According to an article published today in the Paterson Times, police were in the process of dispersing a large group of people causing a disturbance on East 23rd Street in Paterson when detectives allegedly observed 27 year-old Christopher Lockhart, of Clifton, remove a handgun from his waistband and throw it in a nearby garbage can. Lockhart then purportedly attempted to walk away from the area, but detectives were able to detain him.
Police subsequently recovered a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun from behind the garbage can. The weapon is being submitted to the New Jersey State Laboratory for examination. Lockhart was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of armor piercing ammunition, and possession of high capacity magazine. According to authorities, he is also charged with certain persons not to have a weapon.” Click here to read the full article on www.patersontimes.com.
Gun charges are taken very seriously in the State of New Jersey, especially if you have a prior criminal record. Under those circumstances, you can be charged with a crime commonly referred to as “certain persons.” If you are convicted of a “certain persons” charge, you can face a minimum of 5 years in NJ State Prison, with a requirement that you serve all 5 years without the benefit of parole. That sentence could potentially run consecutive to the sentence that you potentially face on the underlying gun charge, which is governed by the “Graves Act” – the sentencing provision in NJ that applies to gun cases. If convicted under the “Graves Act,” an offender MUST be sentenced to a term of imprisonment with a minimum term of parole ineligibility fixed at, or between, one-third to one-half of a sentence imposed, or 3 years, whichever is greater.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are charged with a weapons offense in NJ, you should contact an attorney immediately. Criminal Defense Lawyer Alissa D. Hascup has extensive experience in representing those charged under New Jersey’s gun laws, and will fight on your behalf for the best possible outcome. Contact her office today for a free consultation about your case. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.