NJ Graves Act Law
Barnegat NJ Gun Attorney
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
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated criminal sexual contact
- 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
- Possession of firearm for unlawful purpose against the property of another.
The Graves Act was amended in 2008, so that the mandatory parole ineligibility applies to defendants convicted of possession of a firearm with the intent to use it either against the person or the property of another.
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 3 years. When the judge moves for sentencing, they 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 18 months. During this minimum time period the defendant is not eligible for parole.
Is there a Mandatory 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.
Toms River Criminal Defense Attorneys
Call 848-238-2100 today and speak with an Ocean County Weapons Attorney immediately. If you or someone you love are facing charges involving burglary, aggravated assault, carjacking, or robbery and were using a gun during the commission of this crime, they are facing mandatory imprisonment. Allow our criminal trial attorneys to work on your behalf and keep you or your loved one out of jail and home where they belong.