Ridgefield Park NJ Graves Act Offenses Attorneys
Illegal Weapons Possession Lawyers in Bergen County, New Jersey
In New Jersey, courts and judges have less discretion with gun violations. Under the Graves Act, a defendant charged with a firearms offense, even with no prior record, is facing mandatory state prison time and parole ineligibility. The Graves Act governs gun crimes of different kinds, such as possessing a firearm during the commission of a drug crime or firearms possession with a criminal record for prior gun crimes. Transporting or selling machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, or assault firearms, or defacing any firearm are also covered under the mandates of the Act. All Graves Act crimes come with mandatory minimum sentences without parole. If you have been arrested on a handgun or weapons charge in New Jersey, you are very likely looking at a Graves Act offense and a mandatory minimum prison terms that severely jeopardizes your future. There are ways to get around these sentencing requirements, whether it be Pre-Trial Intervention or a Graves Act Waiver. What you need to do now is get in contact with an experienced New Jersey weapons defense attorney.
Travis J. Tormey is the founding partner of the Tormey Law Firm, with offices in the heart of Bergen County, New Jersey. He was named one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys Under 40 In New Jersey in 2014 by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys and also heralded as one of the Top 40 Attorneys Under 40 in the Nation in 2014 by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Tormey has extensive experience representing clients charged with illegal gun offenses, including unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful disposition of a firearm throughout New Jersey, including in Ridgefield Park, Teaneck, and Washington Township.
For a free consultation about your weapons charges in Bergen County, New Jersey, call (201)-330-4979, submit an online contact form, or schedule an appointment to meet with us in person at our convenient Hackensack office location. You can also review our client testimonials page for additional information about our commitment to securing the best possible results in gun cases and other criminal cases across the state.
What is The Graves Act in New Jersey?
The Graves Act applies in most New Jersey gun crime cases. The Graves Act is used by prosecutors and judges to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences in gun crime cases as a way to discourage people from carrying handguns and other firearms within the state. Most felony firearms offenses are also Graves Act offenses.
If you are convicted of a gun crime under the Graves Act, you will be sentenced to prison time. The exact amount of prison time will depend on the degree of charges you face, but it is typically at least 60% of the original sentence. For a second degree gun crime conviction, you will be required to serve a minimum of 42 months in NJ state prison. During that period of time, you will be ineligible for release on parole and you will therefore be required to remain behind bars until the statutory period runs out.
Graves Act Weapons Offenses under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6
The Graves Act, codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6, governs certain weapons and firearms offenses in New Jersey. This statute provides enhanced penalties, mandatory imprisonment, and extended periods of parole ineligibility for certain illegal gun offenses. Specifically, the statute applies to the following crimes:
- Sawed Off Shotgun Possession – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b)
- Possession of a Defaced Firearm – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d)
- Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a)
- Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a)
- Unlawful Possession of a Handgun – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b)
- Unlawful Possession of a Rifle or Shotgun – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(c)
- Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7
- Manufacture, Transport of a Machine Gun – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(a)
- Manufacture, Transport of a Sawed Off Shotgun – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(b)
- Manufacture, Transport of Defaced Firearms – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(e)
- Manufacture, Transport of Assault Firearms – N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(g)
The Graves Act also applies if the defendant is accused of committing or attempting to commit certain offenses while being in possession of an illegal firearm. These offenses include:
- Robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1
- Burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2
- Escape, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-5
- Aggravated Sexual Contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a)
- Sexual Assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)
- Kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1
- Aggravated Assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)
- Homicide, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3
- Manslaugher, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4
Can you get a Graves Act Waiver?
In some NJ gun crime cases, it is possible for a skilled criminal defense attorney to get the prosecutor to agree to a Graves Act waiver. This means that the Graves Act would be waived in your case and the judge would be allowed to impose a lesser sentence than the one dictated by the criminal statute. A Graves Act waiver is often a defendant’s only chance to avoid being incarcerated for a gun crime in New Jersey. NJ lawmakers carved out a possible exception to the Graves Act by allowing for a waiver in certain circumstances. The waiver is sometimes allowed when the defendant was visiting from another state and did not realize that they were committing a crime by bringing their handgun into New Jersey. Additionally, the court often looks at certain mitigating factors to determine whether the defendant should be granted a Graves Act waiver. These factors include the likelihood that you might have caused serious harm to someone else, whether you were acting in self-defense, your lack of any prior criminal history, your risk of committing another crime in the future, and your cooperation with law enforcement.
Success Stories in New Jersey Gun Cases
If you or a loved one has been charged with an illegal firearm offense in New Jersey, Travis Tormey can help. Here are just a few of the weapons cases that Mr. Tormey has recently handled:
- United States Marine charged with illegal weapons possession in Hudson County. Graves Act offense which requires jail time and parole ineligibility. Defendant sentenced to probation and no jail time.
- United States Marine and his wife charged with illegal gun possession in Morris County. Graves Act offense which requires jail time and parole ineligibility. Defendant admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, resulting in no criminal record when successfully completed.
- 18-year-old kid and his friend charged with illegal weapons possession when visiting Cape May on vacation from their home state of Pennsylvania. Graves Act offense which requires jail time and parole ineligibility. Defendant admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, resulting in no criminal record when successfully completed.
To view more of our many victories in court, access our success stories page.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a Graves Act offense in New Jersey, contact our Hackensack offices anytime at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation about your case.