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Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, Paterson NJ Defense Lawyers, Passaic County

Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose

Paterson NJ Weapon Charges Defense Lawyers

The criminal trial attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall represent clients charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in the Passaic County Superior Court. Being arrested for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose can be very traumatic, causing a great deal of stress and anxiety about your future. Our experience in the courtroom will allow us to properly navigate the system and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case. If you or a loved one has been arrested for or charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, please contact the Law Offices of John F. Marshall for a free initial consultation at 862-203-4070.

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4. Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Law

The New Jersey law that sets forth the offense titled “possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose” is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4. This law provides as follows:

a. Firearms. Any person who has in his possession any firearm with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.
b. Explosives. Any person who has in his possession or carries any explosive substance with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.
c. Destructive devices. Any person who has in his possession any destructive device with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.
d. Other weapons. Any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
e. Imitation firearms. Any person who has in his possession an imitation firearm under circumstances that would lead an observer to reasonably believe that it is possessed for an unlawful purpose is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

As you can see from the language of the law, there is no denying the seriousness of an arrest and/or indictment for unlawful purpose. A conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4 involves significant exposure to not only county jail time but the real possibility of being sentenced to state prison.  In fact, every variety of this offense is an indictable crime. If you are convicted of Fourth Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, you are exposed to eighteen (18) months in jail. A third degree carries even more potential jail time — a possibility of five (5) years. The situation gets even more serious for Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in the Second Degree, with a sentence range of five (5) to ten (10) years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000 may be imposed. Notwithstanding these potential penalties, we have significant success in cases like these. For example, by forcing the prosecutor to satisfy his burden of proving that you possessed specific intent to use the weapon to commit an illegal act, we often find that there is room to defeat and/or reduce the charge. You should also know that although 2C:39-4 is not limited to guns or firearms and can include other “weapons”, the prosecution must establish that the item was, in fact, a weapon. There are, of course, many other arguments we can make on your behalf including that the encounter or search lacked probable cause. We explore all of these issues in every unlawful purpose case.

Experienced Weapon Offense Attorneys

If you have been accused of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, you need a skilled and assertive criminal defense attorney working for you. At the Law Offices of John F. Marshall, we want to make sure that you achieve the best possible outcome, and we realize that this will take early and meticulous preparation. We know that you are deeply concerned about the charges you face, and we will do everything we can to provide you with the personal attention you need and deserve. If you have been arrested for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, it is absolutely imperative that you select a competent and experienced trial attorney. Our criminal trial team, which included former New Jersey prosecutors, has past experience on the other side of the aisle, which can be invaluable in formulating and strategizing your defense. If you have been charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, call the Law Offices of John F. Marshall today for a free case evaluation with an established and proven criminal trial attorney at 862-203-4070. We will be happy to talk to you and walk you through your legal options.

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