Certain Persons Offenses

NJ Certain Persons Offense Lawyer

New Jersey Gun Crime Attorney Helps Clients Charged with Certain Persons Offenses

Although the Second Amendment strongly protects the right of U.S. citizens to own firearms, this right isn’t absolute and is subject to limitations by individual states. In New Jersey, the right to keep and bear arms is regulated to prohibit individuals from owning a firearm when they have been previously convicted of a crime. These “certain persons” can find themselves facing significant penalties, including prison time, if they are found in possession of a firearm or other weapon in Hackensack, Paramus, Mahwah, or anywhere else in New Jersey. An NJ certain persons offense lawyer can help to protect your constitutional rights and ensure that you avoid the most severe penalties for a weapons offense charge.

Do not take any chances when it comes to your New Jersey certain persons offense charges. If you were arrested for being a prohibited person illegally in possession of a handgun, contact NJ gun crime attorney Frank T. Luciano for assistance.

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 Makes “Certain Persons” Ineligible to Own a Firearm in New Jersey

If you were previously convicted of a crime in New Jersey, or if you pleaded guilty to a crime in New Jersey, it’s likely that you already endured severe consequences. You may have even gone to prison. What you might not realize is that you could now be barred from owning or possessing a firearm, depending on the specific circumstances of your earlier criminal charges and conviction or guilty plea. In fact, many people are shocked to learn that they are unknowingly in violation of the law by possessing a handgun or other weapon years after their cases have been resolved. In fact, it is not uncommon for individuals to voluntarily tell NJ police officers during a traffic stop that they have a firearm in their vehicle. Without realizing it, these individuals may be admitting to the crime of being a “certain person” illegally in possession of a weapon.

N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 of the New Jersey criminal code prohibits certain individuals from owning or possessing a firearm. One group of persons barred from purchasing and/or owning a deadly weapon in New Jersey is anyone who has been committed to a mental institution, sanitarium, or hospital for a mental disorder. The second group of persons who cannot purchase or own a deadly weapon in New Jersey consists of anyone who has been convicted of certain violent crimes in New Jersey, in another state or jurisdiction, or even in another country.

The crimes that could qualify you as a “certain person” who is ineligible to own a firearm in New Jersey include:

  • Weapons Offenses
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Homicide
  • Domestic Violence
  • Stalking
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Drug Possession
  • Drug Distribution
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Child Endangerment
  • Arson
  • Extortion
  • Bias Intimidation

Most of these offenses are considered violent crimes, which is why the state places a restriction on the offender’s ability to own a handgun even after the offender has served a prison sentence.

What Are the Penalties for a Certain Persons Offense in Hackensack, NJ?

While a standard background check should turn up evidence of a prior criminal conviction that bars you from obtaining an NJ firearms purchaser ID card and prohibits you from purchasing a firearm, this is not always the case. Moreover, it is possible that you already owned a handgun, semi-automatic pistol, or other weapon prior to being convicted of a crime. As a result, you may not realize that you are committing a certain persons offense and are in violation of NJ gun crime laws. However, the fact that you did not realize you were committing a crime won’t help you if you are charged with a certain persons offense in New Jersey: you will still be subject to severe penalties.

The penalties for a certain persons offense in Paramus, Elmwood Park, or anywhere else in New Jersey can vary. The factors that affect sentencing include the particular type of weapon and the defendant’s prior criminal record. The penalties are ultimately determined by the degree of the certain persons offense charges brought against the defendant:

  • Second Degree Charges: A person who has been previously convicted of one of the enumerated crimes can be charged with a second degree crime (i.e., felony) if they illegally possess a handgun. A conviction on second degree certain persons offense charges can result in the offender being sentenced to 5-10 years in NJ state prison.
  • Third Degree Charges: A person with a prior conviction for a disorderly persons offense (i.e., misdemeanor) involving domestic violence can be charged with a third degree crime if they unlawfully possess a weapon. A conviction carries a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ state prison.
  • Fourth Degree Charges: A prohibited person who unlawfully possesses a weapon other than a firearm or handgun can be charged with a fourth degree crime. Note that just about any type of object can be classified as a “deadly weapon,” including imitation handguns. As a result, fourth degree charges are quite common in certain persons offense cases. A conviction can lead to a sentence of up to 18 months in NJ state prison.

Additionally, all these penalties can be enhanced under the NJ Graves Act because the statute, codified in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c), applies to certain persons offenses. This means that anyone convicted of a certain persons offense in New Jersey can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of incarceration with no parole eligibility.

Fight Your Certain Persons Offense Charges in Mahwah, New Jersey

The complicated nature of New Jersey gun laws can make it difficult for the average person to know whether they are, in fact, violating the law. If you have been arrested and charged with a certain persons offense, you may be looking at serious penalties that involve prison time, significant monetary fines, and a permanent criminal record that could make it difficult for you to get or keep a job in the future without an expungement. That is why you should speak with a qualified NJ criminal defense attorney about your weapons offense case. Don’t take any chances when it comes to your freedom or your future.

Frank T. Luciano is a criminal defense lawyer with several decades of experience in New Jersey, including Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson counties. He is a highly respected litigator with a reputation for winning in the courtroom, which puts a lot of pressure on opposing prosecutors to avoid trial by offering favorable plea deals. Whether it’s during pre-trial negotiations, evidentiary hearings, or trial, Mr. Luciano is an aggressive advocate for his clients and will fight to protect their rights throughout the legal process. To learn more about what Mr. Luciano has done for his clients in NJ criminal cases, visit the Client Testimonials page on this website.

Contact Fort Lee Certain Persons Offense Attorney Frank T. Luciano Now

New Jersey criminal defense attorney Frank T. Luciano has successfully defended clients against all types of gun crime charges, and he is prepared to help you fight your NJ certain persons offense charges. Call or email Mr. Luciano now to begin your defense.

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From a former client charged with a serious weapons offense

"At the time, I was mortified because, having only worked against you in the Prosecutor’s Office, I couldn’t picture being on the same side. Frank, I want to thank you for the pleasure of having worked with you over the past years. I have learned a great deal from you. Most importantly, I learned that cases were not always as black and white as I thought they were when I worked for the Prosecutor’s Office. You are a wonderful attorney who not only works hard, but also cares deeply about his clients. Frank, I think you are the best."


From a former investigator of a county prosecutor’s office and retired private investigator

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