South Jersey Graves Act Defense Lawyer
Tenacious Criminal Defense Lawyer Fights to Help Clients Avoid Graves Act Mandatory Parole Ineligibility in Burlington County, NJ
You generally only have to turn on the news to hear about the havoc and devastation that gun violence can generate in this country. Unfortunately, the actions of a relatively small group of people do impact the rights of the many law-abiding citizens in this country and state. In response to gun violence, New Jersey has enacted some of the strictest gun laws in the country—including the Graves Act—in order to deter acts of violence in the state by imposing mandatory jail terms and reducing the opportunity for parole when you are convicted of certain types of weapons charges—even for first time offenders.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our skilled Camden County defense team can help mitigate the harsh penalties imposed under the Graves Act. We put our years’ worth of experience and our substantial resources to work in examining every piece of evidence in your case to identify mitigating factors and build a compelling defense on your behalf. In some cases, we have even successfully advocated for application of a waiver provision that can allow a judge to waive the mandatory Graves Act parole ineligibility period.
Cases involving the Graves Act almost always present complex evidentiary issues that require the counsel of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. At Gelman Law, LLC, we have a proven track record of successfully helping clients minimize the potential for lasting consequences caused by Graves Act violations. If you are facing charges that trigger Graves Act sentencing laws, call us as soon as possible so that we can get to work in your case.
Application of the Graves Act in New Jersey
Under the Graves Act, a mandatory term of parole ineligibility will apply with respect to your sentence for certain weapons offenses. The term of parole ineligibility must equal the greater of between one-third and one-half of your sentence, or three years. For subsequent Graves Act violations, the term of parole ineligibility is extended even further.
The New Jersey Graves Act applies to a broad array of weapons charges involving guns in New Jersey, including:
- Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose,
- Possession of a weapon without a permit,
- Possession of a weapon or firearm by a person not legally authorized to possess a weapon,
- Use of a weapon or firearm while committing certain violent crimes, such as robbery,
- Manufacturing illegal weapons or firearms,
- Possession of an illegal weapon, such as certain machine guns,
- Possession of firearms while committing certain drug-related crimes,
- Possession of a defaced firearm or sawed-off shotgun.
Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer Vigorously Defends Clients Exposed to the Graves Act in Camden County, Burlington County and Elsewhere in South Jersey
Learning that you may be facing at least three years in jail without the possibility of parole can be daunting to say the least. At Gelman Law, LLC, we understand this and will analyze every detail of your case to determine whether a Graves Act waiver may be available. In other cases, we will work to build a compelling case for alternative resolution of your case through negotiating the charges down to a lesser offense to which the Graves Act does not apply if possible.
Obtaining a Graves Act waiver is an extremely complicated process that requires a deep understanding of the law and the New Jersey criminal justice system. We will build a case designed to show that certain relevant mitigating factors weigh against imposing harsh prison sentences in your case. Mitigating factors may include:
- You have no prior criminal record,
- You did not cause anyone harm or threaten harm,
- Substantial grounds existed to justify your conduct,
- Your character and history indicate that you are unlikely to commit another criminal act,
- Jail time would impose substantial hardship on you or your dependents,
- You are willing to cooperate with the prosecution and law enforcement,
- You have compensated or agree to compensate anyone harmed in some way by the offense.
Importantly, you cannot personally apply for a Graves Act waiver—it is the county prosecutor who must be convinced that a waiver is appropriate and make the actual application to the courts.
Call Today for a Free Consultation with a Skilled Cherry Hill Defense Lawyer for Options in Fighting Graves Act Charges
When you are exposed to the Graves Act, it is always critical to retain an experienced and reputable lawyer to advocate on your behalf. Even if you are a first-time offender charged with carrying a lawfully possessed handgun outside of your home without a proper permit, you can face a minimum three-year jail term without the possibility of parole. Our skilled and successful weapons charge defense team is committed to defending clients facing Graves Act exposure vigorously. We offer a free initial consultation, so call or contact our offices today to discuss options in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About the New Jersey Graves Act
A Graves Act waiver, while advantageous and very difficult to obtain, generally only serves to reduce the period of parole ineligibility from three years to one year. If the mitigating factors in your favor are very strong, it is possible that a judge will grant probation rather than jail time. Our weapons charge defense lawyer will put all of our substantial skills to work in obtaining probation in lieu of jail if at all possible in your case.
In rare cases, judges will permit pre-trial intervention in these weapons charge cases, and we will advocate strongly for this option if at all possible in your case. Pre-trial intervention can allow you to avoid the felony charges that will still apply even if it is possible to obtain a Graves Act waiver to avoid jail, so is the best possible option in cases where circumstances are such that the prosecution refuses to allow the charges to be reduced or dropped entirely.