Charged with a Gun Crime in New Jersey? Know Your Legal Options
Gun offense convictions can haunt New Jersey residents for the rest of their lives. If you’re facing a criminal trial for gun charges in New Jersey, it’s important to know your legal options and the potential consequences you may face.
Immediately after being arrested on a gun charge in New Jersey, hire an attorney. Under no circumstances should you speak to law enforcement officials or a New Jersey prosecutor by yourself. The Graves Act provides strict instruction to New Jersey judges regarding sentencing for gun convictions, and defendants face serious prison time if convicted. Your New Jersey attorney will help guide you through a criminal trial for a gun charge and enter an appropriate plea, so you can clear your name and move forward with your life.
Our New Jersey attorneys are here to help individuals facing gun charges throughout the state. For a free case evaluation with the New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, call today at (609) 616-4956.
What Are Your Legal Rights After Being Arrested for a Gun Crime in New Jersey?
Gun crimes are taken seriously in New Jersey. If you’re arrested on charges of gun violence or illegal possession, it’s important to know what steps to take and what your legal rights are. Making the wrong decision after a gun crime arrest can harm you if the charges are taken to trial.
If you’re arrested in connection to a gun crime, it’s important to remain silent. New Jersey residents may be confused or frustrated by such an arrest and want to explain their position to police officers. Unfortunately, anything you say to law enforcement can be used to support a prosecutor’s case against you. It’s best to stay quiet and never speak to New Jersey police officers alone. After all, it’s your right to remain silent.
After an arrest for a gun crime, individuals should contact an Atlantic City criminal defense attorney right away. Your lawyer will immediately investigate the charges against you to uncover evidence that can ultimately clear your name. An experienced lawyer can use an alibi or potential eyewitnesses to build a strong defense against gun charges in New Jersey. You have the right to an attorney and should exercise that right if arrested.
So, after being arrested for a gun crime in New Jersey, stay quiet and hire a lawyer you can trust. These are the most important steps to improve your chances of acquittal at a criminal trial, or, better yet, a case dismissal.
What Are the Legal Consequences for a New Jersey Gun Charge Conviction?
In New Jersey, individuals convicted of gun crimes may face lengthy prison sentences. The Graves Act outlines mandatory sentencing for certain gun crimes, which, if defendants are convicted, can significantly impact their lives.
Depending on the severity of the gun crime you’re arrested and tried for, you may face years in prison. The Graves Act details mandatory sentencing requirements for individuals convicted of unlawful gun possession or other crimes committed with a firearm.
According to the Graves Act, individuals convicted of fourth-degree gun charges can face up to 18 months in prison. The stakes get higher for New Jersey residents convicted of first-degree gun charges. In such cases, defendants may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
Because the Graves Act provides strict instruction to New Jersey judges when sentencing individuals convicted of a gun charge, it’s important to hire a Brigantine criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will be familiar with the potential consequences you may face for a gun charge and understand the importance of evading penalties.
What Are Your Plea Options During a New Jersey Trial for Gun Charges?
When facing a criminal trial in New Jersey, defendants have a few options. They can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, or negotiate a plea with the prosecution. Unfortunately, defendants without an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney may not understand the pros and cons of these options. Defendants may choose wrong, causing them to face harsher penalties than they anticipated.
New Jersey residents faced with gun charges may listen to the prosecution when they say that entering a guilty plea will result in lesser prison time. Unfortunately, because of the Graves Act, this is not necessarily true. The Graves Act specifically outlines mandatory sentencing for New Jersey defendants that are either convicted of, or plead guilty to, a gun charge. Victims without a skilled criminal defense attorney may be unaware of this and believe a prosecutor when they say a guilty plea will help them avoid a higher sentence.
When New Jersey defendants facing criminal charges for gun crimes enter a plea of not guilty, they are placing trust in their attorney to clear their name. Unfortunately, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can make you look guilty of a crime you did not commit. If there is evidence to prove your innocence, your Cape May criminal defense attorney will advise you to enter a plea of not guilty so that you can have your day in court and clear your name of wrongdoing.
Sometimes, when a New Jersey prosecutor knows they don’t have enough evidence or it is a defendant’s first offense, they will offer a deal. Depending on the alleged crime, a prosecutor may negotiate a plea with your attorney or offer a plea without room for negotiation. The deal in question will depend on the severity of the alleged crime and may allow for a lesser sentence. That said, it means you will essentially admit to a crime, which will go on your criminal record and can cause difficulties securing housing or a job in the future.
If your lawyer believes you can win in court and a deal is unfavorable, they will advise you to decline it. It’s important for victims to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney so they are not convinced to accept a plea deal that does more them harm than good.
Call Our Attorneys if You’re Facing Gun Charges in New Jersey
If you’ve recently been arrested in New Jersey and are facing a criminal trial for gun charges, reach out to our lawyers. For a free case evaluation with the Ocean City criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, call today at (609) 616-4956.