Keith Oliver from my office just finished representing an individual who was charged with the Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b and Possession of Hallow Nose Bullets, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3f. The offense of unlawful possession of a weapon is a graves act offense, which requires, if convicted, that the defendant serve a mandatory term of incarceration (up to ten years).  In addition, the defendant must also serve a mandatory parole ineligibility term (usually set at a minimum of three years). If the Defendant was to be convicted of both of the aforementioned charges, he could face up to eleven and half (11 1/2) years in a New Jersey State Prison.

Once Mr. Oliver received the discovery in this matter it became apparent that the facts of this case fell outside the scope of legislature intent in creating the Graves Act. The Graves Act was enacted in an effort to curb gang violence and in an attempt to do so they created extremely harsh penalties for anyone caught illegally possessing a firearm within New Jersey.  Based on the facts of the case, Mr. Oliver prepared what is commonly referred to as a Graves Act Waiver. The underline purpose of the Graves Act Waiver is to either reduce or eliminate the mandatory jail time.

In the case at hand, Mr. Oliver was able to have the Graves Act Waiver granted. With the waiver in hand, Mr. Oliver now had his client apply to the Pre Trial Intervention Program (“PTI”). PTI is a diversionary program in New Jersey whereby if you complete all of the terms imposed by the Judge the then pending felony criminal charges will be dismissed outright. This would mean that the defendant, who once upon a time had mandatory incarceration felony charges pending against him, has the potential to walk away from this incident without a criminal record let alone any incarceration.  Fortunately for the defendant, he was accepted into the PTI program and he is now afforded the opportunity to walk away from this incident without permanent felony criminal record. 

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Bergen County Criminal Defense Firm. We have over 100 years of combined experience on staff; including over twenty-five (25) years of prior prosecuting experience. If you or someone you know is charged with a gun offense, carjacking, robbery, drug distribution or any other criminal offense for that matter we can help.