Gun Plea Negotiations – Can I Reduce Minimum Gun Sentences – Gun Plea Bargains & Graves Act Waivers NJ

How To Beat A Gun Charge

Part 4.

“Plea Negotiations and Reducing Sentencing Minimums”

Plea negotiations and getting a Graves Act waiver are crucial in defending against gun charges in New Jersey. In fact, a Graves waiver allows a defendant to lower the mandatory prison time and period of parole ineligibility that typically are associated with gun charges (even for first time offenders). At the Tormey Law Firm, our team of criminal defense attorneys have literally handled hundreds of illegal gun possession charges throughout New Jersey with tremendous results. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation and immediate assistance at 201-556-1570.

Plea Negotiations – The Pre-Indictment Conference

After the bail hearing and/or detention hearing, the case will then be scheduled for a pre-indictment conference. In New Jersey, your charges are issued on a criminal complaint (either a warrant or a summons). However, for a case to proceed in court, indictable (felony) cases must be presented to a grand jury for an indictment. Before that happens, the State and the Court typically try to resolve them. In some counties, like Essex, they don’t really resolve these cases pre-indictment and mark everything for the grand jury. Then, once the case is indicted, the defendant appears for arraignment and the court process begins. However, in most counties in New Jersey, these gun cases are listed for a pre-indictment conference to see if the case can be worked out before it is presented to the grand jury. This benefits the State because it saves time and money and resolves the case quickly and early on. It also benefits the defendant because usually the State gives a more lenient and “best plea offer” early on at this pre-indictment conference. Also most counties have escalating plea offers, which means that, if a defendant fails to accept the pre-indictment plea offer, they will never see that offer again and the following plea offers will be higher and include more prison time.

At the pre-indictment conference the State provides the defense with the discovery which is all the evidence the State possesses and intends to rely upon to prove the charges against them along with a plea offer. Some of the discovery which is typically included in the evidence package include the following:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • MVR – mobile video recordings from police cars
  • Bodycam footage
  • Operability report on the gun
  • Defendant’s criminal case history (prior criminal record if any)
  • A report tracing the guns serial number (if it has one) to see if it’s been reported stolen or used in any crimes

There are a wide range of plea offers we see on gun cases throughout New Jersey. Here are some of the typical plea offers which can then potentially be negotiated by submitting a mitigation package:

  • 5 years New Jersey State prison, 42 months to be served before becoming eligible for parole
  • 5 years New Jersey State prison with a Graves Act waiver, 1 year to be served before becoming eligible for parole
  • 3 years New Jersey State prison with Graves Act waiver, 1 year to be served before becoming eligible for parole
  • Probation with up to 364 days to be served in the county jail with a Graves Act waiver
  • Non-custodial probation with a Graves Act waiver
  • Admission into the Pre-Trial Intervention program (PTI) with a plea with a Graves Act waiver

All of the above plea offers result in a felony on the defendant’s record except for PTI which allows the charges to be dismissed if the defendant successfully completes the PTI probation.

Mitigation Package During Plea Negotiations in Support of Graves Act Waiver

Once we receive the initial plea offer and discovery from the State, we will review all of the evidence and our options and discuss them with our client. Typically, we will draft a mitigation package in order to try to get a better deal and hopefully PTI which allows our client to avoid any jail time and a felony on their record. Some of the documents we typically include in a mitigation package in support of a Graves waiver and PTI (if eligible) include:

  • Legal purchasing documents for the gun (receipt, if applicable)
  • Any purchasing permits, carry permits from NJ or other states
  • Proof of employment
  • Travel documents (if client was visiting NJ for work, vacation, and was arrested with their gun here)
  • Character references

These documents and the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any) along with the circumstances of the arrest will all be key components when the State considers whether or not to lower their plea offer. Some of the circumstances of the case that the State will consider in gun charges include the following:

