New Jersey Handgun Offense Defense Attorneys
One of the biggest questions that we are asked is how do I get Pretrial Intervention if I have been charged with unlawful possession of a handgun or another firearm offense in New Jersey? There isn’t an easy answer to this question given the heavy-handed penalties and complexity of the gun laws in New Jersey. In fact, you must to be sent to prison if convicted for possessing an illegal handgun unless you obtain a Graves Act Waiver or admission into Pretrial Intervention. You need a top criminal lawyer if you want to maximize the chance of achieving this result. This is exactly what the accomplished litigators at our NJ defense firm will provide.
We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, a team that has been successfully defending handgun charges throughout NJ for decades. Our impressive qualifications extend well beyond selection of a catchy website name, including:
- Over 200 years of combined experience representing clients just like you
- 10 lawyers that limit their practice to criminal defense only
- Former county prosecutors that have served as Director of the Gun Task Force, the Major Crimes Bureau, Special Operations, Juvenile, and even an entire Trial Division
- Certified criminal trial attorneys
An arrest for possession of a firearm in violation of the Graves Act or any other law carries significant consequences so you desperately need formidable credentials like those of our lawyers. To learn what we can do to help you avoid prison by admission into Pretrial Intervention, call 877-450-8301. Someone is available around the clock to assist you.
What Is Pretrial Intervention & How Does It Work?
The New Jersey Criminal Justice System has several diversion programs that are designed to allow individuals to avoid the penalties that would otherwise apply by completing a period of rehabilitation. Pretrial Intervention is the program for first-time offenders to avoid prosecution and even a criminal record by completing a period of probation that is typically one year. None of the penalties for the original criminal offense are trigger so long as the participant is successful in meeting all of the standard conditions of PTI. The eligibility requirements for PTI include:
- Adults Only. Must be at least 18 years old.
- New Jersey Resident. An individual must reside in this state so that he/she may be supervised over the period of Pretrial Intervention.
- No Prior Diversion. The program is only available to those who are good candidates for rehabilitation so it is not available to someone who has already completed a similar program. The thought is that you have shown an inability to turn your life around if you are committing another criminal offense after previously completing conditional dismissal, conditional discharge, or Pretrial Intervention.
- Charged With an Indictable Crime. The program may be utilized if the applicant has been charged with an indictable crime of the fourth degree or third degree.
- Crimes Ineligible Without Prosecutor Consent. Certain offenses are only eligible for PTI with prosecutor consent. This is the case if you are charged with a first-degree or second-degree crime, or are facing an offense that carries a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility. This is particularly relevant to this discussion since most gun charges, for example, unlawful possession of a handgun (a.k.a. possession without a carry permit) are not only second-degree crimes but also carry a mandatory minimum sentence under the Graves Act. An individual can only utilize Pretrial Intervention if the prosecutor consents to this relief as the scenario is typically ineligible for resolution in this manner.
Are There Special Considerations or Rules When Someone Is Attempting To Get PTI In A Gun Case?
As previously indicated, the general rule is that you cannot resolve a case through Pretrial Intervention if it involves a second-degree crime or carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence. This means that any offense falling under the Graves Act would be ineligible absent special treatment, namely, consent by the prosecutor for admission into the program. Prosecutors are instructed to limit consent to “rare cases involving extraordinary and compelling circumstances that fall outside the heartland of the legislative to deter unauthorized gun possession.” A mishap with a handgun would fall outside the heartland of the Graves Act and other anti-gun legislation and primed for prosecutor consent if it involves an innocent mistake by an out-of-state resident who brings his/her lawfully acquired gun into New Jersey. For a full discussion of this subject you can refer to Pretrial Intervention and Graves Act Waivers for Out of State Residents. While the circumstances where unauthorized gun possession falls outside the “heartland of the legislative purposes” are limited, there are numerous cases that our attorneys have successfully resolved in this manner over the years. There is little doubt that skill, persuasiveness, and long-standing relationships were important factors in our success.
Is There Any Other Option Than Prison If I Am Denied Pretrial Intervention?
If you are ineligible for PTI and/or unable to obtain prosecutor consent to apply for PTI, your next best option is to seek a Graves Act waiver. This naturally presumes that your charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence. For those who are not subject to a presumption of imprisonment (e.g. second or first-degree crime) or parole ineligibility, there are numerous other options for success.
Our Talented NJ Criminal Lawyers Are Ready To Help You Obtain PTI
There is absolutely no doubt that securing Pretrial Intervention in a gun case can be challenging, especially when the case doesn’t involve someone who inadvertently possesses a handgun while passing through New Jersey. Hiring an attorney who has evaluated these types of cases as a prosecutor and who has actually tried gun cases is what is important to you rather than the illusion of expertise created by many on the internet who have no bona fide experience to back it up. Contact us at 877-450-8301 so that one of our attorneys can explain exactly how we can help you obtain PTI to resolve your gun offense in New Jersey. The consultation is free so do not hesitate to give us a call.