NJ Sentencing Guidelines for Manufacture or Transportation of Weapons

New Jersey has a reputation for aggressively enforcing some of the country’s strictest gun laws. If a defendant is convicted of transporting or manufacturing weapons in New Jersey, he or she will face a mandatory minimum sentence under legislation known as the Graves Act.  In addition to a mandatory prison term, a conviction related to weapons crimes can also result in the imposition of staggering fines, as well as the loss of gun privileges.  It will also lead to the creation of a permanent criminal record, which can cause problems when it comes to getting hired, being approved for loans, and other important parts of everyday life.

If you or one of your loved ones has been charged with the manufacture or transportation of weapons in Atlantic County, you can turn to the Law Offices of John J. Zarych for aggressive legal representation.  With over 45 years of combined experience representing adults and juveniles charged with extremely serious gun crimes, our attorneys bring a wealth of skill and knowledge to every case we handle.

Once an arrest has been made, the legal clock starts ticking fast.  The prosecutor won’t waste any time building a case against you, so don’t wait another day to start preparing your defense.  Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free and confidential legal consultation with our gun crime lawyers today.

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When Can You Be Charged with Transporting or Manufacturing Weapons?

The full name for this offense is “manufacture, transport, disposition and defacement of weapons and dangerous instruments and appliances.”  Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-9, a person can be charged with this offense when he or she “manufactures, causes to be manufactured, transports, ships, sells or disposes of” certain weapons or firearms without the appropriate license or registration for doing so.  These weapons and firearms include:

  • Any firearms shipped or transported into New Jersey for unlawful purposes
  • Anything capable of releasing tear gas
  • Assault rifles and other assault weapons
  • Bullets designed for use in a handgun
  • Firearms which have been altered or defaced
  • Large-capacity ammunition magazines
  • Machine guns
  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Silencers
  • Switchblades, daggers, and most other types of knives

New Jersey uses the term “indictable crime” or “indictable offense” to describe what would be called a felony in other states.  All of the offenses listed under N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-9 are indictable crimes, but some carry heavier penalties than others.  It depends on how the offense is graded, or categorized, which is based on the type of weapon involved, as described below:

  • Third Degree Crime 
    • Assault weapons
    • Defaced guns
    • Machine guns
    • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Fourth Degree Crime 
    • Brass knuckles
    • Bullets
    • Clubs
    • Defaced guns (receiving, concealing, or disposing of)
    • High-capacity ammo clips
    • Prohibited knives
    • Silencers
  • Second Degree Crime  
    • Transporting or shipping guns into New Jersey for unlawful purposes

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The Graves Act Creates Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Gun Crimes in NJ

Under normal circumstances, judges have discretion in deciding – within certain ranges – how to sentence a defendant who pleads or is found guilty.  However, a law called the Graves Act, which is codified at N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-6, imposes mandatory minimums for defendants who are convicted of certain offenses related to the manufacture or transportation of firearms.

The Act provides that anyone who is convicted under subsections a., b., e. or g. of N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-9 – in other words, anyone who is convicted of transportation/manufacture offenses involving machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, defaced firearms, or assault firearms – will receive a prison sentence that includes a mandatory component.  This mandatory minimum term, during which the offender will not be eligible for parole (early release from prison), will be set at whichever period among the following represents the longest amount of time:

  • One third of the sentence
  • One half of the sentence
  • Three years (or 18 months, if the offense is a crime of the fourth degree)

These mandatory minimums are based on the following sentence ranges:

  • Fourth Degree Crime – Up to 18 months
  • Third Degree Crime – 3 to 5 years
  • Second Degree Crime – 5 to 10 years

In addition to these hefty sentencing possibilities, the defendant could also receive an enormous criminal fine: up to $10,000 for crimes of the fourth degree, up to $15,000 for crimes of the third degree, and up to $150,000 for crimes of the second degree.

Contact One of Our Criminal Lawyers in NJ

If one of your family members was arrested for manufacturing or shipping weapons into New Jersey, he or she could be facing years in prison without the possibility of parole.  When the consequences are this serious, it’s essential to work with a highly experienced defense attorney who has a track record of courtroom victories.  To arrange a free and completely confidential legal consultation with the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, call our criminal attorneys right away at (609) 616-4956.  We handle cases in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Townhip, Hamilton Township, Pleasantville, Hammonton, Somers Point, Ventnor City, and more.  Se habla español

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