Although a news report of drones being shot down may seem more at home in an international setting, a New Jersey man is facing charges for doing just that.
State criminal law in New Jersey defines four broad categories of weapons offenses. Possession of certain weapons may result in criminal charges. Possession of weapons for the purpose of committing a crime or some other illegal purpose may also constitute a weapons offense. Other weapons may require a license or permit. Finally, individuals with certain types of convictions in their criminal record, such as violent crimes, may also be prohibited from possessing a firearm or weapon of any kind.
Have you been arrested because you were holding a realistic-looking toy gun? Facing charges for having a community gun? You may have been charged under New Jersey Statute 2C:39-4 - possession of weapons for unlawful purposes.
Recently, we've been discussing what sorts of things New Jersey considers to be weapon crimes. As we've mentioned before, there are four main types of weapon offenses under New Jersey law, not including charges arising because a weapon was used in the commission of another crime. We've already discussed two types -- possession of weapons that are prohibited altogether, and possessing weapons without the appropriate licenses or permits. Today, we'll go over the third type: possession of weapons by people who can't legally have them.
We began our last post with a general discussion of what is considered a weapon crime under the laws of New Jersey. Keeping in mind that there are also federal laws regulating weapons, there are four main groups of weapon crimes in New Jersey. The first group included laws prohibiting certain weapons altogether. This second group of offenses involves weapons that you need a permit to lawfully own.
Whatever you may think of the Second Amendment, we all understand that some behavior with weapons can and should be against the law. Most people would also agree that certain people, such as people with certain dangerous mental illnesses, shouldn't have access to deadly weapons. To prevent unnecessary tragedies both the federal government and most states have passed laws to create a class of crimes called weapon offenses.
It goes without saying that New Jersey police officers are practically obligated to arrest someone whom they find carrying weapons illegally, possessing illegal drugs, or both. And, it goes to follow that someone in this situation might be charged with drug crimes, weapons crimes, or some combination of the two.
Like many eastern states, New Jersey has very strong gun laws. People may even find themselves running afoul of weapons crimes even if they aren't aware that they are doing something against the law, such as collecting certain antique weapons. On other occasions, New Jersey residents might have an inkling that they are pushing up against legal boundaries with their activities involving weapons -- which is when it can be crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for your rights.
It's not unheard of for people in New Jersey to be arrested for one offense and then charged with an entirely different offense based on what police encounter. In some cases, that crime might be an even more serious one than what would have been charged initially.
Due to continued problems with violence in the U.S., police and prosecutors in New Jersey will aggressively pursue charges against those they believe have violated a weapons law.