The Graves Act in NJ Gun Cases
NJ Weapons Defense Lawyers with offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark
The Graves Act: The weapons defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm LLC represent clients charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and certain persons (felons) not to possess weapons in Hackensack, Morristown, Paterson, and Newark, New Jersey. In fact, our criminal trial team is composed of several former prosecutors who used to prosecute gun cases for the State of New Jersey and now use that expertise to defend our clients charged with these same offenses. In addition, our managing partner, Mr. Travis Tormey was recently recognized as one of the top 10 criminal lawyers in the State of New Jersey by the American Jurist Institute. For immediate assistance with a weapons case, contact our offices anytime at 201-556-1570. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.
Here is a review from one of the many satisfied clients of the Tormey Law Firm LLC:
“I was extremely happy with the performance, support and professionalism of Travis Tormey in my son’s recent court case. Before we even hired him he consulted with us via telephone and spent a considerable amount of time answering our questions and giving us additional information. Once hired, he was truthful at all times at what my son was up against. Travis truly worked to secure what was in my son’s best interest. He got charges reduced and fines lessened. I have gone on to recommend Travis to 2 other friends who have been just as happy with him.” 5 stars – Ellen
The Graves Act – N.J.S.A. 2C: 43-6
The Graves Act is a law in New Jersey which governs most of the guns and weapons offenses in this case. It is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6 which covers offenses for handguns, firearms, shotguns, machine guns, rifles, defaced firearms, and assault weapons. It also governs charges for possession of any of these illegal firearms with an unlawful purpose (meaning to use it illegally by threatening, pointing, etc.)
Any of these offenses covered by the Graves Act require mandatory prison sentences and parole ineligibility if convicted. This applies even to a defendant with no prior criminal history. For example, the typical plea offer on a weapons offense to someone with no prior record is 5 years in state prison, 3 years to be served without the possibility of parole. The offers typically get higher from there if the defendant has a prior criminal record.
In order to depart from these strict mandatory penalties, the county prosecutor has to apply to the Attorney General’s office for a “Graves Act Waiver”. This waiver allows the prosecutor’s office to lower these plea offers from the standard prison time and parole ineligibility. The first and most common waiver is to reduce the plea offer from 5 years to 3 years and the parole ineligibility from 3 years to 1 year. This is going from a “5 with a 3” to a “3 with a 1.” The second and better option is to get a Graves Act waiver so that the defendant can be sentenced to non-custodial probation and avoid prison altogether. The defendant would still end up with a felony on his or her record though. Finally, a homerun in these cases is admission into the Pre-Trial Intervention (“PTI) program which allows the defendant to avoid prison time and a felony on their record if they successfully complete the diversionary program. Our lawyers have been very successful in getting clients into the PTI program when charged with illegal weapons offenses in several counties in New Jersey.
For more information, contact our weapons defense lawyers anytime for a free initial consultation at 201-556-1570.