Unlawful Possession of Rifles and Shotguns – N.J.S. 2C:39-5(c) – What are the penalties for Unlawful Possession of Rifles and Shotguns – N.J.S. 2C:39-5(c)
“Unlawful Possession of Rifles and Shotguns in New Jersey is governed by a very serious legal statute. Those convicted of these charges are facing significant jail time, with long mandatory minimum sentences.”
If you’ve been arrested for a gun charge in New Jersey, you are unfortunately facing some of the most serious gun laws in the country. A shotgun charge in New Jersey is a third degree felony which is punishable by 3-5 years in state prison, even for a first time offender.
Shotguns are one of the easiest weapons to obtain in New Jersey. If you have a Firearms Purchaser identification card, you are allowed to own one. That said, you are not allowed to carry around a loaded shotgun. Even in transport to the range, there are guidelines for gun storage. The section of the New Jersey gun statute that involves shotguns states:
1. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a firearms purchaser identification card is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
2. Unless otherwise permitted by law, any person who knowingly has in his possession any loaded rifle or shotgun is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
Even on a third degree gun charge, you are looking at lengthy prison sentence, and they can potentially be avoided with the right criminal defense.
The Tormey Law firm has a series of advanced defense strategies for gun charges and we have implemented these defenses with great success in New Jersey. Please watch our video series on “How to Beat Gun Charges” and feel free call us to discuss the specific details of your case: (201) 556-1571.
Additional details on sentencing in gun charges:
Usually, on a 5 year flat sentence, an offender will be eligible for parole in about a year to a year and a half. Unfortunately, due to the Graves Act, there is a mandatory minimum sentence that must be served without parole on a gun charge. The Graves Act basically establishes the minimum mandatory sentence on NJ gun charges. If arrested and convicted for a gun charge in NJ, you can expect to spend a lengthy time in state prison before becoming eligible for parole.
Now, that’s not always the case. There are ways around these minimum mandatory sentences. However, you are going to have to have your attorney apply for a Graves Act Waiver, and go through a fairly complicated process in order to “de-mandatorize” the sentence. If you are successful in having this waiver granted, you might be able to garner a 3 year mandatory prison sentence with a one year minimum of time served before parole. This is a good result considering that you would be sparing yourself 2 years in state prison, but let’s be honest… no one wants to spend a year behind bars.
The best result is to have the case completely dismissed based on an illegal traffic stop or search. Another good option is the Pre-Trial Intervention program (known as “PTI”) which allows you to complete a probationary period and then the charges are completely dropped. The third option is a plea with straight probation where you end up with a felony on your record but no jail time. Obviously, this is the third best option since the first two allow you to avoid a felony record altogether.
Call The Tormey Law Firm for a free consultation with experienced criminal defense attorneys, and former NJ prosecutors.
Our firm is absolutely dedicated to providing the best criminal defense for your legal issues, and we are available for free consultations regarding your criminal matter. We are happy to talk to you about the methods that we will use to fight your case, and give you all of the information that you might need. Feel free to call us any time: (201) 556-1571
For more information about unlawful possession of a shotgun in NJ, Wikipedia is a great place for more information.