Princeton NJ Illegal Possession of a Handgun Attorney

With Offices in Pennington and Trenton, New Jersey 

People are charged with weapons offenses in New Jersey more often than you might think. It is obviously against the law to possess a handgun or pistol without a valid license or permit. However, even handgun owners with valid permits and firearms ID cards can face serious charges. Sometimes, a person can have a valid license or ID card to own a handgun but make the mistake of transporting the gun to a shooting range without a valid carry permit. If you are stopped for any reason while traveling to or from the shooting range, you could be arrested and charged with a felony. Additionally, New Jersey gun possession laws apply to both NJ residents and out-of-state residents. As a result, many illegal handgun charges are filed against out-of-state residents who happen to be driving through the state and do not realize that they are violating the law.

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson has a track record of excellence when it comes to defending clients against handgun charges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In fact, our criminal defense attorneys have more than 40 years of experience representing clients in firearm cases in East Windsor, Princeton, and everywhere else in Mercer County, NJ. Not only do we have the experience needed to win your case; we also have impeccable credentials: our legal team includes a New Jersey Certified Trial Attorney and a New Jersey “Super Lawyer.” If you have charged with illegal possession of a handgun in New Jersey, KCR can help you fight the charges and avoid the most serious penalties.

Handgun Possession Charges in Mercer County NJ

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b governs illegal handgun possession in New Jersey. The law explicitly prohibits a person from knowingly possessing a handgun without a valid license and/or firearms ID card. Moreover, New Jersey law requires gun owners to have a valid permit for each handgun that they own.

The prosecution must prove several elements in order to convict you of Illegal Possession of a Handgun. The prosecution must establish that the item in question is a handgun, that you possessed the handgun, and that you did not have a valid license or permit for the handgun. Possession can be either actual or constructive. This means that even if you did not have the handgun on your person, you can still be charged with illegal possession. For example, the handgun might have been in your glove compartment when the police stopped you and searched your vehicle.

Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Handgun in New Jersey

Illegal possession of a handgun is classified as a second degree criminal offense. As a result, anyone convicted of this crime can be sentenced to 5–10 years in New Jersey State Prison. Additionally, since this crime is classified as a second degree felony, there is a presumption of incarceration for anyone who is convicted. This means that you will almost certainly be looking at prison time.

The penalties may be enhanced for anyone who has been previously convicted of a crime of violence. The statute calls for anyone with a prior conviction for a violent crime to be charged with a first degree felony. The sentencing range for these individuals is 10–20 years in NJ State Prison.

Additionally, you may face additional charges if you are caught carrying a handgun on the grounds of an educational institution. The only exception to this law is if you have written authorization to carry the weapon on school grounds.

Affirmative Defense in New Jersey: Possession of a Handgun for Self-Defense

It is an affirmative defense to a charge of Illegal Possession of a Handgun that you possessed the weapon for the purposes of self-defense. However, you must be able to prove that you spontaneously armed yourself because someone else posed an immediate threat to your safety.

Speak with Lawrence NJ Handgun Lawyers

The lawyers Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to help you beat your handgun possession charges. Call us today to discuss your case over the phone, or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Trenton or Pennington.