Resolving Gun Charge Issues In Atlantic City
New Jersey has the harshest gun laws in the country and strictly prosecutes gun offenses. To own or carry a gun, you must undergo a rigorous process of seeking approval from the local police department. A person found unlawfully possessing a gun can be sentenced to at least five years in prison, three of which are deemed parole ineligible. To avoid this sentencing, it is critical that your representation understands defense strategies or is able to secure waivers of the harsh gun laws. Our criminal law attorneys of Weinstock Levin have secured waivers on behalf of clients throughout New Jersey. They have also fought and won gun offense cases by successfully litigating motions to suppress and through trial.
Zealous Gun Charge Defense Throughout New Jersey
The firm has defended the rights of clients in all types of gun-related charges, including:
- Unlawful possession of a handgun, shotgun or rifle
- Unlawful possession of an assault weapon
- Possession of a gun for an unlawful purpose
- Possession of a gun by a convicted felon
- Possession of a gun in furtherance of drug crimes
- Gun forfeiture hearings under the prevention of domestic violence act
- Gun forfeiture proceedings under the criminal code (NJSA 2C:58-3)
- Applications for permits to purchase handguns and for firearm ID cards
- Appeals of denials to purchase handguns and ID cards
- All matters relating to forfeiture, seizure and/or denial to possess guns
Often the police will find the gun or weapon by searching a car or home. Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the search, determining if your constitutional rights were violated through illegal search and seizure.
Even if you legally own a gun, it may be seized by the police if you have been charged with a crime. Also, if you have had a temporary restraining order filed against you, the police will confiscate your weapon. To get the gun back after your legal matters have been sorted out, you must go through a process of proving that you should be allowed to own your gun again. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in this process and will aggressively advocate on your behalf, helping you get your gun back.
Gun Permits And Denials
To own a gun in New Jersey, you must file an application for a permit to purchase a gun, which requires approval from the police department. Our criminal law attorneys routinely represent individuals who have been denied an application; we know how to navigate the appeals process to obtain gun privileges on our clients’ behalf.
To be approved, you must show a justifiable need for owning a gun. If you have been convicted of a crime or domestic violence in the past, you will not be approved. We will review your situation and advise you of your options in seeking approval or in appealing a denial for a permit.
The Stakes Of Gun Charges In New Jersey
When you face gun charges, you typically face them in conjunction with another type of charge. For example, the use of a firearm automatically makes an assault charge an aggravated assault charge, which carries much more significant penalties.
New Jersey has two mandatory sentencing laws that apply to convictions for gun and weapons charges – the Graves Act and the No Early Release Act, or NERA. Let’s look at them a little more closely:
- The Graves Act: This is a gun possession law that governs a great many parts of gun ownership in New Jersey. It specifically bans such things as silencers, easily hidden weapons and armor-piercing ammunition. It also dictates certain time-serving minimums, of between one-third and one-half of a sentence before an individual convicted of a gun charge is allowed early release.
- NERA: This law mandates that certain types of crime serve at least 85% of their sentence before parole eligibility. It does specifically target firearm trafficking, but otherwise, firearms charges are not included. However, many of the crimes included in NERA are violent charges, and many violent crimes are committed with firearms.
Essentially, for many firearm-related charges, even those not explicitly considered firearm charges, you may face more time in prison.
Who Can Legally Purchase A Gun In New Jersey?
New Jersey tightly regulates who can buy a firearm. These laws exist to secure the safety of the general public and prohibit several classes of people from purchasing a gun. These classes are:
- Those under the age of 18 under any circumstance
- Those unable to acquire a firearm purchaser ID from the police
- Those with a criminal history
Additionally, you may not possess a handgun if you are under 21 unless you have a work-related reason to have one, such as being a police officer.
Obtaining a firearm purchaser ID is perhaps the most difficult aspect of buying a gun in New Jersey. You will have to pass a background check, complete an interview and supply references. The police have authority over this area and may deny you if your references or background check does not come back in your favor.
New Jersey Penalties For Weapons And Firearm Charges
In general, New Jersey’s weapons penalties are among the most strict in the U.S. We have already covered how many charges related to weapons may not be eligible for parole for an extended period of time. We have also talked about how weapons can make some charges into more serious felonies.
However, violation of certain weapons charges can come with aggressive responses from the legal authorities. These penalties include significant time in prison and large fines. Additionally, facing these charges can be added onto or in conjunction with other criminal charges facing you.
How To Build A Defense Against A Gun Charge
All in all, facing a gun crime in New Jersey is very serious. However, you have options available to defend your name and freedom in the event of a gun charge.
What you want from your defense attorney in the face of any kind of charge are attentiveness and perseverance. The team at Weinstock Levin has a history of aggressive, personalized attention to clients and skill in advocating for gun crimes. We routinely answer questions from clients on any question regarding any gun charge.
We can argue that your gun charge is invalid under many circumstances, such as an illegal search. We investigate your crime from a defensive angle and vigorously defend your rights as you deserve. It is our ability to move quickly that allows us to have success in these matters.
You Have Legal Options. Discuss Them With A Criminal Law Attorney For Free.
To discuss the gun charges that you face or the possibility of gun forfeiture, please contact our Atlantic City, New Jersey, law offices today to learn your legal options and how we can help. Call us at 609-297-3624 or toll- free at 609-214-8446, or send us an email.
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