Illegal Stun Gun Possession Results in No Criminal Record in Essex County NJ
Illegal Possession of a Stun Gun Lawyers in Newark, NJ
In a recent case in Essex County Special Remand Court, the Newark NJ weapons defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm achieved a victory on behalf of another satisfied client. Initially, our client was facing an indictable, fourth degree weapons crime that arose out of Newark Airport, a crime that could have resulted in jail time and a criminal conviction record. But after the defense team at the Tormey Law Firm was retained, we got to work and eventually negotiated a resolution with the prosecutor that downgraded the charge to a local ordinance violation and required only the payment of a small fine and court costs. Most importantly, our client will not have a record of being convicted of a crime but, rather, only a municipal ordinance violation. She was not only able to avoid the 18 months in prison, but she also avoided a serious felony charge on her record.
In this case, our client made an honest mistake. Like so many out-of-state residents who are good people, our client was accused of a serious crime at Newark Airport because of a lapse of judgment by leaving a weapon, a stun gun, in her carry-on luggage. Although the stun gun was not illegal in her home state, under New Jersey’s weapons laws, stun guns are outright prohibited. And what started off as an ordinary day of travel ended with being arrested and charged with a fourth degree weapons offense.
The New Jersey Criminal Code enumerates a list of prohibited weapons and devices in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3 which includes, but is not limited to, destructive device, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, defaced firearms, switchblade knives, hollow point bullets, stun guns, large capacity magazines, and handcuffs. In this particular case, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(h) establishes that any person who knowingly has in his possession any stun gun is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. Importantly, the weapons law in New Jersey does not have an exception for possessing prohibited items that are otherwise allowed in other states. Thus, even though our client made a mistake, she was charged with fourth degree possession of a stun gun because as the saying goes, ignorance is no excuse of the law.
A fourth degree crime in New Jersey permits the court to impose a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to eighteen months. Additionally, a conviction for a fourth degree crime will result in a permanent record of a felony offense. Clearly, this is a severe penalty for exercising poor judgment. Luckily, the client contacted the experienced weapons defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm and she is able to move on without a criminal record. If you are in a similar situation and you are facing indictable weapons charges in New Jersey such as possession of a prohibited weapon, the unlawful possession of a weapon, or possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, contact the experienced Essex County NJ weapons defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm to learn about how to fight your case. Our attorneys are available now to assist you with a free initial consultation at 201-556-1571.