Union County NJ Criminal Lawyers

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Certain Person Not To Possess A Weapon

Elizabeth NJ Certain Persons Offense Defense Attorney

Certain criminal convictions carry severe restrictions, including the right to possess a “weapon” in any form. Whether or not you fall within this limitation is guided by the New Jersey Certain Persons Law contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7. Unfortunately, if you are labeled as a certain person under this statute, you are prohibited from owning or possessing a weapon to hunt or any other legitimate or legal purpose. A violation of this law results in severe penalties. Anyone facing a charge as serious as a certain persons charge needs to consult with a highly qualified weapon offense defense lawyer as soon as possible. At our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have assembled a team of former prosecutors and skilled criminal lawyers who have been practicing in Union County for decades. Call our law firm at 908-272-1700 to speak to one of our experienced defense attorneys now.

How Do You Become A “Certain Person” Under New Jersey Law?

As previously mentioned, you are rendered a certain person not to possess a weapon under NJ Law if you were previously convicted of specific criminal offenses. You may also be deemed a certain person under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7  if you have a history of certain mental disorders. Certain persons are barred from owning, possessing or controlling a weapon. A conviction to any of the following offenses places an individual in the category of a certain person:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Domestic Violence
  • Escape
  • Extortion
  • Homicide
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Bias Intimidation
  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon or Device
  • Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose or the Offense of Manufacture, Transport Disposition and Defacement of Weapons
  • Unlawful Use, Possession, or Sale of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (excluding a disorderly or petty disorderly offense)

Moreover, a conviction for one of these enumerated offense in another state, territory, commonwealth or jurisdiction of the United States or the World, will qualify you as a certain person, so long as the crime is comparable to one of the above enumerated offenses.

What Is Considered A “Weapon” Under The Certain Person Law?

Knowing what qualifies as a weapon under the law is important in understanding what constitutes a certain person offense. In this regard, New Jersey defines “weapon” broadly to include anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury. A firearm or knife would clearly fall within this term, however, less obvious items can qualify as a weapon under this expansive definition and result in a certain persons charge. This is particularly true where the object, by appearance, can readily be used for both lawful and unlawful purposes. Several factors are to be considered by police and courts when this situation arises and it is less than totally clear if an item constitutes a “weapon” under 2C:39-7. In this regard, circumstances such as the physical characteristics (e.g. size, shape, etc.) of the device, concealment, time and place of use, and actions of the possessor should be considered in making a determination as to whether the purpose is as a weapon.

Is A Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons Charge a Felony?

Yes. A certain persons not to have a weapon offense is always an indictable felony crime pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7. This means that a charge for a certain persons offense is within the jurisdiction of the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth. Typically, it is a fourth degree crime to possess a weapon in violation of the certain persons law. However, this charge can increase to a second or third degree crime in a certain situations. If predicate criminal offense is stalking involving a firearm, then the certain person offense is enhanced to a second degree crime. It is also a second degree crime to be a certain person in possession of a firearm. If the triggering conviction is for domestic violence, then violation of 2C:39-7 is a third degree crime.

What are the Penalties For Violating N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 (“Certain Persons Law”)?

The penalties an individual will face for violating 2C:39-7 will vary depending on the degree of crime involved. The most severe certain persons cases are those involving a firearm as they typically constitute second degree crimes. A second degree conviction carries a fine as high as $150,000 and incarceration for up to ten (10) years, including a minimum period of parole ineligibility of at least five (5) years. and a fine of $150,000.00. A third degree certain persons conviction carries between three (3) and five (5) years in prison and a $15,000.00 fine. Lastly, a fourth degree certain persons violation exposes a defendant to eighteen (18) months in jail and a fine of $10,000.

If you were arrested, indicted or otherwise charged with a weapons violation based on your being a certain person, call our experienced union county criminal attorneys for assistance. Initial consultations are always free of charge so there is no reason to hesitate in give us a call. A lawyer is available 24/7 by call our Cranford Office at 908-272-1700.

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