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Weapons Charges

New Jersey has some of the toughest weapons laws in the country. The penalties vary from 1st degree to disorderly persons. Weapons are not only firearms but include bb guns, imitation firearms, certain knives, slingshots, stun guns, metal knuckle, fireworks and other explosive devices.

You must be aware that a gun permit from another state (even a bordering state like NY or Pennsylvania) is not valid in New Jersey. 

Common weapon charges:

  • Unlawful possession of a weapon – Possessing a weapon without a permit to carry.

  • Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose – Purchase, own or carrying a weapon with the intent to commit a crime such as burglary or robbery.

  • Illegal transportation of a firearm – New Jersey does not honor any other states permits or licenses to carry. In order to lawfully transport a firearm in New Jersey, it must be unloaded and placed in a secured container or locked in the trunk of the vehicle with the ammunition locked in a separate container in the trunk of the vehicle.

  • Possession of an imitation firearm  for an unlawful purpose – any object that can reasonably be mistaken as a firearm, such as BB guns, Airsoft guns, paintball guns, etc.

  • Possession of a firearm by an unlawful person – such as a convicted felon or stated in a restraining order.

Prohibited Weapons in New Jersey

There are 5 Categories of weapons that are outlawed in New Jersey: 

  • Destructive (Explosive) Devices

  • Sawed-Off Shotguns

  • Silencers

  • Defaced Firearms

  • Certain other weapons – such as certain knives, billy, black jack, slingshots, metal knuckle, razor blades or metal filings imbedded in wood, etc. 

New Jersey takes a harsh stance against even a first offense weapons charge due to the Graves Act which requires a mandatory minimum lengthy prison sentence if convicted.  For example, if you are convicted of a 2nd degree unlawful possession of a weapon a judge must sentence you to prison for 5 - 10 years with no chance of parole for at least 3.5 years and a second conviction has a parole ineligibility of 5 years.

However, there are certain situations where you could be considered for pre-trial intervention (PTI), probation, or a Graves Waiver. However, all require consent by the Prosecutors’ Office.  

Since New Jersey takes weapons charges so seriously, you need an experienced attorney who can navigate this unsympathetic justice system.  As a former New Jersey State Trooper who investigated and prosecuted numerous weapons offenses, I have the unique perspective to analyze these cases from a different viewpoint and frame of mind in order to effectively argue the flaws of the prosecution’s case and provide you with the best possible outcome. 

If you have been charged with a weapons offense in Northern New Jersey, Contact Me immediately for a free confidential review of your case.

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