New Jersey has seen an increase in the number of individuals being charged with federal gun crimes. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Learn more below.
What Is Project Guardian?
Project Guardian is a federal program that was designed to reduce the number of violent crimes and to enforce federal gun laws in the U.S. Project Guardian, through the U.S. Department of Justice, reports over 14,200 firearm-related crimes in the year 2020. New Jersey reports over 300 of these gun crimes and charges. Through the project, federal agents are working with local enforcement to combat gun violence.
New Jersey’s Gun Violence Numbers are Decreasing
FBI data also shows that there are fewer victims of gun violence in New Jersey. In fact, the year 2019 reported the lowest number of gun-related crimes since 1985. This shows that the program is working, considering that it was just initiated less than two years ago. In addition to reducing gun violence in N.J., the department is also reducing the number of illegal guns on the streets. Many of these arrests included gun trafficking charges.
Potential Legal Consequences of Gun Crimes in New Jersey
While the goal of the project is to protect American citizens, it can also negatively affect individuals who make a mistake. A gun charge in New Jersey can significantly impact your life, leading to things like:
- Prison time
- A permanent criminal record
- Required parole or probation
- Juvenile detention
Individuals with different types of categorized firearms, including paintball guns and fireworks, can also receive heavy sentencing. Jail time and a permanent criminal record can affect your life for years to come, making it difficult to find employment. Gun charges can also affect your ability to vote and even obtain student loans. These legal consequences can be especially difficult to overcome if you are a juvenile.
For this reason, it is important to have a good defense if you are currently facing criminal gun charges in New Jersey.
Potential Defenses for Gun Crimes
Depending on the details of your legal charges, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to build a defense, potentially reducing, or dropping, your charges. Just a few defenses that may be available include:
- Illegal search and seizure: If the officer found the weapons during an illegal search and seizure, the case may be dismissed.
- Inability to prove constructive possession: Constructive possession requires that the defendant has physical ownership of the weapon, or the ability to manipulate and control it.
Additionally, the state of New Jersey has pre-trial intervention programs available that can help first-time offenders avoid a gun conviction. It is important to work with a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who is experienced with these programs to better understand your options.
Some individuals with gun charges on their records may be able to apply for an expungement. The expungement of gun-related crimes in New Jersey requires that you have no additional indictable offense convictions. The defendant must have also successfully completed the requirements of their sentencing before filing.
If you were accused of a gun crime in New Jersey, it is important that you begin working on your defense with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact an Experienced Newark Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Gun Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with gun charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Hercules Law Group, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with gun crimes in Newark, Toms River, New Brunswick, Hamilton Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 372-5922 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 76 E Euclid Ave Suite 101, Haddonfield, NJ 08033 as well as offices located in Vineland, Toms River, New Brunswick, Princeton, Morristown, Flemington, and Hackensack, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.