Keith G. Oliver from the Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver has just finished representing a Defendant that was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in the second degree in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b, possession of prohibited weapons and devices in the fourth degree, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3, driving while intoxicated as well as several ancillary traffic violations as well. The Defendant was originally arrested about a year ago in Essex County following a motor vehicle stop. During the motor vehicle stop the Defendant was asked to submit to several standardized field sobriety tests in which it was determined that the Defendant had failed. As a result he was arrested and charged with among other things DWI and brought down to the police station to submit to a breath sample. Although there were several other individuals located inside the vehicle, the Defendant’s vehicle was impound pursuant to Johns Law and brought to the police station.
Pursuant to Johns Law in New Jersey, when a Defendant is arrested and charged with DWI they must be released to a sober person who will certify that they will not let the Defendant driver for 12 hours. In this case it, was his wife who showed up. However, when the Defendant’s wife appeared at the police station for some reason she asked the officer’s where the Defendant’s handgun was. As a result, a search of the Defendant’s vehicle took place and it was determined that a 9mm handgun and large capacity extended clip was located underneath the driver’s seat. Do to their findings, the Defendant was additionally charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of prohibited weapons and devices as well. The most serious charge is unlawful possession of a weapon, which pursuant to the Graves Act, requires a first time offender, to serve at least a seven (7) year prison sentence with a forty-two (42) month parole ineligibility period. The only way to reduce the mandatory prison sentence for this type of charge is for a defense attorney to have a Graves Act Waiver granted.
Based on some serious issues surrounding not only how the search was conducted but as well as the line of questioning that the Defendant was being subject to while at the police station, Mr. Oliver was able to achieve a very favorable resolution for his client. Although the Defendant was facing not only a mandatory prison sentence, a mandatory parole ineligibility term as well as deportation since he was not a citizen, Mr. Oliver was able to get a Graves Act Waiver granted. As a result, the Defendant as to be accepted into the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI), therefore, if successfully completed, the Defendant will not only never serve a day in jail but will not have a criminal record as well. It is important to note here, that not only are graves act waivers extremely difficult to achieve but they are typically only to reduce the parole ineligibility term not eliminate the jail component completely. Furthermore, it is even rarer for a Defendant to be accepted into the PTI program after they have been charged with a graves act offense.
Graves Act Waiver Defense Attorneys in NJ
If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense like unlawful possession of a weapon or possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose in New Jersey, we can help. Our office has extensive experience representing clients charged with these very serious crimes. These cases are typically very fact sensitive and require an experienced criminal defense attorney’s attention. If you would like to schedule a free consultation today, please contact our Morristown office at 973.971.0030. We are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible.