Though the 2nd Amendment has been held to grant certain rights with respect to the ownership of firearms, those rights are not absolute. The state of New Jersey has enacted a number of laws governing the possession and use of guns, including:
- Possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes
- Possession of a gun for unlawful purposes
- Possession of an assault weapon
- Possession of a firearm without a license or permit
- Threatening a person with a firearm
- Possession of a gun (or even a fake firearm) at a school
The penalties for violation of firearms laws in New Jersey are severe. As a general rule, any firearms conviction can lead to a minimum sentence of five years in prison and up to 10 years of incarceration. Under the Graves Act, New Jersey’s firearms law, you must serve at least three years before you can be considered eligible for parole.
DEFENSES TO A FIREARMS CHARGE
Because of the seriousness with which prosecutors approach gun cases, it can be extremely difficult to defend a firearms charge in New Jersey. The most common defenses include:
- Challenging the validity of the search—If law enforcement officers allege that the search was consensual, produce evidence that indicates you were coerced or misled into giving your consent.
- Challenging the validity of the search warrant—A search warrant must generally be based on probable cause. Show that the officer had no reasonable suspicion or belief that you were engaged in illegal activity
- Challenging the traffic stop—As a general rule, you can’t be pulled over unless the officer has probable cause that you are violating the law
- Arguing that the possession was legal under New Jersey’s “gun transportation” policy—You don’t need a permit to carry a firearm if you are transporting it between
- Your residence or business and any place of purchase
- Your home and your place of business
- From one residence or place of business to another as part of a move
- Between your home or business and a firearms repair service
CONTACT OUR OFFICE
At Jack Venturi Law, we bring considerable skill, knowledge, experience and resources to criminal defendants across New Jersey. To schedule a private meeting, contact our office by e-mail or call us toll free at 866-339-7801. We represent clients throughout Middlesex County, Union County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Essex County and Somerset County.