Graves Act

Atlantic City Weapons Lawyer

The Graves Act was a 1981 amendment to the New Jersey Criminal Code, which provides for mandatory minimum sentences for individuals convicted of certain specified violent crimes while they are in possession of or use a firearm during the commission of, attempt to commit, or flight from the commission of a crime. Typically, our clients’ concerns are over which crimes trigger the application of the Graves Act. Currently, the list of included crimes is as follows:

  • Possession of a firearm, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person of another;
  • Murder;
  • Manslaughter;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Aggravated sexual assault;
  • Aggravated criminal sexual contact;
  • Robbery;
  • Burglary;
  • Escape;
  • Unlawful possession of a sawed-off shotgun;
  • Possession of a defaced firearm;
  • Possession of a firearm while committing a drug offense;
  • Unlawful possession of a machine gun;
  • Unlawful possession of a handgun;
  • Unlawful possession of rifle or shotgun;
  • Certain Person not to have a weapon, fourth-degree involving weapons other than firearms;
  • Certain Persons not to have a weapon, third-degree involving prior domestic violence offenses;
  • Certain Persons not to have a weapon, third-degree involving persons whose firearms were seized pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act;
  • Manufacture, transport, disposition and defacement of machine guns;
  • Defacement of firearms,
  • Manufacture, transport, disposition and defacement of assault firearms; and
  • Possession of firearm for unlawful purpose against the property of another.

You should also know that there was a significant amendment to the Graves Act in 2008 which extended the mandatory parole ineligibility requirements of the law to convictions to possession of a firearm with the intent to use it either against the person or the property of another.

If you have been charged with a Graves Act Offense or have questions about a weapon or other criminal charge in Atlantic County, you are encouraged to contact the attorneys at our firm. Our team of defense lawyers is truly unique as it is not only one of the largest in the state with 10 who specialize in defending the accused but also because of our extensive experience. We have over 150 years of collective time in practice and a staff of former prosecutors that include Directors of Major Crimes, the Trial Team, Guns Task Force and even a Chief Counsel to the Governor. To speak to an attorney about the case you are facing at the Atlantic County Superior Court, contact our Mays Landing Office anytime 24/7. A lawyer is available immediately by calling (609) 616-0020.

What is a Minimum Term of Imprisonment Under the Graves Act?

For these offenses, the terms of imprisonment must include a minimum term of imprisonment. The minimum term for any crime of the first, second or third degree must be at least three years. The court when it imposes sentence must fix a minimum term of between one-third and one-half of the sentence it imposed. If one half the sentence imposed would be less than three years, the minimum sentence is three years. For a fourth-degree crime, the mandatory sentence is eighteen months. During this minimum time period, the defendant is not eligible for parole. Except in the case of fourth-degree crimes, the minimum term established by this section does not prevent the court from imposing the presumptive sentence.

What is an Extended Term Under the Graves Act?

If a person has previously been convicted of one of the above-mentioned offenses involving the use or possession of a firearm and then is subsequently convicted of one of those offenses and if in the second offense the person uses or possesses a firearm either during its commission, attempted commission or flight, the court must sentence the defendant to an extended term. This extended term is mandatory for this subsequent offender.

Atlantic County Graves Act Defense Lawyers

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a criminal defense firm experienced in handling weapons charges and the impact of the Graves Act upon a conviction for those charges. Our firm has successfully obtained Graves Act Waivers for certain clients in the past so as to prevent our clients from having to serve a prison sentence. If you or someone you know was arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Certain Person Not to Have a Weapon, or Defacement of Firearms then contact our Mays Landing Office today at (609) 616-0020. Attorneys are available night and day to take your call and discuss what implications the Graves Act might have if you are convicted.


Related Atlantic County Legal Resources

Weapon Offense Lawyers in Atlantic County

Atlantic County Certain Person Attorney

Possession of an Illegal Handgun Arrest in Atlantic City

Possession of a Handgun Without a Permit Defense Lawyer in Atlantic County

Atlantic County Criminal Attorneys