Tenacious South Jersey Gun Crimes Attorney Defends Clients Against Charges Of Unlawful Possession Of A Weapon In Burlington And Camden Counties, New Jersey
New Jersey enforces some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and the major media attention surrounding various gun control controversies in recent years has encouraged even more strict and severe punishments for unlawful possession of a weapon in New Jersey. Criminal weapons charges can even be brought against individuals carrying spring-loaded weapons, such as BB or airsoft guns. In some cases, the state may even charge an individual with unlawful possession of a weapon if they cross into New Jersey from a neighboring state without a valid permit to carry the weapon in the state of New Jersey – regardless of whether carrying the weapon was lawful in the neighboring state.
If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a handgun or another weapon in New Jersey, it is imperative that you have a qualified New Jersey criminal defense attorney on your side. I am attorney Stephen R. Piper, and I have the experience you need to handle your criminal law concerns. Do not hesitate to contact me now to discuss your criminal weapons charges.
How I Can Help You Combat Charges
The primary gun control statute in New Jersey is known as the Graves Act, and it is codified in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6. The Graves Act makes most unlawful possession of a weapon crimes second-degree offenses, meaning that the conviction will lead to a mandatory prison sentence of between five and 10 years. The judge has no discretion to impose a lighter sentence, and any individual convicted under the Graves Act will be sentenced to a minimum of five years in state prison. Because of special provisions in the Graves Act, convicted individuals are not even eligible for parole until they have served at least three years in prison.
An aggressive and relentless criminal defense attorney is a necessary asset in New Jersey unlawful possession of a weapon cases. I fight tirelessly for my clients who have been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in order to help secure either the Pre-trial Intervention (PTI) program or probation under the Graves Act. I will investigate and evaluate each case thoroughly to determine whether you qualify for PTI or probation, which may be available under the Graves Act if the following circumstances are true:
- The accused individual has no prior criminal record.
- The gun was properly licensed and obtained lawfully in another state.
- The gun was unloaded or posed no risk to the public.
I also work hard to uncover mitigating factors in each client’s case, which can allow me to negotiate a waiver with the prosecution’s office if PTI or probation is unavailable. A Graves Act waiver can allow the court to reduce the minimum parole eligibility period from three years to as little as one year.
Defending Clients Against Unlawful Possession Of A Weapon Charges In Camden County Courts
If PTI or probation is unavailable and a Graves Act waiver cannot be obtained, I am ready to go to court to help my clients fight any unlawful possession of a weapon charge. The types of unlawful possession charges in New Jersey include:
- Possession of a machine gun, punishable as a second-degree offense under New Jersey Code Section 2C:39-5
- Possession of a handgun without a permit, punishable as a third-degree offense if it is spring-loaded or an air gun or as a second-degree offense in other cases
- Possession of a rifle or shotgun without a firearms purchaser identification card, generally a third-degree offense
- Possession of any firearm in an educational institution without written authorization from the governing body of the school, punishable as a third-degree offense, even if the accused individual has a valid permit to carry the weapon outside of the school
Unlawful possession of a weapon charges in New Jersey can also be brought against individuals who are not legally eligible to carry weapons, such as individuals who have previously been convicted of certain offenses. These are called “certain persons offenses.”
The most serious gun crime cases in New Jersey involve accusations that the individual possessed an illegal weapon with the intent to use that weapon for an unlawful purpose. The sentence for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose can be imposed in addition to any sentence imposed in connection with any other charge, whether concurrently or consecutively. In these cases, I will fight to prove that the accused individual did not have the required unlawful intent that the prosecution must prove in order to convict. In other cases, I may be able to prove that the gun was discovered in the course of an unlawful search of the accused individual’s home or vehicle. In all cases, I will bring my years of experience as a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to work in exploring every possible defense avenue that may be available.
Contact An Experienced New Jersey Criminal Weapons Charge Attorney Who Will Help You Beat Unlawful Possession Of A Weapon Charges In Cherry Hill, New Jersey
If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township or anywhere else in New Jersey, you need the best legal defense to keep your record clear. At The Law Offices of Stephen R. Piper, LLC, I am ready to go to work for you today. Contact my Moorestown office to schedule a free initial consultation today.