There have been several weapons threats in Ocean County, New Jersey recently, which raises an important question: what are the consequences of causing a security scare? The criminal defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver regularly handle criminal charges arising out of weapons incidents. In this article, we will explain some of the charges that you or a loved one may face if accused of having a weapon or threatening to commit an act of violence in New Jersey. To discuss your specific circumstances with one of our lawyers today, call (848) 238-2100 or send us a message.
A recent incident in Lakewood, NJ, led to the arrest of a teenager who reportedly sent an email threatening to shoot up a school. The male high school student was taken into custody by the Lakewood Police Department and two schools were locked down. The email “threatening to cause harm,” was ultimately unsubstantiated; however, the young man was charged with terroristic threats and creating a false public alarm.
In New Jersey, terroristic threats is a third degree felony governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3. A person can be charged with terroristic threats for threatening to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another person, to cause evacuation of a place, or with reckless disregard for the fear or inconvenience created by the threat. A conviction for terroristic threats could lead to incarceration for between 3 and 5 years.
In another recent case in Seaside Park, police received a call about a possible hand grenade that was found on the beach. At about 12:50 p.m., a report was made to the Ocean County Radio Room about the possible explosive device. A massive law enforcement presence descended on the Seaside Park beach on 7th Avenue to investigate. The beach was immediately shut down and streets in the vicinity were closed.
After an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office’s arson unit, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit, the New Jersey State Police bomb squad, the Seaside Park Fire Department, the Seaside Heights Fire Department and the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad, officials discovered the item was actually a toy hand grenade. In this case, the weapon was not capable of inflicting serious injury and there was no suspect to connect to the incident.
However, an actual grenade is considered a “destructive device,” as explained in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1. It is illegal to possess any item that falls under the category of destructive devices in New Jersey. In fact, possession of an explosive device is a third degree crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3. Even merely possessing a device of this kind can result in up to 5 years in prison.
Several other cases in recent weeks have led to charges for unlawful possession of a weapon, after students brought weapons such as handguns, imitation firearms, and BB guns to their schools. Depending on the specific weapon involved, unlawful possession of a weapon can be graded as a second degree, third degree, or fourth degree crime. All of these are indictable offenses in New Jersey with the potential for imprisonment if a defendant is found guilty.
Charged with Making a Threat in Ocean County, New Jersey?
If you or someone you love has been arrested for a weapons offense, making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, or another crime in connection with a security scare, contact the Ocean County criminal defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver. Our lawyers will review the evidence against you are pursue an aggressive defense strategy. We provide free, confidential consultations so don’t hesitate to call our office in Toms River at (848) 238-2100 for the answers you need.