Fort Lee Gun Charge Defense Attorneys

Bergen County Gun Charges Result in PTI Admission

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Bergen County Gun Charges

Falsely arrested for an illegal gun possession charge in Bergen County? Did the police illegally search your car or your home? We can help. Here is a real gun case that our Bergen County gun defense attorneys recently handled in Hackensack for one of our very happy clients. To discuss your gun charges with one of our distinguished lawyers and find out how we can assist with achieving the best possible outcome in your weapons case, contact us today.

Travis J. Tormey of the Tormey Law Firm recently represented a client who was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, a crime of the second degree in New Jersey, at the Bergen County Superior Court located in Hackensack. The client was a professional bodyguard for a famous rap artist who was on tour in the Tri-state area. The client had a lawful permit for his firearm in the State of Georgia where he resides but he did not have a valid firearms ID card for the State of New Jersey. The gun was found locked in a gun box on the tour bus. There is a valid exception to the unlawful possession if you are transporting firearms through New Jersey from another State but the gun must be locked in a lock box separate from the ammunition and must be kept in the trunk. This was unfortunately not the case here so the exception did not apply.

The initial plea offer was State prison along with a felony which would have ended our client’s career as a professional bodyguard. Because of the Graves Act, the statute that governs gun offenses in New Jersey, the typical plea offer on a gun case even if you have no prior record is five (5) years New Jersey State Prison, three (3) years must be served before the possibility of parole. After months of negotiation, Mr. Tormey was able to convince the prosecutor’s office to allow our client into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. If he remains arrest free for two (2) years and complies with all the other terms and conditions of PTI, all the charges will be dismissed at the end of the probationary period. This will allow him to not only stay out of jail but also to avoid a felony record and continue his career.

Types of Gun Charges in Bergen County NJ

Since there are various ways to be charged with a gun or weapons offense in New Jersey, it is imperative to understand exactly what charge you are facing. For instance, unlawful possession of a weapon becomes a second degree crime when the offense involves a firearm. This is a very serious situation, as there is a presumption of incarceration attached, meaning even a person without any criminal history is presumably going to be sentenced to prison time if convicted. Now, there are ways to circumvent such requirements, namely in the form of Pre-Trial Intervention. In fact, the Attorney General offered guidelines in recent years allowing people with valid permits from other states to be considered for PTI if they meet eligibility criteria and were traveling in New Jersey without knowledge that they were violating the law. When you want to avoid a criminal conviction on your record and mandatory prison time, it is crucial to have an experienced NJ gun charge lawyer working to secure your admission into PTI or negotiating a deal with the prosecutor that best serve your interests.

There are also ways to fight a weapons case and get the charges dismissed outright. For example, if the search was conducted unlawfully by police, any evidence resulting from such a violation of your constitutional rights should be deemed inadmissible. We have represented countless clients arrested for gun possession in Fort Lee, Teaneck, East Rutherford, Paramus, Hackensack, and throughout Bergen County where the search actually provides us with the basis for a motion to suppress the weapon. This can ultimately result in the dismissal of the charges, as the state has a hard time proving unlawful possession of a firearm if they can’t use the weapon to support the charge.

Importantly, you may be charged with a different gun offense, such as possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. This is also a serious predicament to be in, as it means the state is alleging that you didn’t simply possess the weapon, but intended to use it in an illegal manner against someone else personally or their property. These charges must be aggressively fought in court to avoid the significant repercussions, demanding the assistance of an experienced firearms defense lawyer with the know-how to defend you in Bergen County Superior Court or another court in New Jersey.

The Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program and Bergen County Gun Charges

Our client applied and was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program in Bergen County court on his serious illegal gun possession charges. How did this happen? It was a long process. The initial plea offer was state prison and a felony on his record. Once we received the evidence and the plea offer, we drafted a mitigation package in support of a better plea deal. Namely, we provided proof that the client was a Georgia resident and had legally purchased the firearm there (receipt of gun purchase). In addition, we provided travel proof showing he was in New Jersey for work, as well as proof of employment, character references, etc. Based on this information, the assistant prosecutor was able to speak to his office and supervisors and allowed us to apply for PTI. It is important to remember that on a 2nd degree charge, a defendant can’t even apply for PTI unless the State consents.

Written PTI Application and Interview

Once the State agreed to let us apply, we filed the written PTI application and paid the application fee ($75). Then, the client is interviewed by probation and the probation department does a recommendation to the prosecutor’s office and the court about whether or not they believe the defendant is a suitable candidate for PTI. The ultimate decision is made by the Prosecutor’s office. On a second degree gun charge, the defendant must plead guilty in order to enter into the PTI program. However, this guilty plea is dismissed at the end of the probationary period when the defendant successfully completes it. If a defendant fails to successfully complete the PTI program and violates the PTI probation, the charges come back and then the defendant will be sentenced on the second degree gun charge with the presumption of jail time and the prison range of 5-10 years.

Arrested for Gun Charge in Hackensack? Contact the Tormey Law Firm Now

To speak with one of our experienced gun charge defense attorneys free of charge, contact our Hackensack offices anytime at (201)-330-4979. Whether you have been accused of illegal handgun possession, possession with unlawful purposes, having a prohibited ammunition, or another weapons crime, our defense team has the knowledge and practical skill to successfully handle your case. If you need personalized legal counsel about a gun case, contact us today.


If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.