Possession of an Illegal Handgun

Monmouth County Unlicensed Handgun Charge

Many residents, as well as visitors to NJ from other states, choose to own, carry and operate handguns and pistols. However, it is highly illegal to possess a handgun or pistol without a properly issued license or permit. While waivers are permitted to allow individuals to avoid state prison in very limited situations following arrest, a state prison sentence is overwhelmingly the norm if you are convicted. Jonathan F. Marshall and his team of criminal trial attorneys, including the former county prosecutors at the firm, represent clients charged with all forms of unlicensed firearm offense brought at the Monmouth County Superior Court. This would include indictment for not only possessing an illegal handgun but also companion charges like being a certain person not to possess a weapon and unlawful purpose offenses. If you or a loved one has been charged with an illegal handgun offense in Asbury Park, Wall, Marlboro, Hazlet, Bradley Beach, or Aberdeen, the experienced criminal lawyers at our Freehold and Red Bank Offices are always available to help you. Contact our office today at 732-450-8300 for a free initial consultation.

Possession of a Handgun Without A Permit

The New Jersey statute governing unlawful possession of a handgun or pistol, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b), provides in pertinent part:

b. Handguns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person. Otherwise it is a crime of the second degree.

Any person who knowingly possesses any handgun without obtaining the proper state issued permit can be found guilty of a crime of the second degree. If the gun is an air gun, spring gun, compressed gas gun or some other similar gun, the crime is of the third degree. Yes, you can be charged with an illegal handgun violation in New Jersey if you fail to obtain a permit or license for a BB gun.

Penalties: Possessing a Handgun Without a Permit

As stated in the statute, it is a second degree crime to carry a handgun without a valid permit. The same holds true where someone, although not carrying the handgun, is otherwise in actual or constructive possession of the weapon. This is the scenario that typically arises when a handgun is found in the passenger compartment, glove box or truck of a car. This is likewise a second degree crime if there is no New Jersey license/permit for the handgun. A second degree crime is not only a felony but one that carries a presumption of incarceration. What this means is that there is an extremely high probability that you will go to jail if you are found guilty of second degree possession of a handgun without a permit. The range of incarceration for a second degree crime is five (5) to ten (10) years. If the handgun is air gun such as an airsoft, paintball, or BB gun, then the offense is a third degree crime. Possessing an illegal handgun in the third degree carries a jail term ranging from zero to five (5) years, although the presumptive sentence is three (3) to five (5) years.

Graves Act Requirements. Under a law known as the Graves Act, there are periods of parole ineligibility that apply to jail sentences stemming from handgun charges. Generally, an individual must serve at least one third of their sentence before they are even eligible for parole when they plead or are found guilty of a firearm violation under this law.

Freehold NJ Illegal Handgun Lawyers

NJ has strict rules for who may possess a handgun and imposes severe penalties for those who carry without the proper permit. If you were arrested for illegally possessing a handgun or other, you will be sent to prison absent your winning your case. The skill of the attorney you hire will definitely play a major factor in whether you end up prison. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we can offer representation from a team of defense lawyers who possess over 100 years of collective experience battling illegal weapon charges. Some of the attorneys have even served as prosecutors in Monmouth County in the past. Call our Freehold Office or Red Bank Office to speak to someone who knows the law and how to navigate the Superior Court in Freehold. Our office is available 24/7 at 732-462-1197 to work on turning around your arrest in Howell, Middletown, Tinton Falls, Holmdel, Ocean Township and Eatontown. We will formulate a plan to reach the very best outcome of you 2C:39-5 charge.