In New Jersey, statute 2C:39-5 makes it a criminal charge to possess a rifle without first obtaining the proper legal authorization to be in possession of that rifle. Under New Jersey statute 2C:39-5(c) any individual who knowingly has in their possession any rifle or shotgun without properly obtaining a firearms purchasers identification card pursuant to section 2C:58-3 is guilty of a crime of the third degree. A third degree criminal conviction can subject a person to between three and five years in a New Jersey state prison, a period of probation, fines and or community service.
A third degree criminal offense for unlawful possession of a weapon may not carry some of the mandatory minimum prison sentences that are associated with possession of handguns. Additionally, in some circumstances, an individual who is charged with possession of a rifle may be able to obtain admission into the pretrial intervention program. The pretrial intervention program, also known as PTI, is a diversionary program in the state of New Jersey. Under this program, an individual is placed on probation for a period between one and three years. They are often ordered to complete a certain number of community service hours and pay any fines. They will also be subject to random drug screenings. If the individual is able to complete all of the requirements, pass their drug tests and not be subject to any additional charges, the individual will have his or her case dismissed at the end of the probationary period. Once the case is dismissed, it can be expunged.
Obviously the specific facts and circumstances surrounding a possession of a rifle charge will determine whether an individual may be admitted into pretrial intervention or have their case dismissed for some other reason. It is therefore important to contact a qualified New Jersey Gun Charge Defense Attorney if you or someone you know has been charged with the unlawful possession of a rifle.
Our attorneys are former prosecutors with decades of criminal trial experience. We have a track record of dismissals throughout the state. If you or someone you know would like to speak with one of our criminal defense lawyers call our firm or send us an electronic message. Our attorneys are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and offer a free initial consultation.