What Everyone Needs to Know About Mandatory Minimum Consecutive for Unlawful Handgun Possession and Drug Charges in New Jersey
Our law firm represents individuals charged with crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. New Jersey, unlike Pennsylvania, maintains mandatory sentencing laws for the unlawful possession of guns and firearms within the State.
Graves Act – 42 Month Mandatory State Prison For Unlawful Possession
With that said, if a person is convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun or firearm in New Jersey, it would require the person to serve a mandatory forty-two (42) month State prison sentence upon that conviction under the Garden State’s Graves Act. While there are waivers (Graves Act Waiver) that can be presented to the Court which could alleviate the mandatory sentence to either one (1) year (partial waiver) or possibly a probation sentence (full waiver), these are not guarantees and, in many situations, difficult to obtain.
Mandatory Consecutive Sentencing – Unlawful Possession & Drug Distribution
In addition, if the person is charged with other unlawful acts, specifically drug crimes pertaining to the unlawful distribution or dispensing of illegal drugs and narcotics, they face mandatory consecutive sentencing. (2C:39-4.1-Possession of weapons during commission of certain crimes and penalties) This means that a person is required to serve not only the mandatory minimum for the unlawful possession of the handgun or firearm, but also a consecutive State prison sentence for the narcotic charge which can range from a crime of the first, second, or third degree.
Maximum Drug Crimes Sentences in New Jersey
The maximum sentence for a crime in the first degree in New Jersey is twenty (20) years, a crime of the second degree is ten (10) years, and a crime in the third degree is five (5) years. A flat sentence would require the person to serve at least one-third (1/3) of the sentence imposed before being eligible for parole. (2C:35-5- Manufacturing distributing, dispensing. See 2C:35-4 Maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility).
The crime of maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance facility is a crime of the first degree and, like unlawful possession of a firearm require a mandatory minimum sentence which is between one third (1/3) and one half (1/2) of the sentence imposed. The Defendant is not eligible for parole at this time and the maximum sentence for a crime in the first degree in New Jersey is twenty (20) years. This minimum date would be attached to the mandatory minimum that the person would have to serve for the gun charge.
What to do if you’re charge with a drug and gun crime in New Jersey?
If you’re charged with unlawful possession of a firearm charge in New Jersey along with a related drug offense it is important that your criminal defense lawyer, explains the severity of the case and the mandatory consecutive charges upon a conviction.
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