Arrested for Bringing a Gun to School?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 07, 2024 | 0 Comments

Unfortunately, it's not unusual to read about a high school student arrested for bringing a gun to school in New Jersey. It seems that every few months, a student is caught somewhere in New Jersey with a gun (real or fake) on school property. The stories sometimes don't disclose much about why the student brought the gun to school. In many cases, the gun is simply found, or the student is caught showing off with it, and there doesn't appear to be any intent to threaten or hurt others. Of course, in other tragic cases, students have brought and used guns in schools with terrible results. If your child has been arrested for having a real or fake gun on school property, call the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team for help. Charges can be serious, and the consequences of a conviction can affect your child for years afterward. We can be reached at 888.535.3686 or by using our contact form to schedule a confidential consultation.    

New Jersey Laws Against Guns on School Property 

New Jersey makes it unlawful to have a firearm or an “imitation firearm” on school property, whether the person with the gun has a permit. Possession of an actual gun on school property is a “third-degree” crime, which can result in a jail term of 3 to 5 years and a fine of up to $15,000. Having a fake gun at school is a “disorderly persons” offense, which can result in a 6-month jail term and a fine of up to $1000. These penalties apply to adults and to juveniles who are tried as adults. Generally, if the charge is simply that the student brought a gun to school and there are no more serious charges, a student under the age of 18 will be tried as a juvenile.  

If the student is a juvenile, they may be “adjudicated delinquent” instead of “convicted” of a charge. They may be allowed to return home, sometimes under “home detention,” or be sentenced to a juvenile detention facility. In addition, of course, they will also have to face being removed from their school for a year.  

Consequences for Having a Gun on School Property 

New Jersey takes a strict approach to students who have firearms on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event. If the student is convicted of having a gun or as a juvenile is “adjudicated delinquent” for the same reason, the student will be “immediately removed from the school's regular education program” and their case will be set for a hearing before the local board of education to determine whether the student should continue to be barred from regular school for “not less than one calendar year.” Students removed from their regular school will attend an “alternative education program” or be home-schooled if the alternative program is unavailable.  

The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team Can Help 

If your child is accused of having a gun, a fake gun, or another weapon on school property, contact the Lento Law Firm. Our Criminal Defense Team can help. Our attorneys understand the criminal and juvenile laws and procedures in New Jersey, and we've helped students all across the state defend themselves against serious criminal charges that could significantly derail their education and affect their lives for years into the future.  

Our attorneys also have experience helping students with serious disciplinary proceedings at school. If your child is facing a year-long suspension because of a weapons possession adjudication, the Lento Law Firm can represent you and your child at the school board hearing and fight to keep them at their school.  

We know the laws, the courts, and the procedures that apply in juvenile and adult proceedings and can help whether this is your child's first brush with the law, or if they've been arrested before. Give us a call today at 888.535.3686, or use our contact form to schedule a consultation to learn more about how the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team can help.   

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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