Paterson Woman Arrested for Allegedly Having Loaded Pistol in Her Lap Outside Medical Building
A Passaic County woman was recently arrested for allegedly holding a loaded pistol in her lap while sitting outside of a medical building.
According to Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale, a 22-year-old pregnant woman held loaded gun in her lap while sitting outside an office building that used to be Barnert Hospital. In the early morning hours, multiple officers with the Paterson Police Department responded to the area on reports of a woman with a gun. The woman was reportedly overheard talking about harming herself. When the officers arrived, they observed the woman sitting on the ground near the side of the building. The woman also reportedly possessed a loaded firearm in her lap, with the weapon partially concealed underneath a blanket. Eventually, Paterson cops were able to grab the woman’s wrist and take the gun, as well as 21 bullets. The available information does not indicate what criminal charges the woman may face as a result of the incident, but it is likely she was charged with the unlawful possession of a handgun.
The unlawful possession of a handgun in New Jersey is a second degree crime. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b), “any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the second degree. If the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun, or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person, it is a crime of the third degree.” The bottom line is that the unlawful possession of any handgun can be classified as either a second degree crime or a third degree crime, depending on the type of firearm.
When it comes to the penalties for the unlawful possession of a handgun in New Jersey, the Graves Act, set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6, imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, with three years of parole ineligibility, even for a person with no prior criminal record. The only exception to avoid the mandatory term of imprisonment, and parole ineligibility, is to have the prosecutor submit a Graves Act waiver, which must be approved by a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court.
Charged with Possession of a Loaded Handgun in Passaic County? Need a Lawyer? Call Us
If you have been charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon, the firearm defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm can help. We have successfully handled numerous weapons and handgun cases in which the Graves Act applied and we are ready to defend you. Contact the gun defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm today to learn how to fight your charges and to find out we can help you avoid the mandatory prison time imposed by the Graves Act.