If you have been arrested and charged with a weapons offense in Mercer County, New Jersey it is imperative that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. New Jersey as a whole has some of the harshest penalties for weapons offenses in the entire Country. Most weapons offenses fall under what is known as the Graves Act. The Graves Act not only mandates that anyone convicted of one of its enumerated crimes be sentenced to prison but that a mandatory parole ineligibility term be imposed as well. The standard and minimum plea offer allowed on Graves Act cases is five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison with a forty-two (42) month parole ineligibility period. In other words, a Defendant convicted of a Graves Act offense will serve at least 42 months in a State Prison if a waiver is not granted. To make matters worse, since the bail guidelines changed in January of 2017. The prosecution now has the authority to seek to keep a defendant detained in the Mercer County jail without bail, pending trial. For more information on detention hearings, please see below.
Consult with a Local Trenton Lawyer about Weapons Case
If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose or certain persons not to have a weapon, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Mr. Oliver has successfully achieved Graves Act Waivers in courts throughout the State not to mention Mercer County. If a waiver is granted, there is a good chance that a Defendant will not have to serve a day in jail let alone a parole ineligibility period. If you would like to come into our office so that you can have a face to face consultation with one of our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. Our office serves all of Mercer County including towns like Lawrenceville, Trenton, Hamilton, Ewing, East Windsor, West Windsor, Hopewell, Robbinsville, Princeton and Pennington. As always, our initial consultations are free, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Here is a list of some of the key offenses that our firm represents clients charged with in Mercer County.
What to Know about Weapons Charges in New Jersey
It is no secret that the City of Trenton deals with beyond its fair share of violent crimes, including many cases that involve in one way or another a weapon. As such, these types of cases tend to be aggressively prosecuted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. The type of weapon in question will typically dictate the degree of the felony that the individual faces. For example, all handgun cases, whether it be an unlawful possession or a possession for an unlawful purpose charge will be considered a second degree felony. Conversely, all rifle cases, including shotguns, will be considered crimes of the third degree. As long as the weapon is classified as a firearm it will fall under the Graves Act and in turn subject the individual to some rather stiff consequences. It is important to note here that under New Jersey law, even a lawful gun owner from another State can not lawfully possession a firearm in this State without first obtaining a Firearms Purchasers Identification Card. In other words, a lawful gun owner from another State, who also possess a permit to carry in that State, would still be subject to the Graves Act if they are caught possessing the weapon in New Jersey.
Frequently Charged Weapons Related Offenses in NJ
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
- Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose
- BB Guns / Airsoft Guns
- Graves Act
- Certain Persons not to have a Weapon
Real Cases with Real Results:
On numerous occasions our office has been able to get clients a complete Graves Act Waiver and we have even had them be accepted into the Pretrial Intervention Program. Therefore, not only did our clients never serve a day in jail but they were also afforded the opportunity to walk away from the charges without a criminal record as well. Here is an article about a case that Mr. Oliver recently handled for a client that was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun and driving while intoxicated. At the end of the day, the Defendant was accepted into the Pretrial Intervention Program. State v. H.G.
Common Criminal Charges Associated with Weapons Charges
Although we do see individual’s being charged with the offense of unlawful possession of a weapon by itself, it is more common to see individual’s being charged with that offense in connection with other felony offenses. That is because most of the time the weapon(s) are used during the commission of other crimes, like armed robbery or murder. Some of the more frequent crimes that we see being charged in connection with a weapons charge include: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, carjacking, drug distribution and kidnapping. It probably goes without saying but clearly these additional offenses would make a bad situation far worse.
All Weapons Crimes in New Jersey Are Classified as Felony Offenses
Regardless of whether the individual is charged with possession of a handgun or brass knuckles or charged with using that weapon for an unlawful purpose, they still will be facing an indictable (felony) offense. That means that their charges must be transferred from the local Municipal Court to the Mercer County Superior Court for litigation.
How to Post Bail on a Gun Charge in Trenton NJ
As mentioned briefly above, New Jersey underwent a major change in our bail system. We now use what is referred to as a risk assessment. That means that the days of posting a cash / bond bail are over for the most part. If an individual is subject to bail reform, which most individual’s charged with a weapons offense will be, then they must be taken to the County Jail after being processed at the local police department so they can undergo a risk assessment. That risk assessment will be used to determine whether or not the individual will be released on bail or held without bail, pending trial. In order for the individual to be held without bail a formal detention hearing must be conducted. At that hearing the Judge will hear arguments from both sides and will make the final call on whether the individual will be denied bail. For more information on detention hearings and how they operate in Mercer County, please click the link.
Speak to a Lawyer in Hamilton NJ About a Weapons Possession Case
Our office represents clients charged with various criminal offenses including unlawful possession of a weapon, aggravated assault, robbery, carjacking, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and burglary in Mercer County. Our office routinely appears in courts throughout Mercer County including the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court, Hightstown Municipal Court, the Lawrenceville Municipal Court, Princeton Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, Hopewell Municipal Court and the Mercer County Superior Court. If you would like to come into our office for a free initial consultation then please contact our office at (609) 789-0779. We are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway that we can.