  • Was it merely a possessory offense
  • Was the gun in a motor vehicle
  • Was the gun loaded
  • Was anyone in danger based on the defendant’s possession of that gun
  • Was the defendant under the influence
  • Was the defendant cooperative with law enforcement

The Assistant prosecutor assigned to the case will then speak to their supervisors and determine whether or not the initial plea offer is the best that they can do or if they are willing to offer something else to try to resolve this case. If the offer is accepted, then the plea or PTI will be placed on the record in court. If a plea is entered, then the case will be postponed 6-8 weeks for sentencing. In the meantime, the defendant will be interviewed by probation and a pre-sentence report will be created for the Judge so they are familiar with the defendant and the facts of the case when they sentence them.

If the plea offer is rejected, then the case will proceed to the grand jury for an indictment. Once the case is indicted, the defendant will appear for arraignment and the plea offer will be higher. The defendant’s attorney can then file motions challenging the traffic stop or challenging the search or attempting to suppress statements made by the defendant (Miranda). Once motions are complete, if the case is still not resolved then it will proceed to trial. This would be a jury trial in NJ because these are felony charges.

Real Plea Negotiations for Our Clients Facing New Jersey Gun Charges

Here are a few examples of real gun cases we handled with tremendous results thanks to plea negotiations in court. We have a client arrested with an illegal gun on his waist and a pound of marijuana in the trunk (when weed was illegal) who was facing a second degree unlawful possession of a weapon charge in Bergen County. However, the traffic stop was questionable and potentially illegal. Based on these evidence issues, we were able to the convince the Bergen County prosecutor to give the client PTI – no jail time and no felony on his record.

Similarly, in Morris County, we represented a client who was arrested with a gun and had a prior felony on his record. Thus, he is called a “certain person” or a felon not to possess a weapon. The typical offer on these cases is 5 years in prison with a 5 year stip, 5 years without parole. However, he was pulled over on his motorcycle because he was wearing a biker gang jacket which is not a legal reason to pull someone over. Based on this potentially illegal stop, we were able to get the prosecutor to give him a 4th degree illegal transport of a weapon with probation and no prison time.

If we had filed motions on these cases, we may have gotten them dismissed completely. However, if the motions were denied by the Judge, then the State usually increases their plea offers with more jail time and more consequences for our clients. Thus, sometimes it is in the client’s best interests to take a great deal that keeps them out of jail rather than roll the dice and gamble with a motion because if the motion is not granted it can be very devastating for our client’s life and their future.

Fighting Gun Charges in New Jersey

Here are some of our videos which detail how we fight gun charges in New Jersey and challenge all aspects of the State’s case:

How to beat a gun charge #1: Challenging the “consent” of a search.
How to beat a gun charge #2. Challenging motor vehicle stops and illegal searches.
How to beat a gun charge #3. Challenging Bad Warrants and Illegal Searches
How to beat a gun charge #4. Plea negotiations and reducing sentencing minimums.
How to beat a gun charge #5. Transporting a gun to the range.

Other Gun Related Pages

NJ Gun Lawyer – Why you should consider hiring an attorney for your gun charge.

NJ Gun Laws – A comprehensive breakdown of gun laws in New Jersey.

Possession of a Weapon Charge NJ – Information on general weapons possession.

Possession of a Destructive Device NJ – Laws on destructive devices in NJ.

NJ Gun Permit Attorney – If you need an attorney for gun permits.

New Jersey Gun Permits – Information about obtaining paperwork for NJ firearms.

Gun Charges NJ – What your facing after NJ gun charges and how to fight them.

Certain Persons Offenses – Info about “certain persons to not own firearms” offenses.

BB Gun Charges – BB Gun Laws in New Jersey.

First Offense Gun Charges – Information about what happens on a first offense gun charge.

Forfeiture of Weapons – Sometimes the police will take your guns after a domestic dispute.

Gun Case Victories #1 – One of the gun cases that we won in NJ.

Gun Charges In NJ – A video on gun charges in NJ.

