Guns are an unfortunate reality of life these days and this issue may not be any more apparent than in the County of Essex. In fact, as crazy as it might seem, a shocking number of firearms — 1,770 — including assault rifles and machine guns, were surrendered in 2013 during the weapon buyback campaign. It should probably come as no surprise then that weapon possession charges are fairly commonly at the Juvenile Division in Newark.

Whether the charge is possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, an illegal handgun offense, or just poor judgment with a pellet/BB gun, there can be dire consequences to a juvenile weapon conviction. Aside from the penalties that a Juvenile Judge can impose, there is a real possibility of a child being waived up and treated as an adult whenever the offense is particularly alarming. Detention is also frequently a major issue in juvenile firearm possession cases. If your child has been arrested and charged with a weapon offense of any kind, our firm has the skill set you need to insure that your interests are protected. We encourage to give us a call to speak to an attorney on our team as initial consultations are free of charge. The Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall can be reached 24/7 at 973-710-1520.

BB Guns, Paintball Guns, Airsoft Guns and Other Imitation Firearms

While it is almost always alarming to a parent, the reality is that bb guns, pellet guns, airsoft guns and other items of this kind that are classically viewed as toys, are treated as firearms under the criminal code. The only real difference under the law is that unlike a real handgun which results in a second degree crime for unlawful possession, a spring gun or other weapon propelled by air, spring, gas, results in a third degree crime.

Possession of  Other Weapons: Bat, Knife, Bottle, Pipe, Box Cutter or Anything Else That Can Cause Bodily Injury

It must be kept in mind that almost any object can be construed as a “weapon” provided it is capable of lethal use or to inflict serious bodily injury. Accordingly, a juvenile can face a weapon charge even if an object isn’t something that would be customarily viewed as a such like a knife, stun gun, or the like. What is pivotal in this regard is the intended use of the item, for example, a bat is supposed to be used for sport but it also has capability as a weapon. Misuse of the object as a weapon and/or intent to do so, can give rise to a juvenile criminal offense.

Mandatory Incarceration in Juvenile Handgun Cases?

Any charge involving illegal possession of a weapon demands the attention of an experienced defense attorney. In addition to the factors previously noted, almost all firearm violations trigger the application of the Graves Act. This provision in the New Jersey Criminal Code requires that all individuals found guilty of Graves Act eligible charges, for example, possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose, serve some form of a custodial term of incarceration. While there is no obligation on the part of the Court or prosecutor to apply mandatory minimum terms of the Graves Act, consideration is to be given to this fact in making the determination as to treat the juvenile as an adult and the period of detention to be imposed in the Juvenile Court.

For additional assistance, you may call our firm to speak to an experienced attorney. Initial consultations with our Juvenile Offense Defense Lawyers in Newark NJ are always free of charge so there is no reason to hesitate in contacting us.