The offense of possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose is very serious. In most cases, the charge is a second degree crime that carries 5-10 years in state prison. If you were arrested for possession of a firearm, imitation firearm, explosives, destructive device or another weapon, and it is alleged that it was for an unlawful purpose, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney. The lawyers at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, provide free initial consultations and many of the members of our team not only have over 10 years experience but are former prosecutors. Call us at 973-710-1520 for immediate guidance.

What Constitutes An Unlawful Purpose Under N.J.S. 2C:39-4?

An unlawful purpose exists where it is the intention of the possessor to use the weapon against person or property of another to commit an illegal act. The accused must have both the purpose and conscious objective to not only use it against someone or their property, but also to use the item in a manner that violates the law.

Possession of a Firearm For Unlawful Purpose

It is important to keep in mind that possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose is an entirely separate offense from any unlawful possession, certain persons or other weapon charge. This offense is a second degree crime that results in a period of incarceration of 5-10 years. In addition, a mandatory minimum period of incarceration must be imposed. The period to be set is the greater of three (3) years or one-half of the sentenced imposed, and that defendant is ineligible for parole until this minimum term has been served. The maximum fine for possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose is $150,000.

Possession of an Imitation Firearm for Unlawful PurposeUnder N.J.S. 2C:39-4(e), it is a fourth degree crime to possess an imitation firearm for an unlawful purpose. The common object falling under this category is a toy gun but it must be kept in mind that almost any device capable of being mistaken for a firearm can constitute an imitation firearm. This fourth degree crime carries a state prison term of up to 18 months and a fine that can reach $10,000.

Possession of Explosives or a Destructive Device for Unlawful Purpose

If someone is found in possession of explosives or a destructive device for an unlawful purpose, they may be charged with a second degree crime under N.J.S. 2C:39-4(b) and (c). The term of incarceration for this second degree crime is 5-10 years and the maximum fine is $150,000.

Possession of Other Weapons for Unlawful Purpose

Possession of a bat, knife, pipe, or any other weapon is a third degree crime where it is the possessor’s intention to use it for an unlawful purpose. A conviction for third degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose triggers a prison term of up to 5 years and a potential fine as high as $15,000.

Call Our Highly Skilled Newark NJ Unlawful Purpose Defense Lawyers

As you can see, a conviction for possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose can result in significant penalties, including years in jail. You definitely need the assistance of an experienced defense attorney if you are facing a complaint or indictment pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:39-4. We believe that the lawyers on our team can provide a distinctive level of  representation in this regard.