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Bergen County Criminal and DWI Defense
This page has a ton of information on criminal charges and DWI defense in Bergen County NJ.

Morristown Criminal Law Post
A long time blog, that I've written and run for years.  There is a ton of great legal content on this site!

Morristown Criminal Law

Essex County Criminal Law

Gun Possession Charges – Gun Lawyer In NJ

Gun Lawyer NJ – Gun Attorney NJ – Lawyer For Gun Charges in NJ – Attorney for Gun Charges In NJ

“This is a humorous example of a minor firearms charge that I was able to avoid using a diversionary pretrial program.”

Gun possession chargesI recently represented a college student who was on vacation with his family when he and his friend started playing around with some air soft guns.  If you’re not familiar, these are the guns that shoot little plastic pellets… they kinda sting.  As boys their age typically do after purchasing such things, they decided to test them out.

At first, they were messing around with the guns simply shooting them off of the balcony of their vacation home.   There was an empty parking lot across the street from the property so it was a seemingly perfect place to shoot some plastic balls.  After a while, the boys were trying to fire the air guns at moving vehicles, a typical good teenage idea. Unfortunately for them, one of the cars that they shot was actually an unmarked police car. Needless to say, the boys quickly regretted their decision to aim for moving targets.

In New Jersey air soft, pellet, and BB guns are all considered fire-arms. It is required by law that any persons that has one of these get a permit for it.  The boys had no clue that by crossing state lines they were privy to these different laws and were shocked when they were charged with 2nd degree unlawful possession of a weapon.  Even without a prior record, with these charges, there is an unspoken presumption of incarceration in a state prison for five to ten years.   That basically means it’s assumed that anyone facing these charges will go to jail for 5-10 years.

My client had no prior criminal record and was enrolled in Bible College in Pennsylvania.  That’s right… Bible College.  Based on those facts alone I felt that it would be easy to build a case that would show that he had no harmful intent.  From volunteering with his church youth group to, on a regular basis, participating in community service it was safe to presume that it would be easy to attest to his good character.

I went around to different community members in his area and easily received 25 letters of recommendation and character references.  These letters came from a variant of different people- his pastors, church members, teachers and family.

My client seemed to be a good candidate for a pretrial intervention program.  This is for people with no prior criminal record, who can basically get a second chance at a clean record.  If PTI is successfully completed there will be no record of conviction and no criminal record.

Because my client was a first time offender and had great references this would have been his best option.  The only problem was that this program is not usually something that is offered to people who are being faced with 2nd degree charges.   This is where having a known defense attorney lobbying hard for your case really makes a difference.

 

I put together a detailed package that included all of the letters I obtained on his behalf and submitted it to the Cape May County Prosecutors office for enrollment.

After the waiting game was done, we found out that based on the case that I had put together and submitted he was allowed to participate in the PTI program. He had to be in the program for only 18 months, and after that his charges would be gone completely.  Compared to the five to ten years he would have faced otherwise, I would say this was the best result anyone could have asked for.  He completed the program, he experienced no criminal record, and no jail time.

 

This was the outcome that we wanted.