New Jersey Graves Act Lawyer
Dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyer Works to Help Clients Facing Graves Act Consequences in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Throughout New Jersey
In New Jersey, violation of criminal firearms statutes is governed by the Graves Act. New Jersey is notable for having some of the most strict gun laws of any state in the country. New Jersey’s Graves Act requires offenders convicted of various weapons offenses to serve long prison sentences, which often include significant periods of parole ineligibility. These sentences can be imposed even if you have no prior criminal history. The only way that a defendant can avoid the effects of the Graves Act is to have the prosecution apply for a waiver from the Act, which is only done in certain cases.
Charged With A Weapons Crime And Have Questions? I Can Help, Tell Me What Happened.
If you’ve been charged with a weapons crime in New Jersey, you need knowledgeable legal representation to help you avoid the serious consequences imposed by the states’ Graves Act. I am criminal defense attorney John B. Brennan; for decades, I’ve worked in the criminal justice system in New Jersey. I spent 25 years serving as a prosecutor, where I specialized in weapons offenses. I know inside and out how the state pursues gun crimes, so I can develop legal arguments and strategies to help you avoid the serious consequences of the Graves Act. As a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney and Member of the New Jersey Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, you can trust that I have the expertise and skill to vigorously defend your rights and your freedom in the courtroom.
Contact my office today to set up a case review to discuss your Graves Act charges and to learn more about how I may be able to help you secure a favorable outcome in your case.
How the Graves Act Works
The Graves Act governs most criminal weapons offenses in New Jersey, covering firearms such as handguns, shotguns, machine guns, rifles, assault weapons, and defaced firearms. You may be charged with an offense under the Graves Act if you possess a covered weapon without the necessary permit, if you possess a covered weapon in the course of possessing or distributing illicit drugs, if you deface a firearm, if you are prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior felony conviction or a prior commitment for mental health treatment, or if you unlawfully manufacture or transport weapons. Offenses subject to the Graves Act include:
- Possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes
- Possession of a handgun without a permit
- Possession of a firearm by certain persons not to possess
- Use of a firearm during a violent crime
- Possession of a firearm during the commission of certain drug-related crimes
The Graves Act requires the imposition of mandatory prison sentences and mandatory periods of parole ineligibility, even if a defendant has no prior criminal history. For a fourth degree crime such as pointing a firearm at or in the direction of another, the mandatory sentence is 18 months in State prison all of which must be served without parole.For a second degree crime such as mere possession of a firearm without a permit, the Graves Act requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 42 months in State prison before parole eligibility. These sentences apply to people who have a valid permit in another State, but not in New Jersey. These are harsh penalties.
A defendant may only avoid the mandatory minimums of the Graves Act if the prosecutor applies for a waiver, which can allow the prosecutor’s office to offer a plea bargain below the mandatory minimums required by the Graves Act, including a plea bargain that requires no prison or jail time whatsoever.
Knowledgeable Attorney John B. Brennan Will Defend Your Rights When Facing Graves Act Charges
When facing a Graves Act sentence, you are looking at harsh sentences which require mandatory State prison time regardless of your personal factors or the circumstances of your offense. With my experience in prosecuting gun crimes in New Jersey, I understand how difficult these types of cases are to prove and will pursue the proper course for your case whether it be to contest the charges at trial or to fight to reduce the severity of the consequences of your charges, including obtaining a Graves Act waiver to make you eligible for reduced sentences or probation, or even arguing for your admission to a pretrial intervention program if you are eligible. Obtaining a Graves Act waiver is already a difficult process, but when you choose me to help with your case I will work as hard as possible to minimize the consequences of your conviction and help you get back to your family and your life as quickly as possible.
Contact The Law Office of John B. Brennan for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Rights and Options
If you or a loved one are facing a potentially lengthy sentence under New Jersey’s Graves Act, you need dedicated, experienced legal representation that will work hard to defend your rights and interests. Schedule a free consultation with my office today to discuss the details of your case and to learn more about how having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your corner can make the difference in securing a favorable outcome in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions about the New Jersey Graves Act
Possibly. A standard Graves Act waiver only reduces the minimum period of parole ineligibility in your case from 42 months to one year. If you have strong mitigating factors in your case, it may even be possible to secure a sentence of probation that allows you to avoid jail time altogether. If the circumstances of your particular case support it, you can trust that I will do whatever it takes to try and secure an outcome to your charges that don’t involve any jail time.
Obtaining admission into PTI for a charge subject to the Graves Act is a very rare occurrence. You are presumed to be in-eligible for PTI by the very nature of the charge. The defense has to establish compelling circumstances for why an individual charged with a Graves Act offense would even be eligible to be considered for PTI. It is an unlikely scenario but not impossible.