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Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Crime

GRAVES Act & Weapon Possession in Commission of a Crime

New Jersey has adopted strict laws to discourage individuals from possessing firearms and other weapons illegally. A primary measure adopted to achieve this goal is the GRAVES Act, which imposes mandatory jail sentences for those who commit certain crimes while in possession of a handgun, shotgun, rifle or other firearm. There is no doubt that anyone charged with a firearm offense falling within the GRAVES Act requires representation by an attorney. The penalties associated with such a charge can have an extraordinary impact on an individual's life so representation by attorneys experienced in this area of law is important. The lawyers at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall, include two former prosecutors and our team possesses over 60 years of defense experience. We handle these cases in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Essex County, Hudson County, Morris County and elsewhere in NJ. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-877-450-8301 if you require additional assistance after viewing the information contained on this page.


In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6, subsection (c), certain crimes trigger the mandatory jail terms and parole ineligibility of the GRAVES Act. The following weapons offenses fall within these sentencing guidelines: Possession of a Sawed Off Shotgun under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b), Possession of a Defaced Firearm under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d) & 2C:39-9(a), Possession of a Firearm for Unlawful Purpose under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a), Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun, Handgun, Rifle or Shotgun under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a) through (c), Certain Persons Not to Possess a Weapon under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(a), (b)(2) or (b)(3), and Possession of a Machine Gun, Sawed Off Shot Gun, Defaced Firearm or Assault Firearm under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(a), (b), (e) or (g). There are also crimes that, if committed while possessing a firearm as defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1f, are GRAVES Act offenses. The charges are Homicide (2C:11-3), Manslaughter (2C:11-4), Aggravated Assault (2C:12-1b) Kidnapping (2C:13-1), Sexual Assault (2C:14-2a), Aggravated Sexual Contact (2C:14-3a), Robbery (2C:15-1), Burglary (2C:18-2), and Escape (2C:29-5).

The GRAVES Act provides for mandatory incarceration. Additionally, a period of parole ineligibility fixed at between one-third and one-half of the sentence or three years, whichever is greater, also applies (except in the case of a Fourth Degree Crime). Where a Fourth Degree offense is concerned, a period of mandatory parole ineligibility of 18 months applies. Additionally, plea bargaining to avoid the implications of the GRAVES Act is severely limited and is only permitted under narrow circumstances. 

Our attorneys represent individuals on charges involving possession of a weapon anywhere in New Jersey including Union County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, Morris County, Essex County, Hudson County and Mercer County. If you or a loved one has been charged with an offense which may involving the GRAVES Act, one of our lawyers would be happy to speak to you. An attorney is available now at 1-877-450-8301.

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The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall represent New Jersey adult and juvenile clients from offices in Shrewsbury, Cranford, Toms River, Jersey City and New Brunswick. We provide prompt and convenient client service to people in such communities as Newark, Plainfield, Freehold, Eatontown, East Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge, Westfield, Clark, Rahway, Piscataway, Sayreville, Elizabeth, Middletown, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Jackson, Lakewood, Point Pleasant, Edison, Old Bridge, Aberdeen, Linden, Belmar, Eatontown, Hazlet, Holmdel, Ocean, Sea Bright, Hoboken, Weehawken, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Tinton Falls, Wall, Brick, Dover, Jackson, and other locations in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Essex County, Hudson County and Morris County.

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