What You Need to Know About Weapons Charges in New Jersey

While the ability to be armed is protected under the Second Amendment, it’s still important for New Jersey weapon owners to understand local laws that restrict weapon usage and accessibility. New Jersey is well-known for having some of the toughest weapon charges, so knowing the law and choosing an experienced lawyer to help you is essential in making it through the case without massive fines or jail time, or avoiding a weapons charge in the first place.  

Today, we’re going to take an in-depth look into what New Jersey weapons charges entail, the severity of punishments if found guilty, and how our criminal lawyers serving Hamilton Township, NJ, and all the surrounding communities, will work tirelessly to defend your case.

How Does New Jersey Law Define “Weapon”?

When most people think of weapons, their minds often drift to handguns, automatic weapons, and other firearms portrayed on television and movie screens. But, according to New Jersey statute 2C:39-1, a weapon is defined as “anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury.”  This wording is purposely vague and broad, allowing law enforcement to manipulate the meaning to fit many different situations, including things most regular people might not consider worthy of a felony charge. 

Besides the standard firearm, here is a short list of other items that are classified as “weapons” in New Jersey.

  • More than ¾ of an ounce of pepper spray
  • Airsoft, BB, and other non-lethal guns
  • A large array of different types of knives
  • Slingshots
  • Firearm accessories, such as silencers and bump stocks
  • Stun guns
  • Tear gas

Penalties for Gun Charges in New Jersey

Unlawful possession of any weapon in New Jersey typically means that you have committed a second-degree crime, and you will face jail time. The minimum penalty starts at five years in state prison, even for first-time offenders, and parole only becomes available after serving at least 42 months in jail. 

Outside of the minimum penalty, you may not be eligible for parole until you have served at least half of your sentence. So, if you are sentenced to the maximum penalty of 10 years, you cannot apply for parole until you complete at least five years of your sentence. 

Choose the Law Office of Zapicchi & Liller LLP to Fight Against Your Criminal Charges

If you or someone you know is charged with a firearms offense in New Jersey, please call us to schedule a consultation with two of the best criminal defense lawyers in the state! We have been practicing criminal law in Monmouth County, NJ, and the surrounding areas for years, so we know what it takes to aggressively fight in a court of law, and reduce or altogether eliminate your criminal charges.