Essex County NJ Weapons Charges Downgraded to Non-Criminal Offense

Arrested for Possession of Stun Gun in Newark NJ?

Arrested for a Stun Gun Newark NJ

In a recent case in Essex County Special Remand Court, the weapons defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm achieved a victory on behalf of another satisfied client.  Initially, our client was facing an indictable, fourth degree weapons crime that arose out of Newark Airport, a crime that could have resulted in jail time (up to 18 months in prison) and a criminal conviction (felony) on her record. But after the defense team at the Tormey Law Firm was retained, we got to work and eventually negotiated a resolution with the prosecutor that downgraded the charge to a local ordinance violation and required only the payment of a small fine and court costs.  Most importantly, our client will not have a record of being convicted of a crime but, rather, only a municipal ordinance violation.

Essex County Possession of a Stun Gun Charges NJ

In this case, our client made an honest mistake.  Like so many out-of-state residents who are good people, our client was accused of a serious crime at Newark Airport because of a lapse of judgment by leaving a weapon, a stun gun, in her carry-on luggage.  Although the stun gun was not illegal in her home state, under New Jersey’s weapons laws, stun guns are outright prohibited.  And what started off as an ordinary day of travel ended with being arrested and charged with a fourth degree weapons offense.

The New Jersey Criminal Code enumerates a list of prohibited weapons and devices in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3 which includes, but is not limited to, destructive device, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, defaced firearms, switchblade knives, hollow point bullets, stun guns, large capacity magazines, and handcuffs.  In this particular case, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(h) establishes that any person who knowingly has in his possession any stun gun is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.  Importantly, the weapons law in New Jersey does not have an exception for possessing prohibited items that are otherwise allowed in other states.  Thus, even though our client made a mistake, she was charged with fourth degree possession of a stun gun because as the saying goes, ignorance is no excuse of the law.

Charged with a Stun Gun Essex County – Need a Lawyer

A fourth degree crime in New Jersey permits the court to impose a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to eighteen months.  Additionally, a conviction for a fourth degree crime will result in a permanent record of a felony offense. Clearly, this is a severe penalty for exercising poor judgment.  Luckily, the client contacted the experienced weapons defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm and she is able to move on without a criminal record.

Newark Felony Stun Gun Charge Downgraded to Non-Criminal Offense

The 4th degree felony charge for possession of a stun gun was downgraded (amended) to a a local ordinance (also known as a town ordinance or municipal ordinance) which is essentially a ticket similar to a noise violation or littering. Essentially, she plead guilty to creating a disturbance at the airport which required security to respond (which is what happened). Based on this negotiated plea agreement, she was given a small fine and has no criminal record from this incident. In addition, she can apply to expunge her arrest record two (2) years after the resolution of this case in order to remove the arrest as well. Once the case is expunged, it is as if this case never happened.

If you are in a similar situation and you are facing indictable weapons charges in New Jersey such as possession of a prohibited weapon, the unlawful possession of a weapon, or possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, contact the experienced weapons defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm to learn about how to fight your case.

Since this case, New Jersey has legalized stun guns. Learn more about Stun Guns and Tasers Laws in New Jersey.