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Former State Prosecutor and Criminal Trial Attorney

Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for over 30 years

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Atlantic City Lawyer For Gun Charges Defends Clients Against Firearms Violations Throughout South Jersey


If you or a loved one has been charged with a firearms offense in New Jersey, you need a tough and experienced local criminal defense attorney. New Jersey gun laws are among the harshest in the country, imposing mandatory prison terms for weapons possession convictions.

John W. Tumelty is the lawyer you want on your side when you are facing serious criminal charges in New Jersey. He is the founding partner of the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, a highly respected South Jersey law firm. He is also a knowledgeable former prosecutor who knows the NJ legal system, which gives him a huge advantage when defending you against your weapons charges. While serving with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. Tumelty prosecuted major felony crimes, including armed robbery and weapons offenses. Now he appears in South Jersey courtrooms on a daily basis as a criminal defense attorney, representing clients who face weapons charges for guns, knives, blackjacks, and other prohibited weapons throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties.

How Serious are Illegal Gun Penalties in New Jersey?

The main weapons offense charges in New Jersey include:

  • Unlawful possession of a weapon: You cannot possess certain weapons in New Jersey without a valid permit.
  • Illegal possession of a firearm: You must have a valid permit or firearms license in order to carry a handgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, or other firearm in the State of New Jersey.
  • Possession of paintball guns, BB guns, and Airsoft guns: NJ law criminalizes the possession of air guns and spring guns without a lawful permit.
  • Certain persons offenses: New Jersey law prohibits certain persons, such as individuals convicted of violent crimes, from possessing a weapon.
  • Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose: You cannot have a weapon for the express purpose of using it unlawfully against another person or for the purpose of committing a crime.
  • Unlawful disposition of a firearm: It is against the law to manufacture, transport, ship, sell, or dispose of certain dangerous weapons within New Jersey state lines. It is also illegal to transport firearms into the state for an unlawful sale or transfer.

The penalties for weapons possession in New Jersey are severe, with NJ prosecutors often seeking maximum punishments in gun cases. For example, illegal handgun possession can be classified as a second degree felony offense. This means that if you are convicted, you may be sentenced to between five and 10 years in NJ State Prison. Additionally, the charge carries a presumption of incarceration, meaning that even first-time offenders will be subject to the harshest possible penalties.

Enhanced penalties may apply in certain weapons offense cases. Under state law, Graves Act offenses carry mandatory prison terms and extended periods of parole ineligibility. The Graves Act applies to most illegal gun possession charges in the State of New Jersey, as well as offenses involving the use of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime such as armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and sexual assault.

Advanced Defense Strategies to Beat Your Gun Charges

Mr. Tumelty has advanced defense strategies that he can use to help you avoid the most significant penalties for a weapons offense in Atlantic and Cape May counties and throughout New Jersey. For example, Mr. Tumelty will review the circumstances of your arrest and ensure that your constitutional rights were not violated. Most illegal weapons arrests in NJ occur after police search a suspect’s car, house, or personal belongings. However, the law requires police officers to have probable cause and a warrant in order to search your property. If the police did not have a legal right to search your property, Mr. Tumelty may be able to suppress the evidence in your case and get the charges against you dismissed.

Mr. Tumelty has also had great success in getting clients facing weapons charges admitted into alternative sentencing programs, such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). PTI is a diversionary program for first-time offenders. If you are admitted into PTI, you may be able to avoid prison time and keep your permanent record clear of a criminal conviction.

Let a Former Prosecutor Help You; Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Atlantic City Illegal Handgun Possession Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with illegal gun possession in New Jersey, you need to act quickly to get an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor on your side.

Timing is critical when it comes to contesting weapons charges in New Jersey. That’s why Mr. Tumelty is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions you might have about your charges. Call him to discuss your case or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation at Mr. Tumelty’s Marmora or Somers Point offices. He will be happy to sit down with you, explain the legal process in clear and understandable terms. He will also prepare a game plan for a winning defense in your case.

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