The aforementioned motor vehicle stop occurred in the vicinity of Ardsley Drive on Route 73 in Evesham Township at approximately 6:35 p.m. on Friday, October 13th. Officers from the Evesham Police Department pulled over a vehicle containing four occupants, one of whom was 28-year-old Burlington resident Christopher Miles.
Under suspicion that there were drugs inside the car, officers told the driver and passengers to exit before they conducted a search. All of the car’s occupants exited aside from Miles, who was sitting in the back seat. When he finally did get out of the car, officers say he dropped a loaded handgun with a high-capacity magazine. The gun was defaced, which is a separate crime under New Jersey weapons law.
Miles was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a defaced firearm, and possession of a high-capacity magazine. He was being held in Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly, NJ prior to a bail hearing. He is now facing serious consequences, as it is typically a second degree crime in New Jersey to possess a handgun without a valid carry permit. If you are charged with second degree gun possession, not only are you facing 5 to 10 years in NJ State Prison, but this charge is subject to sentencing under the Graves Act. The Graves Act requires those convicted to serve between one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, or 3 years, whichever is greater, before becoming eligible for parole.
As for the charges associated with the defaced firearm, this is also considered a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, the unlawful possession of a weapon statute. Possession of a defaced firearm in New Jersey is typically a fourth degree crime. This is an indictable offense, also known as a felony, which exposes you to up to 18 months incarceration.
Obviously, the charges in this case are severe. However, there are many potential defenses that an experienced criminal defense attorney may use to beat them. For instance, was there probable cause for the initial motor vehicle stop? If not, the resulting evidence obtained is inadmissible in court. Similarly, if the police did not have reasonable belief that a crime was being committed when they searched the vehicle, the weapons allegedly retrieved may not be allowed into evidence.
Contact Evesham NJ Unlawful Handgun Possession Attorneys
If you are facing weapons charges in Burlington County or elsewhere in South Jersey, it is critical to enlist knowledgeable legal counsel. Leonard Biddison is a veteran criminal defense lawyer who has won numerous weapons cases over the course of his over 20-year career. Mr. Biddison thoroughly investigates each case with the help of his private investigator, a former New Jersey State Trooper, to identify potential violations of his clients’ rights. He uses the specific facts of your case to undermine the State’s arguments and aggressively pursues the best possible outcome. For more information and a free consultation about your gun or weapons charges, contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison online or by phone at 856-427-6888.
For additional information related to this case, visit the following: Burlington man accused of carrying defaced loaded handgun