The Graves Act

Ocean County Unlawful Gun Possession — Graves Act

New Jersey is constantly amending and passing new broader weapons laws which are more restrictive and severe. At each turn, more and more of New Jersey’s residents are feeling the tightening of this ensnaring noose. If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes in Ocean County you may find yourself falling victim to the Graves Act mandatory sentence. The Law Offices of John F. Marshall is an Ocean County Criminal Defense Law Firm that handles all types of weapons related charges. Our aggressive defense attorneys and former prosecutors have almost 60 years of combined experience and they are often successful at getting these charges downgraded or dropped completely. Our high success rate can be partly attributed to our lawyers’ knowledge of and relationship with the Ocean County Court System. For instance, lawyer Thomas V. Campo from our office was the prosecutor in Barnegat, Beach Haven, Brick, Forked River, Long Beach, Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Surf City, Waretown, Ship Bottom, Toms River, Plumsted, and Manahawkin. If you have any questions about your charges and what we can do for you then call us to speak with knowledgeable defense lawyer from our Toms River office absolutely free 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

The Effect of the Graves Act on Weapons Offenses

The Graves Act, which was originally adopted in 1981, is named after Frank X. Graves Jr., the late state senator and mayor of Paterson. The act outlines mandatory-minimum prison sentences for anyone guilty of using a gun in the commission of a crime in New Jersey. For instance, if you are caught with a handgun while committing a burglary, you face three years behind bars with no parole for the gun crime alone. Recently, in January 2008, Governor Jon Corzine amended the Graves Act to combat gang related weapons crimes. Now, the simple unlawful possession of any firearm can bring mandatory penalties for anyone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of that crime alone. This means that virtually anyone caught carrying a firearm without a permit, even if they legitimately own a handgun but carry without a gun permit, they are violating a regulatory provision and are subject to a minimum of 3 years in New Jersey state prison. Under the new laws, many who have never had a problem with the law are suddenly faced with the possibility of a criminal conviction. The hardest hit by the amended Graves Act are owners of airguns and pellet pistols who are unaware of the serious punishments they face by carrying these “toys” or transporting them unsecured in a car. These types of air powered or spring action guns are commonly purchased in a neighboring state, at a garage sale, or over the counter.

If you have been arrested or charged with a concealed weapon violation or other gun crime in Ocean County, whether involving a firearm or BB gun, then you need to contact a weapons defense lawyer. The Law Offices of John F. Marshall has almost 60 years of combined experience and our firm has successfully defended numerous individuals charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and other gun crimes. We are an Ocean County Criminal Defense Firm comprised of veteran defense attorneys and former prosecutors who dedicate a significant amount of our practice to defending weapons offenses. We represent clients charged with weapons crimes in Ocean County Superior Court from incidents stemming from all over the county, including Barnegat Light, Jackson, Bayville, Seaside Heights, Lakewood, Pine Beach, Lacey, Lakehurst, Seaside Park, Point Pleasant, Eagleswood, and Stafford. If you have been caught up in the changes to the Graves Act, our seasoned defense lawyers can help. Call us today to speak with a weapons defense lawyer at our Toms River office for no cost.