Client Gains Admission in Pretrial Intervention on Gun Charge in NJ
The seasoned defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law were able to secure, not only a Graves Act Waiver, but admission for their client into the Pretrial Intervention Program on very serious gun offenses.
Our client was charged with a series of weapons related offenses, including unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and terroristic threats following an altercation that took place outside a nightclub. After being retained, we first needed to secure our clients release at his detention hearing. Once our client was released on bail at his detention hearing, we began to go through the discovery and figure out our best defenses. We decided to hire a private investigator who was able to secure numerous statements from various patrons in an effort to flesh out what really took place outside the nightclub. Once we were able to obtain the statements, we were able to establish some major inconsistencies with the officers versions of events, as well as the alleged victim’s. Geared with all this information, we began to compile what is known as a Graves Act Waiver in an effort to counter the states offer. This packet was used in an effort to seek to eliminate the otherwise harsh penalties associated with these types of offenses and secure our clients admission in the Pretrial Intervention Program.
Based on the facts surrounding the charges and the fact that these offenses fall under the Graves Act, our client was facing not only mandatory State Prison time but a mandatory parole ineligibility term as well. Therefore, to be able to secure his admission into PTI was a tremendous result for our client. Provided he successfully completes the Pretrial Intervention Program, he will be able to walk away from this nightmare without a criminal record, let alone never spending a day in jail. In addition, six months after that our client can petition the court to expunge his arrest record and if that is completed, there will be no trace of the incident whatsoever on his record.
Avoiding State Prison and Parole Ineligibility through the PTI Program in Monmouth County Court in Freehold
If you or a loved has been charged with gun related offenses in Monmouth County, and would like speak to one of the criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law about your options, please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Hazlet, Neptune, Freehold, Wall Township, Asbury Park, Ocean Township, Long Branch and Red Bank. The consultation is provided at no cost to you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us 24/7. Now here is some information on the Graves Act.
What is the Graves Act? Do all Gun Charges Fall Under the Graves Act?
The Graves Act was enacted basically in an effort to curb gang violence in New Jersey. It created extremely tough penalties for anyone charged with certain weapons related offenses, regardless of the individual’s prior criminal record or the underlying facts surrounding the charges. In 2008, the Graves Act was expanded to include within its grasp simple possessory related offenses. Meaning, anyone discovered to be in possession of a firearm without first seeking a New Jersey’s firearm’s ID card would be subject to these harsh penalties as well. This includes even innocent out of state lawful gun owners.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c), anyone convicted of certain enumerated weapons offenses, including N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b, unlawful possession of a weapon, must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. That term shall include the imposition of a minimum term as well. “The minimum term shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or three years, whichever is greater, or 18 months in the case of a fourth degree crime, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.” The lowest possible sentence that can be offered without a Graves Act Waiver would be five years in a New Jersey State Prison with a thirty-six (36) month parole ineligibility term.
Common Gun Offenses that are Subject to the Graves Act in New Jersey:
- N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a) – Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
- N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a) / (b) / (c) – Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
- N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b) / (d) – Prohibited Weapons
What Happens if a Graves Act Waiver is Granted?
If defense counsel is able to secure a Graves Act Waiver for their client they can achieve one of the following results:
- Reduce the term of incarceration;
- Reduce the mandatory period of parole ineligibility;
- Eliminate the term of incarceration; and/or
- Admission into the Pretrial Intervention Program.
Some potential sentences if a Graves Act Waiver is Granted could be:
- 5 Years in State Prison with a 1 year Period of Parole Ineligibility;
- 3 Years in State Prison with a 1 year Period of Parole Ineligibility;
- Probation Condition upon 364 Days in the County Jail;
- Non-custodial Probation;
- Pretrial Intervention.
What Does the Prosecution Take into Consideration for a Graves Act Waiver for PTI?
- What was the level of exposure of the firearm to persons in New Jersey?
- Was the gun-possession offense isolated and aberrational?
- Did the individual volunteer the presence of firearm to police?
- Did the individual surrender an unloaded firearm for safe-keeping?
- Was there confusion of New Jersey and other-state law pertaining to lawfully possessing the firearm?
Looking for a Lawyer who Handles Gun Charges in Monmouth County
As you can see from reading above, New Jersey takes gun relates offenses very seriously. The potential penalties can be absolutely unforgiving. Our office has been handling these types of cases for well over a decade now. We have been able to secure a significant amount of Graves Act Waivers for our clients over the years, and numerous of those waivers resulting in admission into the PTI program. If you have been charged with a gun offenses in Monmouth County or elsewhere in New Jersey, we strongly urge that you speak to an experienced gun charge defense attorney as soon as possible about your options. To set up a free initial consultation today, please contact our office at 732.858.6959.
State v. M. P. (2021)