A weapons charge is often entangled with other criminal offenses, but even when the charge stands alone, the outcome can be extremely damaging.
A good defense against a weapons charge is a strong case that establishes doubt on the prosecution’s evidence. An effective defense attorney takes into account all factors of the case, including how the charges came to be and how the evidence will be presented in court. Like all good criminal defense strategies, a successful defense considers all possible flaws in the execution of the arrest, charges, and court arguments against the defendant.
What Should be Considered While Forming a Defense?
Some of the following questions may be considered in the formation of a weapons charge defense:
- Does the supposedly illicit item in question actually qualify as a weapon?
- Was disclosure of the weapon established as a result of a flawed or unconstitutional search and seizure?
- Was the arrest or interrogation executed lawfully according to the constitution?
- Is it possible that the defendant is the victim of mistaken identity?
- Can it be proven that the weapon was actually in the defendant’s possession?
- Was the defendant framed by someone who planted the weapon?
How Can a Defense Strategy Help When it Comes to the Assignment of Penalties?
Even in cases where conviction is unavoidable, a good defense can help mitigate criminal penalties. When it comes to setting penalties, the court will consider certain factors to determine the seriousness of the offenses.
For example, things like the circumstances present at the time of the crime, the seriousness of injuries that resulted from the offense, or a criminal history on the part of the defendant are all factors that might influence the severity of the penalties.
What Items are Considered Weapons in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the definition of a weapon is broad. A weapon can be any item that is capable of inflicting injury. The following list highlights some common weapons:
- Firearms, including handguns, pistols, rifles, shotguns, air guns, among others. These guns need not be loaded in order to be the basis for a weapons charge.
- Knives, including switch blades, daggers, and other sharp and dangerous implements.
- Brass knuckles or gloves with sharp or hard punching surfaces.
- Clubs or other objects used to bludgeon.
- Stun guns.
- Any items that can be used to build a weapon.
What Charges are Common in New Jersey?
A weapons charge can range from a disorderly persons misdemeanor to a first-degree crime. Some examples include:
- Possession for unlawful purposes.
- Possession while in the commission of a crime.
- Unlawful use of imitation firearms.
- Gun possession without a license.
- Intimidation with a deadly weapon.
What Types of Penalties are Associated with a Weapons Charge?
A weapons offense can carry severe penalties, such as a jail sentence, financial penalties, and probation. A conviction can have a lifelong negative impact on one’s future, so it is important to contact a criminal law attorney right away when facing a weapons charge.
Haddonfield Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Assist Those Charged with Weapon-Related Offenses
Being convicted with a weapons charge can greatly impact your life, so a good defense is critical. Our Haddonfield criminal defense lawyers at Agre & St. John formulate successful defense strategies to ensure our clients are protected. Contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 for an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.