The United States Constitution grants us the right to bear arms. However, New Jersey law places certain restrictions on how, where, and when we are able to carry guns and other weapons. A conviction for violating one of these laws can result in high fines, long prison sentences, and the loss of rights, such as the right to vote and to bear arms. Weapons laws can be complex, and some violations may simply be accidental. An experienced lawyer can fight to prevent you from facing harsh penalties as the result of an accident. If you or someone you care about is facing weapons charges in Cumberland County, New Jersey, experienced defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help.
Firearms and Weapons Crimes in Cumberland County, NJ
The penalties you may be facing from a firearms conviction will depend on a variety of factors. Common weapons offenses can include:
Possessing a Weapon for Criminal Purposes (2C:39-4)
Any individual discovered to possess a firearm, explosives, or destructive devices for illegal conduct will be charged with an offense of the second-degree. Any person who possesses a “community gun”, a gun used by multiple individuals to commit criminal acts will face offenses of the second-degree. This will carry a minimum of a three-year prison sentence. A person who possesses “imitation” firearms that are used to engage in criminal activity will face a fourth-degree offense.
Possession or Transportation of Firearms
New Jersey prohibits the possession or transport of a shotgun or rifle unless you have a valid firearms purchaser identification card (FPIC). In order to legally transport or possess a handgun, a valid New Jersey handgun permit is required.
Any individual in possession of a firearm who is simply passing through New Jersey must do so while following federal law, namely 18 U.S. Code § 926A. This law requires that the firearm is unloaded and is not “readily accessible” from the passenger area of the vehicle.
Possessing a Weapon Where Prohibited
Weapons all kinds are prohibited on the property of:
- educational locations such as schools and universities
- all casino facilities and includes the casino security staff unless permission is obtained from the State Police.
Even citizens with a valid weapons permit are not permitted to bring a firearm on these premises.
Cumberland County Weapons and Firearms Defense Lawyer
No matter the circumstances of your arrest, if you're facing charges related to weapons or firearms in New Jersey, you may have a variety of legal defenses. Some common legal defenses to weapons charges include:
- Proving that the weapon did not belong to you nor did you possess it
- Proving that you were entitled to lawfully possess the weapon
- Creating reasonable doubt at trial
- Filing a suppression motion to exclude unconstitutionally collected evidence
- Showing that you were incorrectly identified by a witness
An experienced criminal defense attorney knows when these defenses can be deployed with the greatest effect.
To learn how the Lento Law Firm can help you, call (888) 535-3686 today.