Gun Permit Attorney – A video on hiring an attorney to help you obtain gun permits.

Tormey Law Firm – New Jersey Gun Lawyers – Free Consultations

If you or a loved one needs assistance fighting a gun charge in NJ, contact us now for immediate assistance and a free initial consultation at 201-556-1570.


  • No promises, just a Pro!

  • Excellent Lawyer... Helped me in every step off my Case..

  • Great work

  • Best lawyer!!

  • FRO removal success!!

  • Easy to work with, straightforward

  • Kept my license

  • Father of client

  • Excellent Attorney , Charges Dismissed as promised

  • Helped every step of the way

  • Avoid mandatory jail time on shoplifting charges


  • Help

  • Did the job he was hired to do

  • Great lawyer

  • Simple assault charge was dropped

  • Top Notch Representation

  • Well worth it.

  • DUI Case Dismissed

  • 2 felony charges dismissed

  • Cameron bury

  • great attorney

  • Hands Down Professional and delivers results!!!

  • DUI case dismissed

  • 125 stars out of 10!!

  • Excellent at getting best outcome

  • Excellent Attorney

  • TRO Dismissal

  • Efficient Excellent attorney.

  • Excellent attorney

  • Travis successfully defended me in an unprecedented Final Restraining Order Trial with ease

  • Kick Ass Attorney!

  • Efficient and professional attorney

  • Great Lawyer And Great Results

  • Top Notch DUI Attorney

  • Client Domestic Violence

  • Restraining Order

  • A real pro in a time of need - DWI Dismissed.

  • The most experienced, patient and affordable attorney

  • Travis Tormey successfully had a False TRO against me dismissed.

  • Underaged Drinking

  • Underaged Drinking

  • DUI Dismissed

  • Saved me from a DUI. HIGHLY recommended

  • Restraining Order

  • Case dismissed with Data Driven Facts

  • Respectful. Attentive. Professional.

  • Trespassing and Under the Influence Disorderly Persons charges

  • If you are reading this- You have reached the right place! Undoubtedly, the BEST Law Firm in New Jersey!

  • Amazing attorney with a heart of gold

  • Exceeded my expectations, Highly Professional Attorney

  • Responsive and knowledgeable.

  • The Tormey law firm was very kind and professional

  • Expungement

  • Travis Tormey is a True Professional Who Kept Me Out of Jail

  • Saved me a whole ton of problems

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • A nightmare case, with a happy ending.

  • Elite NJ Marijuana Attorney! 5 Stars!!

  • An Excellent lawyer!

  • Great lawyer for DUI

  • I highly endorse Travis Tormey.

  • Travis Tormey Law Firm

  • Travis is a Lifesaver

  • Travis J. Tormey - Evaluation

  • Great Lawyer. Got me off exactly what I wanted

  • Consummate Professional!

  • Great Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Good Service

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Hired to defend me for aggravated assault

  • Hired to defend me in a restraning order

  • Excellent attorney, highly recommend his talents

  • DWI Counsel

  • I highly recommend Mr. Tormey

  • Great attorney

  • Travis Tormey, Esq. - Great Results!

  • Travis Tormey - Excellent Attorney-Kind and Trustworthy

  • Excellent Attorney-Trustworthy and Kind

  • An Outstanding lawyer!!! That will represent you in the correct way!

  • Excellent Attorney! You will not be dissapointed....

  • Travis Tormey Gets Results!

  • tormey

  • Success!!

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • Only Lawyer I Recommend

  • Very Grateful

  • Attorney review of Travis Tormey

  • Excellent

Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation. With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

The Tormey Law Firm

Areas we serve

Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Somerset County including Morristown, Denville, Dover, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Hackensack, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield Park, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Clifton, and Wayne.

  • Hackensack Office

    254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

    (201) 556-1570

    view larger map

  • Morristown Office

    55 Madison Avenue Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

    (908) 336-5008

    view larger map