Graves Act Lawyer in Hackensack, NJ
Experienced NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Helps Clients Fight Strict Mandatory Graves Act Prison Sentences in Bergen County, Passaic County, Hudson County & Essex County, New Jersey
New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws and mandatory minimum prison sentences in the country. Moreover, under the New Jersey Graves Act in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c), if you’re convicted of or plead to criminal firearms charges, you’ll face several years in prison with no possibility of early parole. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time offender, or if you got caught up unwittingly violating firearms statutes without meaning to, or if you just made a mistake. Without intervention by a skilled NJ criminal defense attorney, you may face a minimum three-year sentence under the Graves Act if you are convicted of a gun possession crime in Hackensack, Fair Lawn, Fort Lee, Paramus, Bloomfield, Newark, or anywhere else in New Jersey.
Since the Graves Act was passed and then broadened, Hackensack criminal attorney Adam M. Lustberg has successfully assisted defendants in the complicated process of applying for a Graves Act waiver of minimum mandatory sentencing in NJ. Contact him today to discuss your weapons offense case and learn about your rights.
NJ Gun Charges Covered by the Graves Act Require the Assistance of a Skilled Hackensack Criminal Defense Attorney
Before the broadening of firearms violations sentencing under the Graves Act, only defendants convicted of firearms violations while committing certain crimes were subject to mandatory sentencing for gun crimes. In line with New Jersey’s tough stance against gun crimes, mandatory sentencing was broadened to cover multiple other firearms violations. Mandatory sentencing now applies to convictions for the following firearms violations:
- Unlawfully possessing a rifle, machine gun, shotgun or handgun contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a), (b) or (c).
- Possessing a defaced firearm contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d).
- Defacing a firearm contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(e).
- Possessing a sawed-off shotgun contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b).
- Possessing a firearm while committing a drug distribution or possession with intent to distribute offense contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1(a).
- Possessing certain weapons by individuals convicted of specified firearms offenses contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(a) or (b)(2).
- Manufacturing, transporting, or the disposition of a firearm contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(a), (b), or (g).
The Graves Act is a complex system of mandatory incarceration sentences, and the process to waive it is complicated and time consuming. The average person will not know how to apply for a Graves Act waiver in Bergen County or Essex County, NJ. In some situations, attorney Adam Lustberg may be able to negotiate a Graves Act waiver with the prosecutor’s office.
To effectively get a Graves Act waiver, the attorney you hire must be a skilled negotiator who understands the priorities of the prosecution. To have Graves Act mandatory sentencing waived means that the prosecution is in agreement that the gravity of your conviction does not reasonably necessitate a mandatory prison sentence. In some cases, not only has attorney Adam Lustberg negotiated lower sentences, but he has also helped his clients get Graves Act waivers that result in no prison time at all.
Mandatory Sentencing for Graves Act Offenses May Be Circumvented with the Help of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Hackensack, NJ
Without an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of the Graves Act and who knows how to petition for a waiver against its mandatory guidelines, you are probably going to do the mandatory time and no less, followed by a lengthy period of probation.
Take the 2015 case of New Jersey resident Shaneen Allen, a woman who was innocently about to cross the state border with her licensed handgun. When she was stopped by an officer for an improper lane change, she informed him that she had a licensed weapon in her purse and showed him her valid gun license. Under firearm laws in New Jersey, the circumstances did not matter. Neither her ignorance of the law nor her lack of intent to break the law spared her from a criminal weapons charges for illegally transporting a firearm into another state. With no prior criminal convictions, she was going to prison for three (3) years. As a single parent of two small children, and someone who was responsibly employed full time in a medical profession, her life was about to be destroyed. Allen was one of the few lucky ones when NJ Governor Chris Christie pardoned her, and she did not have to serve the unreasonable prison sentence. Hers is a case in point about the irrationality of such uncompromising Graves Act sentencing.
Because sentencing guidelines are so severe under the Graves Act and, in many cases, make no rational sense, Hackensack criminal attorney Adam M. Lustberg diligently fights to have gun charges reduced or dismissed when possible. Various relevant factors in your arrest, such as how the police recovered your firearm, may allow your attorney to get the gun suppressed as evidence. For instance, if police recovered the handgun in violation of New Jersey or federal law, the prosecution may not be able to pursue unlawful possession of a firearm charges. In that case, the charges should be dismissed.
Minimum Mandatory Sentences Under the Graves Act Can Be Challenged in Hackensack, NJ
If you are convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm in New Jersey, the penalty previously was a five-year prison sentence with eligibility for parole in about 18 months. However, because of the Graves Act, you must serve at least three (3) full years before becoming eligible for release on parole. The good news is that a skilled NJ criminal defense attorney should know that there are ways to avoid the minimum mandatory sentences mandated by the Graves Act. Through a complicated application process, you may qualify for a waiver of the three-year, no-early-parole minimum sentence and serve just one year. It might also be possible to avoid any prison time at all if the charges are reduced or dismissed.
The Graves Act waiver application process requires an attorney who is familiar with its sentencing guidelines. Newark criminal defense attorney Adam Lustberg knows what to do in a Graves Act gun case, knows the Graves Act waiver process, and knows how to fight for you.
If You Face a Long Prison Sentence Under the NJ Graves Act, Contact a Qualified Hackensack Gun Crimes Attorney Today
With years of incarceration ahead of you, time is of the essence. It’s critical not to delay because your entire life may be on the line. With the denial of your freedom, not only is your life going to be destroyed, but also the lives of those who depend upon you. Don’t allow the unreasonable mandatory sentencing guidelines of the New Jersey Graves Act ruin your life.
Begin the fight for fairness by contacting Paramus criminal defense lawyer Adam M. Lustberg right now. The initial consultation can be held at his Hackensack office, or if your loved one is currently incarcerated, he can go to them in the jail. Call or email now.