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Possession of an Illegal Handgun

Elizabeth NJ Unlicensed Handgun Defense Lawyer

New Jersey has strict laws which make it very risky to possess a handgun without a valid license or carry permit. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office takes these laws extremely serious and aggressively pursues illegal guns whether they are being used for an unlawful purpose or not. Accordingly, if you were arrested with a handgun for which you did not have a permit, you need to obtain representation from an attorney who is exceedingly skilled in the defense of illegal firearm charges. The stakes are extremely high in these cases, particularly when they involve an unlicensed handgun, with mandatory jail almost always coming into play under the Graves Act. You need and deserve the best defense and we believe that our defense team can offer exceptional qualities for success in this regard. With the majority of our staff having served as prosecutors, seeing how the system works from both sides, and over 100 years of combined experience handling gun cases like yours, our firm can offer a unique option for representation. Call the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall now for an immediate free consultation at 908-272-1700.

NJ Unlawful Possession of a Handgun Law: N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b)

The primary statute that comes into play when someone is arrested for having an illegal handgun is N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b). This New Jersey Law provides that:

b.     Handguns. (1) Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the second degree. (2) If the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person it is a crime of the third degree.

There are a few things that we know from this language. First, an individual can only be convicted for having an unlawful handgun if their possession is knowing. Second, the weapon must be unlicensed, that is, lacking a permit or license, whether to carry or otherwise. Provided these conditions can be met by the prosecutor and the weapon is not an air or spring powered device, a violation will result in a a second degree crime.

Penalties If You Are Convicted Of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

The standard penalties for a second degree crime include a maximum fine of $150,000 and up to ten (10) years in state prison. When the second degree violation involves 2C:3-5(b), however, the penalties include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, during which an individual is ineligible for parole, if there exists “a substantial likelihood that the defendant is involved in organized criminal activity.” This period of parole ineligibility is an entire separate consequence from the mandatory minimum that will apply in almost all illegal gun cases by virtue of the Graves Act. In addition, if the defendant has a prior conviction for possession of an illegal firearm, including but not limited to a handgun, the charge is upgraded to a first degree crime under 2C:39-5(j).

Plainfield Illegal Handgun Attorneys

Some of the toughest laws contained in our criminal code are those which concern possession of a handgun without a carry permit or license.  This is the main reason why you need to take the selection process of an attorney so seriously. It is not enough that someone has defense experience or that they may have been practicing in Elizabeth, you need someone who possess these qualifications, as well as considerable success defending gun charges. That is what we can offer you at this firm. A team of lawyers who have handled hundreds of unlawful possession cases involving handguns. Call Elizabeth NJ Weapon Offense Defense Lawyers 24/7 for a free consultation at 908-272-1700.

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