Monmouth County Imitation Firearm Charge
It can be easy to underestimate the severity of an imitation firearm charge. Make no mistakes, however, a conviction for this offense in Monmouth County can have a serious impact on your life. New Jersey treats firearms offenses very seriously and presenting a toy, replica, or imitation firearm in an effort to make another believe it is real is illegal under the law. Severe penalties can result and you will need an experience attorney to defend you if were charged in Upper Freehold, Long Branch, Manalapan, Hazlet, Aberdeen or Tinton Falls NJ. The lawyers at our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are longtime criminal practitioners and former prosecutors who are highly knowledgeable in the defense of all weapon offenses. Call our Freehold Office or Red Bank office today for a free initial consultation if you were arrested for having an imitation firearm.
Imitation Firearm Offense
It is illegal in New Jersey to furnish a toy, replica, or imitation firearm for purposes of having someone believe that an individual may be armed. Under New Jersey law, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1(v), an imitation firearm is any object or device reasonably capable of being mistaken for a firearm. Charges that can result are: possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(e), aggravated assault under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), or possession of an imitation firearm at an educational institution under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(e)(3). The following is a summary of the law concerning each of these pedigrees of imitation firearm:
- Imitation Firearm at a School or Other Educational Institution. It is a disorderly persons offense to knowingly possess an imitation firearm while in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college or university or other educational institution or while on any school bus without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution.
- Possession of Imitation Firearm for Unlawful Purpose. The New Jersey Criminal Code outlines a fourth degree crime to possess an imitation firearm under circumstances which would lead an observer to reasonably believe that it is possessed for an unlawful purpose. Fourth degree possession of an imitation firearm for unlawful purpose carries punishment that can include 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
- Pointing Imitation Firearm at Law Enforcement Officer. A specific form of aggravated assault is triggered if you point an imitation firearm at a police officer. It is also a third degree aggravated assault to knowingly point, display or use an firearm at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer with a purpose to intimidate, threaten or attempt to put the officer in fear of bodily injury or for any unlawful purpose. A conviction for this third degree crime results in a fine of up to $15,000 and 5 years in prison.
It is not a defense to any of these offenses that the defendant possessed a valid permit to carry a firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identification card.
Freehold NJ Imitation Firearm Attorney
Do not make the mistake of believing that an imitation firearm charge is not something to take seriously. Most imitation firearm violations are felony crimes that result in the possibility of a state prison sentence. Do yourself a favor and contact a lawyer immediately if you have been charged with this weapons offense in Middletown, Brielle, Allenhurst, West Long Branch, Lake Como or another community in the county. Whether you hire our expert team of criminal defense trial attorneys or another firm, it is imperative that you have an attorney experienced in New Jersey gun laws. We are available 24/7 if you have any questions or would like to discuss how we can help you. Call our Freehold Office at 732-462-1197.