South Carolina Resident Gets PTI Program for Illegal Gun Possession Charge

South Carolina Gun Owner Charged with a Weapon in NJ

South Carolina Resident Facing Second Degree Gun Charge in NJ Stays out of Jail and Keeps a Clean Criminal Record with the PTI Program Thanks to the Tormey Law Firm

Accomplished Attorneys Defend South Carolina Resident Charged with a Gun in NJ
South Carolina Gun Owner Facing Charges in New Jersey

Are you a gun owner from South Carolina who has been arrested and charged with illegally possessing a weapon in New Jersey? The Tormey Law Firm’s accomplished team of criminal defense lawyers is ready to assist you. Here is a real case we successfully handled for a client from South Carolina who was facing weapons charges after bringing their firearm to NJ.

Our NJ gun crime defense attorneys represented a client from South Carolina who was charged with 2nd degree unlawful possession of a weapon in Elizabeth NJ in Union County. Our client is a contractor with no prior criminal history. He is a lawful gun owner in South Carolina where he legally purchased and possessed the weapon. However, he was flying out of NJ for business and had his weapon in the glove compartment (which is an illegal way to transport the weapon). Unfortunately, when he returned to NJ from his business trip, his motor vehicle had been burglarized. He called the police to report the burglary and they responded to the scene. When they did so, they realized that our client had the firearm in the glove compartment and he had to be charged with illegally possessing that weapon.

These cases are difficult because of the very strict gun laws in New Jersey. The typical plea offer, even for defendants with no prior criminal history, is 5 years in state prison, and 42 months to be served before becoming eligible for parole. Under the Graves Act, these types of offenses have mandatory prison time and parole ineligibility even for first time offenders. In order to avoid this, the Prosecutor’s office must agree to and apply for a Graves Act waiver to avoid these very severe penalties. In this case, we went to court for almost a year and fought for our client to be admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention program (known as “PTI”). This is a first time offender probationary program that allows the defendant to avoid jail time and a felony conviction on their record if they successfully compete the probationary period.

How does the Pre-Trial Intervention Program Work for Residents from Outside of NJ?

In New Jersey, PTI is a first offender diversionary program that is typically available on lower level felony charges (3rd and 4th degree offenses). However, in some cases you can get PTI on a second degree offense like this one. Second degree charges are very serious as a defendant is facing 5-10 years in prison and a presumption of jail time even if they have no prior record. As a result, to even apply for PTI on a second degree charge you need permission from the prosecutor’s office. Once you get permission, you also need to submit a mitigation package to the probation officer who is doing the PTI application. This package is designed to convince the probation department and the prosecutor that this is a special circumstance where PTI is the appropriate resolution even on a serious offense like a second degree gun charge.

A defendant must pay a $75 application fee and then be interviewed by the probation department for the application. They will ask the defendant about any prior arrests, convictions (there can’t be any), employment history, ties to the community, and the circumstances of the current charge. In this case, we were able to provide the legal purchasing documents for the gun from South Carolina and our client’s work and travel itinerary showing he was traveling for business. We also provided numerous character references and letters which were extremely persuasive to the State. Based on all of this information provided, the Union County prosecutor’s office agreed to PTI as a resolution for these 2nd degree gun charges.

Here, we were able to get our client into PTI for a period of 12 months. At the end of the probation, the felony charges against him will be completely dismissed. Six months after that, he can apply for an expungement to have the arrest removed from his record as well. This was a fantastic result for our client and the Tormey Law Firm LLC.

South Carolina Gun Owner Arrested in New Jersey? Contact our NJ Weapon Defense Attorneys

If you need assistance and were arrested for a gun charge in NJ for a weapon that you lawfully own and possess from South Carolina, contact us now for immediate assistance. We always provide a free initial consultation and one of our weapons defense lawyers is available to discuss your case.