J.S.A. Section 2C:39-3.a. – “Any person who knowingly has in his possession any destructive device is guilty of a crime of the third degree.”
  • N.J.S.A. Section 2C:39-3.d. – “Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm which has been defaced, except an antique firearm or an antique handgun, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.”
  • N.J.S.A. Section 2C:39-4.a. – “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.”
  • N.J.S.A. Section 2C:39-4.c. – “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.”
  • N.J.S.A. Section 2C:39-4.d. – “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.”

For purposes of criminal prosecution in New Jersey, weapons include knives, bats, tire irons, stars, or any other object that is being used as a weapon. The most serious crimes involve the possession or unlawful use of a firearm, such as machine guns, rifles, shotguns, automatic guns, pistols, BB guns and pellet guns. A conviction for having just one of these firearms, without a permit, carries a prison sentence of at least five years. Some weapons convictions result in an even longer prison sentence. Often they come with the requirement that the person serve one third, one half or 85 percent of the prison term before they become eligible for parole.

Anyone previously convicted of a felony could be sentenced to at least five years without parole for a weapons charge.

Potential Defenses to Weapons Offense Charges in New Jersey

While the penalties for weapons offenses in New Jersey are severe, there are also many potential defenses to weapons charges that can be asserted under a broad range of circumstances. When you choose Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., your New Jersey firearms lawyer will work with you one-on-one to determine what defenses you can use to mitigate the consequences of your arrest, if not avoid a conviction entirely.

Depending on the circumstances involved in any particular case, potential defenses to weapons offense charges in New Jersey include:

  • Lack of knowledge (i.e. you did not know you had a weapon in your possession);
  • Lack of unlawful purpose (i.e. while you had a weapon in your possession, you did not have it on you with the intent to commit a crime);
  • You had a concealed carry permit or other necessary legal authorization to possess the weapon at issue;
  • The prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt;
  • The police failed to read your Miranda rights, and you confessed to the crime while being interrogated in custody;
  • You were using the weapon at issue in self-defense or in defense of someone else; and,
  • The police searched you or seized your weapon (or other evidence) in violation of your constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment.

Learn more about potential defenses to criminal charges in New Jersey.

FAQs: What You Need to Know When Facing a Weapons Offense Charge in New Jersey Criminal Court

If the police stopped me or seized my weapon without a warrant, does this mean I have a defense?

Maybe. While the Fourth Amendment requires the police to obtain a warrant before conducting a search or making an arrest in many circumstances, there are also many exceptions to the warrant requirement. For example, if you were attempting to evade the police or there were other emergency circumstances, then a warrant may not have been required. Likewise, if your weapon was in plain sight or if the police searched you as part of a lawful arrest, then a warrantless search and seizure may have been permissible.

What are the penalties for weapons offenses in New Jersey?

The penalties you are facing will depend on the specific weapons offense with which you have been charged. However, most weapons offenses are classified as “indictable crimes” in New Jersey, and this means that they carry substantial fines and terms of imprisonment. Our New Jersey firearms lawyers can help you understand what is at stake in your case and what defenses you have available.

If I was in unlawful possession of a firearm, should I plead guilty to obtain a lesser sentence?

No. It is a common misconception that pleading guilty earns you favor with the judge. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, pleading guilty without the advice of counsel is a mistake. Even if you were in unlawful possession of a firearm, you could still have defenses available, and you should speak with an attorney to figure out how you should approach your case.

What factors should I consider when choosing a New Jersey firearms lawyer?

When choosing a New Jersey firearms lawyer to represent you, there are several important factors to consider. Most importantly, however, you want to select a lawyer who has extensive experience representing individuals charged with weapons offenses in the jurisdiction where your case is pending. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, our lawyers are highly experienced in handling weapons crime cases throughout New Jersey, and we can use our experience to defend you by all means available.

Avoid the Harsh Penalties of a Weapons Crime Conviction with a Top New Jersey Firearms Lawyer

Due to the serious consequences of weapons offense charges, it is very important to immediately seek the services of a New Jersey firearms lawyer who has specific experience in these types of cases. Our attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of individuals charged with weapons offenses, and we can use this experience to pursue a favorable outcome in your case.

If you are facing a weapons charge in New Jersey, you need to rely on the advice and representation of experienced defense counsel. Call us at 877-435-6371 or contact us online now for a free and confidential consultation.

 

 

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