Possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose is one more serious criminal offenses in all of New Jersey. In fact, under certain circumstances, a Defendant could be facing not only mandatory state prison but a mandatory parole ineligibility period as well pursuant to the Graves Act. To make matters worse, due to the underlying nature of the charges and the severity of the penalties if convicted, a Defendant charged with possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose could be detained in the Somerset County jail, without bail, pending trial. However, before that can occur, a Detention Hearing must occur. During that hearing, it will be the prosecutions burden to establish why the Defendant must be detained, without bail. These hearings can and always should be contested. If you would like to speak to one of our Somerset County criminal defense attorneys today about your options at a detention hearing, then please contact our office at 908.533.1064.
Charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in NJ?
Keith Oliver Criminal Law defends clients accused of not only the possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose but unlawful possession of a weapon, certain persons not to possess a weapon, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, robbery and burglary in courts throughout New Jersey, including courts throughout Somerset and Hunterdon County. At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we are cognizant of not only the severity of the potential penalties that this offense carries but also what the potential penalties can do to someone’s life. We offer our clients the experience and poise typical at big firms, but with the individual client service normally only seen at smaller firms. Mr. Oliver, one of the firms founding partners, personally handles all indictable matters that arise our of Somerset and Hunterdon County. At our office your, your file will not simply be juggled between different attorneys who do not know you or the facts of your case. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation today, then please contact us directly at 908.533.1064. We serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including Raritan, Readington, Somerville, Flemington, Bound Brook, Franklin, Branchburg, South Bound Brook, Hillsborough and Clinton. Now here is some more information on possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose charges in New Jersey.
Hunterdon County Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose Lawyer
“Possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose” covers a situation where in which the Defendant is alleged to have used the weapon unlawfully against another. This offenses is typically in addition to other criminal offenses like unlawful possession of a weapon, aggravated assault, armed robbery, carjacking and homicide. All possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose charges are governed by NJSA 2C:39-4d. The legislature has chosen to break this offenses into three different subsections, each subsection covers a different type of “weapon” (i.e. firearm, other weapons, imitation firearms). The specific subsection that a Defendant is charged with will dictate what degree of a felony a Defendant is facing and as would follow, the degree of the felony also dictates what the potential penalties are as well. Here is a breakdown of each subsection.
|Type of Weapon||Definition|
|Firearm||“A firearm means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semiautomatic rifle… It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature…” |
|Other Weapons||“A weapon is anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” |
|Imitation Firearm||“An imitation firearm means an object or device reasonably capable of being mistaken for a firearm” |
Is there Jail Time for a Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose Charge?
As touched upon above, the potential penalties that someone faces when charged with the possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose will be dictated by what subsection a Defendant is charged with. Here is a chart that breaks down the potential penalties for each subsection of NJSA 2C:39-4.
|Possession of a Weapon For Unlawful Purpose||Potential Penalties|
|Other Weapons |
|Imitation Firearm |
What is the Graves Act?
Graves Act was created by the legislatures in an effort to combat what they deemed as “gang violence”. The act created in essence, a zero tolerance and strict liability for anyone charged with an offense that falls under the act. For the offense of possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, anyone convicted of this offense under NJSA 2C:39-4a (Firearm) section must not only be sentenced to a term of imprisonment but the term must also include a parole ineligibility term as well. At a minimum, anyone convicted of this offense must be sentenced to a term of five years in a New Jersey State Prison with a forty-two month parole disqualifier. With that being said, there are exceptions and Graves Act Waivers can be granted. If they are granted, the prison term can either be eliminated or reduced. For more information on the graves act and the potential for a waiver, please feel free to speak to one of the Somerset County criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law. Throughout his career, Mr. Oliver has been able to successfully achieve numerous Graves Act Waivers and has even had clients gain acceptance in the the Pretrial Intervention Program. If you would like to speak to Mr. Oliver or one of the other attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law, then please contact us at 908.533.1064. We appear in courts throughout Somerset and Hunterdon County, including Plainfield, Watchung, Warren, Bridgewater, Montgomery, Manville, Hillsborough, Franklin and Clinton.