Gun penalties in the State of New Jersey are tough and they are getting tougher. New Jersey police officers and prosecutors zealously enforce gun laws. Therefore, if you have received a gun charge or conviction in New Jersey, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side who can defend and safeguard your legal rights throughout your case.
Attorney Brian J. Neary has been defending gun charges and other serious criminal offenses for over three decades. He can meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of your individual case and can assist you by developing an aggressive legal defense strategy. Having an experienced New Jersey weapons charge defense attorney can make all the difference in obtaining a favorable result in your case, such as a dismissal of your pending charge, a favorable plea bargain, or a reduced criminal sentence post-conviction.
New Jersey Gun Crimes
New Jersey gun laws are some of the most stringent in the country and regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition. Some of the most common weapons charges are as follows:
- Possession of illegal weapons
- Possession of a weapon by someone who is not permitted to have a weapon, for example, convicted felons, individuals who are on probation or parole, or individuals in a mental institution
- Possession of imitation guns, BB guns, airsoft guns, and paintball guns
- Possession of a legal gun without a permit or license
- Possession of a weapon by a juvenile
- Possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, for example, robbery with a deadly weapon, or on school property
- Possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose
Almost all gun offenses in New Jersey require that the person serve a mandatory prison sentence.
Possessing a Firearm in New Jersey without a Valid Permit
One of the most common firearm charges in New Jersey involves possessing a handgun without the proper permit. This is a second-degree crime in New Jersey and, upon conviction, a defendant could be sentenced to a minimum of five years in state prison without eligibility for parole for three years.
Because it is nearly impossible to obtain a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey, this law applies to almost anyone who carries a handgun outside her home.
Potential Defenses to Gun Charges
Like other New Jersey crimes, gun charges have many potential defenses. Some of the common defenses to gun charges include the following:
- Mistaken identity
- Illegal search and seizure
- Improper, inadequate, or absent Miranda warnings
- Improper questioning by investigators and police officers
Federal Gun Laws
Federal gun laws are included in a number of federal statutes. Federal gun laws govern and regulate the manufacture, trade, possession, transfer, record keeping, and transport of firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories. In addition, the right of individuals to keep and bear arms is governed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Federal Firearms Act
The Federal Firearms Act of 1938 requires that gun manufacturers and individuals who sell firearms have federal firearms licenses. This law also actively prohibits the transfer of firearms to certain classes of individuals, including convicted felons. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits interstate firearm transfers, except among licensed manufacturers, dealers, and importers. The Firearm Owners Protection Act prohibits the sale to civilians of automatic firearms manufactured after the date of the law’s passage.
The Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 criminalizes the manufacture, importation, sale, shipment, delivery, possession, transfer, or receipt of firearms with less than 3.7 ounces of metal content. Finally, the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 prohibits unauthorized individuals from knowingly possessing a firearm at a place which the individual knows, or has reason to know, is a school zone.
If federal authorities suspect that you unlawfully own guns or other weapons and are investigating you, you may face serious federal charges and a harsh sentence, if convicted. You should not wait to contact a defense attorney with extensive experience handling federal gun crimes.
Contact a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation
Gun charges and gun convictions are serious at both the state and federal levels and bring severe penalties upon conviction. The Law Offices of Brian J. Neary can safeguard all your legal and constitutional rights while your criminal case is pending. He will examine the facts and circumstances of your case, assist you with formulating legal defenses against your charge, and help you obtain a dismissal of your charge, a lesser charge, or a reduced penalty upon conviction.
In a criminal case involving gun charges or weapons charges, your risk is too high to defend yourself. A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference in obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, please call us today at (201) 488-0544 or contact us online.