Florida Resident Charged with Gun in New Jersey

The Gun Lawyers at The Tormey Law Firm Zealously Challenge Cases of Florida Gun Owners Charged with Illegal Possession of Firearms in New Jersey

Florida Gun Owner Charged with Illegal Possession in New Jersey
Illegal Gun from Florida in NJ

Do you need a lawyer for an illegal possession of a handgun charge due to your out of state weapon from Florida? We can help. Here is a case our weapons defense lawyers handled in Essex County for a client charged with 2nd degree unlawful possession of a handgun as well as fourth degree felony charges for high capacity magazines and hollow point bullets. Our client is a resident of Florida who purchased the weapons and bullets legally there but traveled up to New Jersey for work. He had the gun and bullets in his truck when he was stopped for a routine traffic violation by law enforcement. Unfortunately, he did not have a permit to carry the weapon in New Jersey and the weapon was not properly transported in the case in the trunk if he was traveling legally through the State.

As a result, he was facing serious felony charges and serious jail time in New Jersey for these offenses. In fact, even for a defendant with no prior criminal history, the typical plea offer for a 2nd degree illegal gun possession charge like this is 5 years in prison, 42 months to be served before being eligible for parole.

In this case, our client was a young man with no prior criminal record. He was in New Jersey for work and was not using the weapons for any criminal activity. We submitted a compelling reasons package to the prosecutor in Essex County to apply for a Graves Act waiver to avoid the mandatory prison time and parole ineligibility. This package included proof of employment, proof that the weapons were purchased legally in Florida, character letters, etc.

Luckily, we were able to convince the prosecutor that our client didn’t deserve jail time for this offense and was a good candidate for the Pre-Trial Intervention program (known as “PTI”). He was admitted into the program for a period of 18 months. When the client successfully completes the probation, the charges against him with be completely dismissed. Therefore, he was able to avoid the serious jail time and felony record typically associated with this offense. Remember, PTI is a one time only program so you can only use a first time offender program like this once in your life.

This was a fantastic result for our client and the law firm. Here is a review for our client’s very satisfied mother Valerie who hired us to handle the case for him:

“I am very pleased with Tormey law firm, he did everything he said he would in helping my son with his case, his staff were very quick with responding to my calls/ emails. I highly recommend him! Alyssa was amazing. She answered all of my questions and concerns. Thanks guys for all you have done in keeping my son out of prison. I am forever grateful. God bless.”

Why Florida Gun Owners Get Arrested for Illegally Possessing Handguns in New Jersey

Florida is a very easygoing state when it comes to gun permits and possession of firearms. The gun possession laws in Florida do not, however, apply in New Jersey, which often leads to problems for visitors from Florida who come to NJ and bring their guns with them. Without a gun permit issued by the state of New Jersey to carry a handgun, you CANNOT carry your handgun from Florida in this state, even if you legally own and possess it there. You may not even know that bringing your handgun, rifle, shotgun, or gun accessories and ammunition from Florida can be problematic if you are caught by police. For instance, if you bring your gun outside of your home while in New Jersey, you may be arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon. Also, if you are found traveling with your firearm in your vehicle and are not abiding by the strict transporting laws for guns, you may be arrested and charged with a serious crime.

Penalties for Illegal Gun Possession Charges for Florida Residents in NJ

The main statute that governs illegally possessed guns and weapons in New Jersey is N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-5. The statute is broken down into different parts, each of which applies to a specific type of weapon. Based on the weapon, the degree of crime is determined and so too are the penalties for those convicted. A machine gun, handgun, or assault firearm leads to a second degree criminal charge. A rifle, shotgun, BB gun, air gun, or pellet gun leads to a third degree criminal charge. Another type of weapon, such as a dangerous knife, is a fourth degree crime.

The requisite punishments correspond with the degree of the crime in an unlawful possession of a weapon case, with second degree charges being the most serious under this statute. Often, gun crimes in New Jersey carry mandatory prison time and mandatory periods of parole ineligibility as per the Graves Act. A second degree handgun possession charge can expose a Florida gun owner to anywhere from 5 to 10 years in state prison, 42 months of which must be served before parole eligibility. For a shotgun that you brought from Florida to NJ, you are facing a prison range of 3 to 5 years. This goes for BB guns and airsoft guns as well. Other weapons lead to the most relatively minor fourth degree crimes, which can lead to 18 months at the highest end of the sentencing range. All of these crimes are considered indictable felony offenses, meaning a conviction will label you a “convicted felon” for the rest of your life. Obviously, you can imagine the employment, housing, professional licensing, and other problems that can arise after a felony conviction like this.

Rounds Limits for Ammunition that Florida Gun Owners Should Know About

New Jersey limits the amount of rounds that can be kept in a magazine to 10. This means that bringing ammunition considered illegal in this state is a major problem if you are from Florida and confused about the limits on rounds in NJ. Any magazines capable of storing more than 10 rounds are considered high-capacity magazines, which can lead to fourth degree criminal charges and harsh consequences.

Traveling through New Jersey from Florida with a Weapon Stored in Your Vehicle

If you are planning to drive through New Jersey with your Florida weapon, you absolutely must know how to store it properly in your vehicle during your trip. The weapon must be unloaded, properly secured in a gun box or fastened case, kept separate from any ammunition, and stored in the trunk of the vehicle or another compartment that is inaccessible to the driver and passengers. You absolutely cannot keep your gun in the glove box, in the back seat, under the seat, or in the compartment between the two front seats. Other examples of illegal transportation include driving with a loaded gun in your vehicle. You must also keep in mind that you can only go to and from select locations, like from your residence to your place of business, to and from a gun repair shop, or to and from the shooting range.

Notably, New Jersey and Federal law must acknowledge certain reasonable deviations in transport, such as pulling off the highway to a rest stop to grab a bite to eat or use the restroom. Refueling at a gas station is another example, and even seeking medical care if necessary can be shown by a gun lawyer should you run into a problem with law enforcement.

Securing a Graves Act Waiver for a Florida Gun Owner

If you have no prior record, our weapons crime lawyers can often prepare and present a mitigation package that shows your good candidacy for a Graves Act Waiver. If we can convince the prosecutor that this is appropriate in your case, they must apply for a waiver of the Graves Act and once secured, this allows a defendant to avoid the mandatory sentencing requirements of the Graves Act. Some of the potential outcomes once a Graves Act Waiver is obtained include Pretrial Intervention, a lesser sentence without a minimum period of parole ineligibility, and probation.

Our accomplished team of gun law attorneys has successfully resolved thousands of gun cases through Graves Act waivers and we will meticulously review your case to determine if you are a good candidate. If so, we will go above and beyond to prepare a mitigation package on your behalf with all of the details of your life and your past that support your character.

Consult a New Jersey Firearms Lawyer to Review Your Illegal Florida Gun Case Today

You are in urgent need of a trained, tested, and tireless gun lawyer if you are charged with a weapon as a Florida resident in New Jersey. The Tormey Law Firm handles numerous cases like this for out of state residents charged with guns, often achieving dismissals, reduced charges, plea agreements with lesser penalties, and Pre-Trial Intervention for our clients like the one in the aforementioned case.

If you are a Florida resident in need of assistance with a weapons charge for an illegal handgun or another firearm or weapon in New Jersey, contact our New Jersey law offices at The Tormey Law Firm for immediate assistance and a free initial consultation. Call (201)-614-2474 anytime, day or night, to talk to a lawyer who can provide further guidance for your case.