Philadelphia Eagles Release Josh Huff After Gun-Related Criminal Charges
The Philadelphia Eagles recently released wide receiver Josh Huff after he was arrested and charged with weapons offenses. According to authorities, on November 1, 2016, Delaware River Port Authority officers pulled Huff over for speeding on the Walt Whitman Bridge while traveling from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. While speaking with Huff, police officers reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana coming from Huff’s vehicle. Huff allegedly handed over a container that contained marijuana and then disclosed that he had a gun in his driver’s side door. At that point, the police officers reportedly found a 9mm handgun loaded with six hollow-point bullets, resulting in criminal charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and illegal possession of hollow-point bullets.
In New Jersey, all gun-related offenses in are governed by the Graves Act, which establishes mandatory terms of imprisonment and parole ineligibility for those convicted of firearms law offenses such as possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and/or unlawful possession of a weapon. In other words, firearms laws in New Jersey are strict and carry severe penalties. Specifically, the New Jersey Criminal Code establishes that the unlawful possession of a handgun is a third degree crime. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b). In general, a person found guilty of a third degree crime faces between three and five years in New Jersey State Prison. In addition to criminalizing the illegal possession of a handgun, the NJ Criminal Code also makes it a crime to possess certain kinds of bullets in New Jersey. In fact, the possession of ammunition such as body-armor-penetrating bullets or hollow-point bullets is a fourth degree crime pursuant to N.J.S.A 2C:39-6 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. A person found guilty of a fourth degree crime in New Jersey can be subject to a sentence of up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
Gun Charges Traveling from Pennsylvania to New Jersey
The Graves Act will control the mandatory minimum sentencing if the court enters a firearms conviction against the defendant. However, in limited and special circumstances, the assistant prosecutor handling the gun case may be able to obtain a Graves Act waiver from the court that permits an exception to the mandatory sentencing associated with gun offenses.