Newark NJ Certain Persons Defense Attorneys

It is illegal in New Jersey for a class of individuals, referred to as “certain persons”, to possess a weapon in any context. What this means is that if you purchase, own, possess or control a weapon, and are a certain person, you may be convicted of a fourth degree crime under N.J.S. 2C:39-7. The chief issues in certain person cases are therefore whether someone falls within this category and, if so, whether the item is actually a “weapon”. Our former prosecutors are extremely well experienced in certain persons charges and are ready to discuss this offense, possession of a handgun without a permit,
 or any other weapon violation you may be facing. Initial consultations are always free of charge so there is no reason to hesitate to contacting our attorneys at 973-710-1520.

When Is Someone A Certain Person Not To Have A Weapon?

In accordance with N.J.S. 2C:39-7, an individual falls within the category of a certain person if they have a prior conviction for a violation set forth in subsection (b) of the statute. The offenses include:

• Aggravated Assault
• Arson
• Burglary
• Escape
• Extortion
• Homicide
• Kidnapping
• Robbery
• Aggravated Sexual Assault
• Endangering the Welfare of a Child
• A violation involving Domestic Violence, including Stalking
• Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network
• Employing a Juvenile In CDS Activities
• Imitation CDS
• Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
• Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose
• Manufacture, Transport, or Disposition of Defaced Weapons
• Possession or Distribution of Drugs (4th Degree or higher)

You will note that there is no requirement with any of these qualifying offenses that possession or use of a weapon be involved. An individual need not commit any previous firearm or other weapons infraction as commission of one of the mentioned offenses suffices in establishing certain persons status.

What Are Considered Weapons Under N.J.S. 2C:39-7?

The definition of weapon in accordance with 2C:39-7 is much broader than most people think. It is not limited to handguns or even firearms, and includes a wide range of potential items. Basically, anything that is capable of being used to cause serious bodily injury can qualify as a weapon if the item is used or intended to be used to inflict harm. Factors to be considered in this regard include size, shape, concealment, time/place of possession and any other circumstances tending to demonstrate intended use.  It is important to keep in mind that items that are incapable of being used to injury, for example, a toy gun or an antique gun incapable for being fired.

How Do You Determine the Grade of Crime for a Certain Persons Offenses?

When a certain person is found in possession of a weapon, other than a firearm, it is a fourth degree crime. If the weapon is a firearm, however, it is a second degree crime. The only exception to the second degree grading for a certain persons charge involving a firearm is where qualification is derived because of a domestic violence conviction that graded as a disorderly persons offense.

Is There A Mandatory Minimum Sentence or Period of Parole Ineligibility?

There is a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of five (5) years that applies to second degree certain persons charges (i.e. where a firearm is involved). What this means is that someone must serve at least five (5) years in prison before they have any chance for consideration for parole; this is what is commonly referred to as a parole ineligibility period. When the weapon is something other than a firearm, the Graves Act nevertheless applies creating its own mandatory minimum/parole ineligibility requirements.

If you are facing a certain persons offense or any other Title 39 offense, do not hesitate to contact our Newark Weapon Offense Defense Lawyers for a free consultation. We can be reached at 973-710-1520 any time of day.