Being charged with a weapon offense in New Jersey can be an extremely serious situation. Just being convicted of unlawfully having a gun, and you are facing up to 10 years in prison. Even a minor charge can have serious consequences. What you need is a good criminal defense attorney, and fast.
For the past 27 years, Jersey City weapons charges defense lawyer Anthony Carbone has been helping clients who are facing a weapons charge. He knows New Jersey’s criminal system and has fought aggressively for his clients’ rights. Attorney Carbone has handled a wide range of weapons offenses, from unlawful possession to a weapon to possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. With his aggressive and relentless legal representation, you know your rights will be protected.
What is the Graves Act?
According to the New Jersey Graves Act, someone who is convicted of certain firearm-related offenses will receive a minimum term of imprisonment and is ineligible for parole. Up until 2008, the Graves Act only applied to someone who was convicted of possessing or using a firearm while committing a crime or for an unlawful purpose. However, the list of offenses has grown since then. You can now face a minimum jail sentence for the following crimes:
- Unlawful possession of a machine gun, handgun, rifle, or shotgun
- Possession of a sawed-off shotgun
- Possession of a defaced firearm
- Possession of a firearm while in the course of committing drug distribution or possession with intent
- Possession of certain weapons by a person who was previously convicted of specified offenses
- Manufacture, transport, or disposition of a machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, or assault firearm
- Defacing a firearm
The minimum sentence for most of these crimes is three and a half years without the possibility of early parole. If you have a criminal record, then you may be facing a longer sentence.
Defense of a Weapons Charge in New Jersey
However, there are alternate resolutions for a Graves Act offense:
- PTI Program — If you are a first-time offender, then you may be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. This program is eligible for certain cases that the prosecutor may not be interested in pursuing. However, weapons charges are a serious offense. In order to qualify, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to argue your case.
- Probation — Again, this can be rare, but if you have the right weapons charge defense lawyer by your side, you may get probation. This is especially the case if your attorney can prove the weapon had posed no risk to an officer or public safety.
- Reduction of Sentence — The Graves Act is clear that a minimum jail sentence must be given in these cases. However, there may be a way to reduce that sentence from the standard three and a half years.
If you are charged with a weapons offense in New Jersey, now is the time to get your defense in order. Go with the best. Contact Jersey City criminal defense lawyer Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.