Illegal Possession of a Handgun: N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b)

Newark Illegal Possession of a Handgun Charges

Arrested for a Gun Essex County – Lawyer Needed

Essex County Handgun Lawyer Needed HelpWeapons offenses in New Jersey need to be taken seriously. The State of New Jersey has some of the strictest and most punitive gun laws in the entire county. As a result, the penalties for Illegal Possession of a Handgun are severe. You need a tough lawyer who won’t back down in court and who will do everything possible to protect your constitutional rights.

The Tormey Law Firm can help you fight your handgun charges and avoid the most severe consequences of a conviction. Our lawyers have represented numerous clients accused of weapons offenses in Maplewood, Bloomfield, and everywhere else in Essex County, NJ. We know what it takes to win in the courtroom because we have done it time and time again. Additionally, our criminal defense team includes a former county and municipal prosecutor who prosecuted gun cases; now she is fighting for the rights of defendants like you.

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Call the Tormey Law Firm anytime at 201-654-3464 to speak with a member of the firm’s litigation team. You can also check out our Successful Handgun Verdicts & Settlements page.

Illegal Possession of a Handgun: N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b)

Handgun possession charges are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b. NJ law prohibits a person from possessing a handgun without a valid license or permit. Additionally, you can be charged with Illegal Possession of a Handgun even if you legally obtained the gun; in order to possess the gun outside your home or place of residence, you must have a valid carry permit. This means that if police find your gun stored in the glove compartment of your car, you could be looking at significant jail time.

Out-of-state residents can also be charged with Illegal Possession of a Handgun – even if the person has a valid permit to possess the gun in another state. This quirk in the law is not always readily apparent to people; as a result, many truckers and other people simply passing through the state are shocked when they get arrested and charged with a very serious weapons offense.

Arrested, Charged with Illegal Handgun Possession in NJ – Bail Review/Detention Hearing

When you are arrested and charged with possession of an illegal handgun in Essex County, most times these charges will be issued on a warrant complaint and you will be taken to the Essex County jail after processing. After that, a Judge will review your bail within 24-48 hours. If the State moves for detention, then you will remain in jail until the detention hearing which is usually held within 5 days. At the detention hearing, the Essex County prosecutor’s office will ask the Judge to detain you and that you remain in jail while the case is being prosecuted. This is usually due to a danger that you will commit new charges if released from jail and/or that you are a flight risk and you may not return to court if you are released from incarceration. The defense attorney will argue for your release.

Then, the Judge will consider all of the facts and circumstances of the case, the defendant’s prior criminal history, and the arguments of counsel and then render a decision.

Penalties for Illegal Handgun Possession in NJ

The statute classifies Illegal Handgun Possession as a second degree felony. This means that anyone convicted of illegally carrying a handgun in the State of New Jersey is subjected to a term of incarceration of 5–10 years in NJ State Prison.

Graves Act Offenses in Essex County

The Graves Act imposes a minimum mandatory period of parole ineligibility for anyone convicted of Illegal Possession of a Handgun. Even first-time offenders are subject to prison time because Graves Act offenses carry a presumption of incarceration. The only way to avoid mandatory incarceration if you are convicted is to request a Graves Act Waiver from both the presiding judge and the prosecutor.

Fight Essex County Gun Charges

One of the best ways to fight illegal handgun charges is to challenge the constitutionality of the police search and seizure. Police officers must have a legal right to search your property or person. Generally speaking, this entails a search warrant. If the police did not have probable cause and a search warrant, any evidence they obtained could be declared inadmissible in court.

Another way to fight your handgun charges it to contest the elements of your charge. For example, the prosecution must prove that you possessed the handgun in order to seek a conviction. There are two ways to establish possession:

  1. Actual Possession: You exercised direct control over the handgun.
  2. Constructive Possession: You were aware of the presence of the handgun nearby and had both the ability and the intent to exercise control over it. This typically occurs when a police officer finds the handgun stored in your house or in the glove compartment of your car.

Call a Verona Illegal Possession of a Handgun Attorney

The Tormey Law Firm is prepared to challenge the evidence in your case and contest your handgun charges. We understand the nuances of New Jersey gun law and we know how to win in the courtroom. Call us today at 201-654-3464, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our Newark office.

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