Possession of an Illegal Weapon
Certain weapons are illegal in New Jersey under just about any circumstance. A sawed off shotgun, defaced firearm, silencer, stun gun, high capacity magazine, handcuffs, hollow tip and teflon coated bullets, and destructive devices fall within this category. If you were arrested in Neptune, Asbury Park, Howell, Middletown, West Long Branch, Highlands or another town in Monmouth County for possession of an illegal weapon, it is your best interests to speak to the attorneys at our firm. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is comprised of former prosecutors from the county with over 100 years of collective experience who have defended thousands of criminal charges in this jurisdiction. Dealing with all of the municipal courts and the Freehold Superior Court are commonplace for us, as is the defense of prohibited weapons offenses like yours. Call our Freehold Office anytime 24/7 for a free consultation at 732-462-1197.
Prohibited Weapons in New Jersey
N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3 sets forth those things that constitute a prohibited weapon. The following are the items that are illegal and the law applicable to each:
- Destructive Device. It is a crime of the third degree for any person to knowingly have in his possession any destructive device. Destructive device is defined broadly to include any instrument or object designed to explode or produce uncontrolled combustion (e.g. a bomb).
- Sawed–off Shotgun. It is a crime of the third degree for any person to knowingly have in his possession a sawed-off shotgun, that is, a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than eighteen inches in length.
- Firearm Silencer. It is a crime of the fourth degree for any person to knowingly have in his possession any firearm silencer. Firearm silencer means any instrument, attachment, weapon or appliance for causing the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm to be silent, or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm.
- Defaced Firearms. It is a crime of the fourth degree for any person to knowingly have in his possession any firearm which has been defaced unless the firearm is an antique firearm or an antique handgun. Defaced firearm means the maker, model designation, manufacturer’s serial number or any other distinguishing identification mark or number on a firearm has been either removed, defaced, covered, altered or destroyed.
- Hollow Tip, Teflon Coated & Body Armor Penetrating Bullets. It is a fourth degree crime to knowingly possess hollow nose/tip bullets, body armor breaching or penetrating ammunition (e.g. tungsten carbide, bronze, Teflon, etc.).
- Stun Guns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any stun gun is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. “Stun gun” is defined as a device which emits an electrical charge or current which is intended to temporarily or permanently disable a person.
- Large Capacity Magazine. Any person who knowingly has in his possession a large capacity ammunition magazine is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. “Large capacity ammunition magazine” means a box, drum, tube, or other container which is capable of holding more than fifteen rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously and directly into a semi-automatic firearm.
- Handcuffs. Any person who is knowingly in possession of handcuffs without an explainable lawful purpose is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.
- Other Prohibited Weapons. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any gravity knife, switchblade, dagger, billy club, blackjack, brass knuckle, slingshot or razor blades imbedded in wood, or ballistic knife without a lawful purpose, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
There are generally three (3) elements to establish guilt under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3. First, the prosecutor must prove that the item in question was a prohibited item. Second, the must be actual or constructive possession by the accused. Third, the defendant must have knowingly possessed the item.
Howell NJ Prohibited Weapon Defense Attorneys
Possession of illegal weapons is much more common in towns like Howell than you might think. A primary reason is because many times people are not even aware that the device is illegal (e.g. slingshot, stun gun, handcuffs, etc.). If you were charged with violating 2C:39-3 in Belmar, Eatontown, Keyport, Long Branch, Keansburg, Wall or elsewhere, our criminal defense lawyers know what is necessary to protect your interests. We have handled hundreds of illegal weapon charges in Monmouth County and have the skills needed to insure that you reach a favorable outcome in your case. Call our Red Bank Office at 732-450-8300 for immediate assistance from a lawyer on our criminal team.