Frank X. Graves, Jr., author of the Graves Act

Frank X. Graves, Jr. was a Democratic politician who served at various times during his life as a member of the Paterson City Council, Mayor of Paterson, member of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and New Jersey State Senator. He died on March 4, 1990. It was as a senator that Graves drafted the bill that bears his name.

The Graves Act is contained in N.J.S. 2C:43-6. What that Act specifies is that persons convicted of particular crimes involving possession of firearms are to be sentenced to terms of imprisonment. The court is required to specify periods of that imprisonment during which the person will be ineligible to be released on parole. Those periods are half of the term of imprisonment, or forty-two months, whichever is greater. When sentencing a person for a second Graves Act conviction, the judge is required to impose an extended term, with commensurate parole ineligibility. Generally speaking, sentences for extended terms are double the length, or more, of the sentences of “ordinary” terms.

In due course, the New Jersey Legislature discerned that the Graves Act required some flexibility. Responding to that realization, the Legislature enacted N.J.S. 2C:43-6.2. Under that modification, the judge can place the convicted person on probation, or lower the period of parole ineligibility to one year. In order to obtain the benefit of N.J.S. 2C:43-6.2, the following conditions must exist:
  • N.J.S. 2C:43-6.2 may be considered only for first time offenders
     
  • The prosecutor must make the application; it cannot be the defendant who initiates the application. The sentencing judge may also make this application, but only with the approval of the prosecutor.
     
  • Only the assignment judge of the county may consider the application
     
  • To grant the application, the assignment judge must find that the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment that would otherwise be required “does not serve the interests of justice.”
     
In various cases where the Graves Act previously applied (and, technically, still applies), it has become irrelevant. The reason for its irrelevancy is that its harsh conditions have been superseded by a later-enacted and even more draconian law. That later law is the No Early Release Act, “NERA”. We discuss NERA elsewhere.

It will be the rare situation that a person charged with a Graves Act offense can receive Pretrial Intervention (PTI). One recurring situation exists where PTI applications do get serious consideration. That situation is where an out-of-state person who can legally possess a firearm in their home state brings it into New Jersey, unaware that in doing so, they are commiting an illegal act (let alone a Graves Act offense). This situation was the subject of a directive by the New Jersey Attorney General. Even where the qualifying conditions exist, however, PTI is far from a certainty, and the defendant is in for an ordeal.

NJ Graves Act lawyers for handgun, pistol, and all firearms related arrestsAllan Marain is a New Jersey Graves Act lawyer. He has successfully handled numerous Graves Act matters. He is skilled, dedicated, and resourceful. He has forty-five years experience. He is available to review Graves Act charges, and to provide skillful and experienced legal representation.

 Overview  |  Allan Marain  |  Norman Epting, Jr.  |  The Practice  |  Selecting a Lawyer 
 Trial Transcript  |  Jobs and Internships 

 Abandoned Cars  |  Aiding Suicide  |  Animal Cruelty  |  Appeals  |  Arson  |  Assault  |  Bad Checks  |  Bribery  |  Burglary 
 CDS in Vehicle  |  Cell Phones  |  Child Pornography  |  Cocaine  |  Computer Crimes 
 Conditional Dismissal  |  Conspiracy  |  Credit Card Fraud  |  Drug Crimes  |  Drug Deaths  |  DWI/DUI 
 Eluding  |  Endangering  |  Entrapment  |  Evidence  |  Expungements  |  False Swearing 
 Federal Appeals  |  Federal Crimes  |  Fictitious Reports  |  Forgery  |  Graves Act  |  Gun Law  |  Harassment 
 Hazing  |  Homicide  |  Identity Theft  |  Insurance Fraud  |  Invasion of Privacy  |  Jury Service  |  Juvenile Delinquency 
 Kidnapping  |  Leaving the Scene  |  Lewdness  |  Mail Fraud  |  Manslaughter  |  Marijuana  |  Megan's Law 
 Miranda Warnings  |  Money Laundering  |  Municipal Court  |  Murder  |  NERA  |  No Insurance  |  Official Misconduct 
 PCR  |  Peeping Tom  |  Perjury  |  Point Assessments  |  Police Misconduct  |  Possession  |  Prostitution 
 PTI  |  Receiving Stolen P'ty  |  Red Light Cameras  |  Refusals  |  Resisting Arrest  |  Revoked List  |  Robbery 
 Sexual Assault  |  Shoplifting  |  Stalking  |  Street Crimes  |  Tax Crimes--Federal  |  Tax Crimes--NJ 
 Terroristic Threats  |  Theft  |  Theft by Deception  |  Theft of Services  |  Traffic Offenses 
 Unauth'd Prac Law  |  Underage Drinking  |  Underage Gambling  |  Urinating in Public 
 Vehicular Homicide  |  Violation of Probation  |  Weapons Possession  |  White Collar Crimes  |  Wire Fraud 

 Discrimination  |  Domestic Violence  |  Drivers Licenses  |  Excessive Force  |  Freedom of Speech 
 Personal Injury  |  Whistleblowers 

 Case Review  |  Super Links  |  Designated Hitter  |  Directions  |  Poker Portal  |  How Did We Do?  |  PGP Public Key 

 The Bottom Line