New Jersey makes it a crime for people who have been previously convicted of certain criminal charges to possess weapons. This charges a typically referred to as “Certain Persons” crimes and often carry severe penalties including mandatory incarceration if you are convicted. It should be noted that a Certain Persons crime is completely independent of a similar New Jersey gun law called Unlawful Possession of Weapon and therefore it is possible to actually be convicted of both offenses for the same weapon. Anytime you are facing a gun related charge, an experienced criminal defense attorney can be vital in putting together an aggressive defense to challenge the State’s case against you. At Proetta & Oliver, our attorneys have defended clients against thousands of crimes and charges including many weapons offenses throughout New Jersey. We know what it takes to successfully fight a weapons case in New Jersey. If you are interested in learning more about the different ways we can help you or a loved one, contact us today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Certain Persons Crimes in New Jersey
A conviction of most any indictable offense in New Jersey (or felony conviction in a different state) will make it a crime for you to possess any weapon. Indictable convictions that will trigger a “Certain Persons” category include, but are not limited to, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Arson, Robbery, Escape, Homicide, Extortion, Bias Intimidation, Kidnapping, Stalking, Terroristic Threats, Aggravated Sexual Assault or Sexual Assault, Endangering the Welfare of Child, Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, Possession of a Prohibited Device, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (excluding a disorderly or petty disorderly substance offense).
New Jersey makes it a second degree crime for any person who has been convicted of one of the crimes specified above, to possess a firearm with the addition of stalking and a crime of domestic violence. A second degree conviction for Certain Persons, carries a mandatory minimum five year prison term during which time you will not be ineligible for parole. Moreover, Certain Persons offenses extend to defendants who have even been convicted of certain disorderly persons offenses. In these circumstances it is a third degree Certain Persons crime for a person who has been convicted of a disorderly persons offense involving domestic violence such as Simple Assault. It is important to note that is also a third degree crime to purchase or possess a firearm if you are undergoing a domestic violence proceeding and your firearms have not been returned or the court has an order prohibiting possession such as a Final Restraining Order. By contrast, it is a crime of the fourth degree for a convicted felon (or if you have a diagnosed history of mental disorder) to purchase, own, possess or control a weapon. A weapon can include a broad range of items including a knife or bow and arrow.
These cases are often riddled with complex and technical legal issues such as how the weapon was discovered and whether it was actually in defendant’s possession. An experienced criminal attorney can pinpoint different issues in the evidence against you that could lead to a dismissal. Contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 to speak with a weapons defense attorney free of charge during an initial consultation.