Federal Gun Charge
Need a Lawyer for Gun Charge in Federal Court in NJ
Typically speaking, weapon offenses, and specifically gun charges, will be investigated by local authorities and prosecuted at the State level. However, under certain scenarios, the Federal Government and its agencies, including the FBI, ATF, and DEA, could end up investigating and ultimately prosecuting individual’s on various weapons offenses. If this is to occur, the individual’s case will be litigated in Federal Court and will be prosecuted by the United States Attorneys Office. As one would imagine, if the Federal Government is involved, either in the investigation stage or in the prosecution stage, the stakes will be much higher than if the local state agencies were taking the lead. At times, it feels like the resources that these agencies can dedicate to investigating and subsequently prosecuting an individual can be endless. Far more reaching then local state authorities. Although it is no secret that New Jersey has some of the strictest penalties when it comes to weapons offenses, the Federal Government’s can be far worse. Unlike most State weapons cases, most Federally prosecuted weapons related cases are in addition to other serious crimes, like bank robbery, drug trafficking, murder and kidnapping.
Looking to Consult with a Defense Attorney about Federal Gun Case in New Jersey
Being investigated by the local police department can be intimidating but being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can be absolutely terrifying. The emotions only get worse if the individual is ultimately charged with a crime. If you are being investigated or worse charged with a Federal crime like bank robbery, possession of child pornography, identity theft, drug trafficking, healthcare fraud or gun charges, the Law Office of Proetta, Oliver & Fay can help. We defend those accused of crimes in Federal Court throughout New Jersey, including in Trenton, Newark and Camden. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys today about your options, feel free to contact our office at 732.858.6959. Now here is some information on potential weapons offenses in Federal Court in New Jersey.
What to Know about Federal Gun Cases
Although it is not common for the Federal Government to prosecute an individual solely based on the possession of a firearm, unless they are classified as a certain persons not to possess a firearm, it does happen. Most firearm offenses that are prosecuted at the Federal level stem from the investigation of some other offense. When it comes to firearm offenses, we typically see the unlawful manufacturing of firearms, the unlawful sale of firearms, the unlawful sale of certain weapons like machine guns and the unlawful distribution of firearms being prosecuted by the government. Other common weapons offenses being prosecuted by the government include the unlawful possession or sale of silencers, mufflers, certain collapsible stocks, short-barrels and other destructive devices.
How to Gun Cases Get Charged in Federal Court
Although there are numerous statutes that govern weapon related crimes in the federal system, the three main statutes are 18 U.S.C. § 921, 18 U.S.C. § 922 and 18 U.S.C. § 924. Each one of these statutes in essence cover different aspects of weapon offenses. 18 U.S.C. § 921 defines what will be classified as a weapon, including but not limited too: a short-barrel rifle, antique firearm, destructive device, armor piercing ammunition and machine guns. It also defines who will be classified as authorized dealer, pawnbroker and licensed collector. 18 U.S.C. § 922 basically spells out a significant number prohibited acts involving weapons, including but not limited too: the unlawful manufacturing, the unlawful sale, the unlawful possession and the unlawful possession by a certain person. Lastly, 18 U.S.C. § 924 deals with the potential penalties an individual faces if they pled guilty too or found guilty of specific weapons offenses covered in 18 U.S.C. § 922.
What Type of Sentence to Expect on a Federal Gun Case
Just like all other federal crimes, the federal sentencing guidelines will control in large part on the sentence that an individual receives on a weapons charge. The specific subsection that the individual is convicted of, which is controlled normally by the weapon possessed, combined with their prior criminal history, will play a major role in determining where they fall in the guideline range and thus their potential sentence.
Since a significant number of federal gun charges derive from a separate investigation, it is common to see individuals charged with possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. The penalties for this offense will depend largely upon what the other “violent” crime alleged is. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), anyone convicted of this offense must serve at least five years in Federal Prison and could face up to life in prison depending on the facts surrounding the case.
Another common gun offenses that we see being prosecuted in Federal Court is a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), which covers certain persons not to possess firearms. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(2), any person convicted of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not more than 10 years and fined not more than $250,000.
What is the Typical Bail for a Gun Charge in Federal Court in NJ
Unlike most State bail systems, the federal bail system uses a risk assessment to determine if an individual will be eligible for pretrial release (bail) or whether they should be held without bail, pending trial. If the Judge orders the individual released on pretrial services, they will be released upon “conditions”. Some common conditions that we see imposed include: house arrest, electronic monitoring, cash bail, surety bond and mandatory reporting requirements. In order to make this determination, the Judge will rely heavily upon pretrial services’ bail packet, which will be filled with personal background information about the individual. The Judge will basically be called upon to determine whether the individual poses a danger to community and will they be a flight risk if they are released. These are very important hearings as it is always easier to prepare a defense to criminal charges when the client is not detained pretrial.
Consult with a Federal Criminal Lawyer About Gun Case in NJ
At Proetta, Oliver & Fay we are well aware of how high the stakes are when one of our clients is being investigated by the Federal Government let alone being prosecuted by them. As such, we are dedicated to making sure that our clients interests are being best protected throughout the entirety of their case. If you have unfortunately found yourself being investigated by the FBI, DEA, ATF or any other agency for that matter in New Jersey for a weapons offense, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible about your options. Understanding your rights, including the possible implications of any statements that you may make to an investigator is imperative to protecting your liberty. To set up a free initial consultation today with one of our criminal defense attorneys, please contact us at 732.858.6959. One of our attorneys would be glad to sit down with you and go over the specifics of your case in an effort to formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs.